Accrediting Organizations

Most ASCs provide care to Medicare beneficiaries and, thus, must meet Medicare standards and be approved by the federal government. Additionally most, though not all, states have one form of state-specific licensing requirement (to find your state’s requirements, visit ASCA’s State Law Database). To obtain Medicare certification, and usually to obtain a state license, an ASC must have an inspection conducted by a state official or a representative of an organization that the government has authorized to conduct that inspection. Those organizations that have been officially sanctioned by the federal and state governments to survey ASCs for licensure compliance are called accrediting organizations. Inspectors working for accrediting organizations will regularly visit ASCs to verify that the facility meets established standards. There are currently four national accrediting organizations for ASCs.

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Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, also known as AAAHC or the Accreditation Association, is a private, nonprofit organization formed in 1979. It is a leader in developing standards to advance and promote patient safety, quality and value for ambulatory healthcare through peer-based accreditation processes, education and research. Accreditation is awarded to organizations that are found to be in compliance with the Accreditation Association standards.

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Accreditation Commission for Health Care  (ACHC) (formerly HFAP)

The Accreditation Commission for Health Care offers Ambulatory Care Accreditation for medical care provided on an outpatient basis, including diagnosis, observation, treatment, intervention and rehabilitation services. As an internationally recognized accreditation organization with 30-plus years of experience, ACHC offers a collaborative survey approach and relevant standards designed to empower providers to enhance patient care.

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The Joint Commission

An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 2,200 freestanding ambulatory care organizations. The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve healthcare for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating healthcare organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

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QUAD A (formerly AAAASF)

It is the mission of QUAD A to develop and implement standards of excellence to ensure the highest quality of patient care through an accreditation program that serves both the medical community and the public interest by establishing a means for measuring medical competence and providing an external source for evaluating patient safety in the ambulatory surgery setting.