NIMRC Certification for Medical Respite Programs


The field of medical respite care (MRC) is growing rapidly. As the field continues to evolve, there is an increasing need to clearly define characteristics, quality standards, and oversight of MRC programs.

As the preeminent entity dedicated to expanding access to high-quality medical respite care nationwide, NIMRC has designed a voluntary certification process built on robust stakeholder input and a nationally recognized Framework for Medical Respite Care Programs.

The process is designed to be supportive and collaborative, with NIMRC offering guidance, resources, technical assistance, and peer connections. Participating programs will have the opportunity to:

  • Enhance the care they provide
  • Strengthen partnerships
  • Promote their work
  • Maximize impact
  • Elevate the MRC field
Framework for Medical Respite Care

Learn More

Download the below PDF summary below to learn more about the development of NIMRC's Certification for Medical Respite Programs.

Questions? Please contact Julia Dobbins, MSW, Director of Medical Respite Care at with any questions.

Testing & Next Steps

The certification process was field tested in 2023 with five participating programs, each of which realized substantial improvements in their fidelity to the Standards for Medical Respite Care.

This summer, NIMRC will pilot the certification with 10 MRC programs. This pilot will lay the groundwork for our anticipated rollout of a fully operational certification program in early 2025.

Support for NIMRC's Certification Process

“I am thrilled that the certification program by NIMRC, a special program of the Council, meets a need while building on the strengths of Medical Respite Care. A strength of the MRC field is programs’ great diversity in size, services, and approaches, and certification demonstrates that MRC programs have met established standards of care. And the certification process helps them improve their care – a win-win-win!”

Bobby Watts, MPH, MS
Chief Executive Officer
National Health Care for the Homeless Council

Kaiser Permanente is proud to support NIMRC and the work to advance medical respite, which is vital in caring for people experiencing homelessness. Certification will strengthen the ties between healthcare systems and respite programs, ensuring their financial stability. NIMRC is well positioned to guide organizations through certification due to its focus on local needs and strengthening the network of respite programs.

Pam Schwartz, MPH
Executive Director of Community Health
Kaiser Permanente

Working closely with NIMRC and participating in the certification field test created a supportive structure which challenged us to look more critically at our Medical Respite model of care. By helping us to codify many of our practices - which we carried out intuitively -  our staff has grown in their understanding of the value of adhering to well-vetted standards of care. Both our program and our patients have benefited from this process, and we look forward to NIMRC's oversight of a national certification of medical respite programs.

James Ginsburg, MNM, CAC III
Executive Director

Medical Respite programs deliver high value care - improving health and housing outcomes while reducing costly hospital admissions and readmissions. While CalAIM, California’s ambitious initiative to transform Medi-Cal, has created an opportunity to scale Medical Respite, further growth requires more buy-in from payers and policy makers. Certification will provide stakeholders with clearer definitions and expectations, uphold quality standards, and still allow programs to retain the flexibility they need to effectively serve their communities. And there is no better organization than the National Institute for Medical Respite Care to lead the charge. We are thrilled to have supported their research and field-testing and are thankful to all who worked toward this launch.”

Michelle Schneidermann, MD
Director of Advancing People-Centered Care
California Health Care Foundation

This certification process helps to validate the great work that NHCHC and NIMRC have been doing for years and will help to achieve long-term sustainability for medical respite/recuperative care services under Medicaid. Their steadfast focus has always been to support and provide technical assistance that is tailored to the needs of local operators who ensure our unhoused community members have a safe and welcoming place to rest and recuperate. The commitment and intentional approach is embodied in all aspects of this work and continues to help bring health care and homeless sectors together to meet the needs of our communities.”

Ashley Brand, MA, MPH, CPH
System Director, Community Health, Integration and Housing
CommonSpirit Health

“NIMRC’s certification process is an important next step in furthering support and structure for medical respite programs across the nation. Built on the foundation of the NHCHC and the RCPN’s work, the certification process enhances program evaluation alongside colleagues and peers across the fields of health care and homeless services. I appreciate the thoughtful way that NIMRC has built the certification process, gathering feedback and data along the way from national partners and providers, which in turn creates a peer-led and supportive learning environment. I am excited to see where MRC certification goes into 2024 and beyond!”

Susannah King, MSW, LICSW
Chair of the Respite Care Providers’ Network
Social Services Manager
Hennepin County Health Care for the Homeless

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