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Immediate Corrective Action Required (ICAR)

What does ICAR stand for in healthcare?
ICAR stands for Immediate Corrective Action Required. It is imperative in healthcare that policies and procedures are current and in compliance. Many audits are performed within a healthcare organization to ensure that they stay in compliance with ever-changing policies. An immediate corrective action is a notification to the healthcare entity that is usually found during an audit that the entity is running. These audits happen quite often to make sure that the healthcare entity is compliying with the current protocols and procedures. 

An Immediate Corrective Action Required could also be required if there is an instance where an enrollee’s health and safety are put at risk. For example, a patient is not receiving the proper care and medication that they need for any given reason. If any inconsistencies in compliances are not handled, the healthcare facility is at risk of fines, penalties, and potentially terminations could be in store for employees or for the termination of a more significant portion of a healthcare entity. 


What does Immediate Corrective Action Required (ICAR) mean?
During an audit, complications may arise that require an immediate response and correction to a procedure or program. This could mean that a potential inconsistency with a policy or an issue with compliance exists. A team or organization that is either a part of the healthcare organization or a co-sponsored organization through the healthcare entity will cite the healthcare entity with an Immediate Corrective Action Required (ICAR). A citation of this nature happens when an auditing team comes in and performs an audit process with the healthcare organization to ensure compliance. 

After the healthcare sponsor is cited there is a limited amount of time that a healthcare organization has to respond to the citation. Responding to an Immediate Corrective Action Required (ICAR) involves creating a formal email that lays out the plan to correct the mistake. The plan lays out how the healthcare entity will immediately correct the mistake and how the mistake will be corrected going forward to ensure it never happens again. This can be checked by a sponsor to make sure that the problem that once occurred has been changed and rehabilitated for good. 

The auditing team may also be present to share all details about the misconduct that has happened. In this meeting, it is when the healthcare organization will be presented with the Immediate Corrective Action Required (ICAR) citation. In the overall auditing process, the ICAR takes points off of the total audit and drops the healthcare entities’ score. This drops the level of compliance and creates a way for a healthcare organization ensure compliance throughout the entity is top-notch in the future. 

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