Conditions of participation are rules governing the eligibility of someone or of an entity to be involved in a particular activity or organization.
The conditions vary according to the activity or organization. For example, the following is the federal conditions of participation (COP) for volunteers who work in hospices who participate in the Medicare/Medicaid system:
"The hospice in accordance with the numerical standards, specified in paragraph (e) of this section, uses volunteers, in defined roles, under the supervision of a designated hospice employee.
- Standard: Training. The hospice must provide appropriate orientation and training that is consistent with acceptable standards of hospice practice.
- Standard: Role. Volunteers must be used in administrative or direct patient care roles.
- Standard: Recruiting and retaining. The hospice must document active and ongoing efforts to recruit and retain volunteers.
- Standard: Cost saving. The hospice must document the cost savings achieved through the use of volunteers. Documentation must include--
- The identification of necessary positions which are occupied by volunteers;
- The work time spent by volunteers occupying those positions; and
- Estimates of the dollar costs which the hospice would have incurred if paid employees occupied the positions identified in paragraph (d)(1) for the amount of time specified in paragraph (d)(2).
- Standard: Level of activity. A hospice must document and maintain a volunteer staff sufficient to provide administrative or direct patient care in an amount that, at a minimum, equals 5 percent of the total patient care hours of all paid hospice employees and contract staff. The hospice must document a continuing level of volunteer activity. Expansion of care and services achieved through the use of volunteers, including the type of services and the time worked, must be recorded.
- Standard: Availability of clergy. The hospice must make reasonable efforts to arrange for visits of clergy and other members of religious organizations in the community to patients who request such visits and must advise patients of this opportunity."