Standards and Policy Updates

AAAHC Standards are updated annually. Regulatory or other changes occasionally require midyear changes to AAAHC policies, procedures, or Standards. Please review the sections below for changes relevant to your organization.

Standards changes for 2017

The Accreditation Handbook for Ambulatory Health Care will not have any Standards changes for 2017. However, a new Handbook will be released on March 1 with several new tools. 

The Accreditation Handbook for Medicare Deemed Status Surveys will have Standards changes that reflect the new CMS Emergency Preparedness Condition. The revised Handbook will be released on or after March 1, pending CMS approval. An Appendix A which details revisions to the Standards will be posted on this page as soon as possible.

Standards changes for 2016

Click here to view Appendix A of the Accreditation Handbook for Ambulatory Health Care which details revisions to the Standards for 2016. 

Standards changes are summarized in Appendix A of the Accreditation Handbook for Ambulatory Health Care and the Accreditation Handbook for Office-Based Surgery. The same updates also apply for Medicare Deemed Status Surveys but because the Standard identifiers differ (due to the integration of CMS Conditions for Coverage), the Appendix does not appear in the Accreditation Handbook for Medicare Deemed Status Surveys.

Behavioral Health Standards for 2016

Important updates to the 2016 Accreditation Handbook for Ambulatory Health Care
Chapter 17: Behavioral Health Services

Revision to Standards, pages 89, 89a-d, 90

Pages 89 and 90 are to be replaced with these updated pages. Pagination begins with 89, continues with 89a, 89b, 89c, 89d, and ends with 90. This is to avoid conflict with the existing Table of Contents and Index. Electronic handbooks obtained after April 18 have been updated with these pages.

Intended meaning of “paraprofessionals”

This term is used in Standard 17.G (page 89b). It refers to a person who does not have a professional license, but has been trained to assist behavioral health professionals. Examples:  Mental Health Aides, Mental Health Technicians, administrative assistants, support staff.

Applicability of chapter 17

Health care organizations seeking accreditation or re-accreditation will be surveyed against the Standards of chapter 17 if they provide services that may include but are not limited to counseling or psychotherapy, psychiatry and psychotropic medication evaluation and management, crisis intervention and emergency services, consultation, and outreach, prevention and referral services.

This chapter is applicable if any licensed or certified behavioral health clinicians are providing services. This includes psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed family and marital therapists, certified addiction counselors or any other certified or licensed behavioral health provider.

If you have questions about the applicability of these Standards to your organization, please contact Accreditation Services at 847.853.6060.


If you have questions regarding these changes, contact Accreditation Services at 847.853.6060.