External assessments performed by hospital and laboratory accrediting agencies can help healthcare facilities/laboratories understand where they may need to improve in order to manage risk.
Since all accreditation programs are voluntary, it is not required that each laboratory become accredited in order to become licensed by their state. Nevertheless, participation in accreditation is viewed as essential to the laboratory's commitment to meeting high standards. In addition, accreditation provides laboratories with benchmarks for maintaining those standards.
The three accrediting bodies discussed next have the deeming authority to grant to those laboratories they accredit "deemed" status. This is determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as they have met CMS's condition of participation in the Medicare Program. Laboratories with "deemed" status not only meet the requirement for reimbursement from Medicare and certain managed care organizations. The "deemed" laboratories are also not required to undergo Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) surveys other than random validation surveys. "Deemed" status, however, does not ordinarily provide an exemption from state requirements for state licensure.