The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) was founded in 1979 to:
"encourage and assist ambulatory health care organizations to provide the highest achievable level of care for recipients in the most efficient and economically sound manner. The AAAHC accomplishes this by the operation of a peer-based assessment, consultation, education and accreditation program."
The six founding members of the AAAHC were the American College Health Association, the American Group Practice Association (now known as the American Medical Group Association), the Federated Ambulatory Surgery Association (now known as the Ambulatory Surgery Foundation), the Group Health Association of America (now known as the American Association of Health Plans), the Medical Group Management Association, and the National Association of Community Health Centers. Today's AAAHC includes 18 member organizations representing the broad spectrum of ambulatory health care. The growth of the Board has helped the AAAHC add new Standards in areas such as dentistry, behavioral health, and health education and wellness, while continuously updating existing Standards to reflect cutting-edge ambulatory care knowledge and practice.
Since its inception, the AAAHC has promoted a voluntary, peer-based, consultative, and educational survey process to advance patient care. These values hold true today, as embodied in the current mission statement:
"The AAAHC is committed to maintaining its position as the preeminent leader in developing standards to advance and promote patient safety, quality, value and measurement of performance for ambulatory health care through peer based accreditation processes, education and research."