AAAHC rewrites standards for 2018 — focus on clarity

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The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care has rewritten its standards in anticipation of the September release of the 2018 Accreditation Handbook for Ambulatory Health Care.

Here's what you should know:

1. AAAHC revised existing standards to "better demonstrate" their meaning and simplify the self-assessment and surveying process. The new handbook provides few new or different standards.

2. The standards now include "elements of compliance." These elements reflect specifically what surveyors look for to determine compliance.

3. AAAHC ensured existing standards were more user-friendly. For example, rating options were revised to include a chart defining compliance ratings with each standard. AAAHC also separated standards with more than one decision point into distinct elements.

4. AAAHC's standards for ASCs participating in Medicare deemed status will not change for 2018.

5. The new standards will be implemented March 1, 2018.

AAAHC Standards and Survey Procedures Committee Chair Frank Chapman said in a release, "The goal of the standards rewrite is to make survey decisions and accompanying ratings more clear and transparent, improve understanding of the standards, and simplify compliance for organizations. We implemented the revised ratings process with our health plan surveys several years ago and have received a very positive response. We will now offer them to our ambulatory organizations to further improve their survey experience."

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