What you need to know: Updates & Resources
After the immediate emergency of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the health care industry is finding new ways to resume operations while adapting to a heightened focus on safety and infection control and prevention. In order to safely resume surveys, AAAHC has established safety considerations, survey areas of focus, and priorities for survey activities.
For all programs, depending on the survey type, survey activities will include the addition of a worksheet that addresses disaster preparedness and infection control and prevention. Click below to download worksheets.
Please be aware of your accreditation status.
- AAAHC will contact your organization if you have:
- Lapsed accreditation due to a postponed survey
- Submitted a completed application and accreditation has lapsed
- Submitted a completed application, scheduled survey was postponed, and accreditation has not lapsed
- Submitted a completed application and accreditation has not lapsed
- Pending intracycle activity due, e.g., interim survey, special survey, annual attestation
- When contacted by AAAHC, be prepared to share the following information:
- Updates regarding the impact of COVID-19 on operations, e.g., temporary closure, hospital conversion
- Updates on organization profile and on changes to operations related to COVID-19, e.g., changed surgery days or hours of operation
- Actual or potential exposure of staff and/or patients to COVID-19
- Confirmation of availability of PPE for surveyors
- For organizations with an upcoming expiration date, you will be required to have submitted a completed application before your expiration date, in order to prevent a lapse in accreditation.
- AAAHC will continue to complete high priority emergency surveys for all Medicare Deemed Status (MDS) and non-MDS programs. Prioritized surveys include:
- All discretionary surveys that address: immediate jeopardy complaints (i.e., cases that represent a situation in which entity noncompliance has placed the health and safety of recipients in its care at risk for serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment or death or harm) and allegations of abuse and neglect, and complaints alleging infection control concerns, including organizations with potential COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses
- Initial/Initial MDS or Reaccreditation/Initial MDS surveys, if seeking a CCN
- Initial Non-MDS accreditation, seeking first time accreditation with AAAHC
- All MDS and non-MDS Early Option Surveys (EOS)
- Any re-visits necessary to resolve current enforcement actions (i.e., MDS Follow-Up, Focused MDS Life Safety) for purposes of closing out the survey event
- MDS or non-MDS re-accreditation surveys of organizations that have a history of Immediate Jeopardy related to infection control
- AAAHC would like all organizations to continue to submit their Application for Survey including those impacted by COVID-19. Organizations with completed Applications on file will remain accredited until next accreditation decision is rendered. Once normal operations resume across the country, AAAHC will schedule surveys through a “catch-up” process.
As AAAHC resumes survey activities, continuous readiness becomes ever more important. All organizations that have submitted a completed application for survey should conduct an internal mock survey to evaluate their readiness and implement an action plan to address any gaps.
Move forward with AAAHC guidance for reopening.
As states relax stay at home orders and allow elective procedures to resume and with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently issued guidance on reopening health care facilities, organizations should strategically plan when and how best to reopen. These two webinars, one for primary care and one for surgical procedural facilities, offer guidance on governing body responsibilities and examines best practices for providing a healthy environment for providers, staff and patients, paired with implications for Standards compliance.
To view the recorded presentations and supporting documents, click the links below.
Primary care (June 10)
- Moving Forward: Quality Primary Care under COVID-19 webinar
- Moving Forward: Quality Primary Care under COVID-19 slide deck (pdf)
Surgical care (June 11)
- Moving Forward: Quality Surgical Care under COVID-19 webinar
- Moving Forward: Quality Surgical Care under COVID-19 slide deck (pdf)
Explore requirements to convert your ASC to a Hospital.
To increase hospital bed capacity in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a series of actions to increase flexibility and decrease the regulatory burden of health care providers in diagnosing and treating patients. The Presidential Emergency Declaration and Emergency rule allows surgery centers to contract with local health care systems to provide hospital services or enroll and bill as hospitals during the emergency declaration as long as this practice is consistent with their State’s Emergency Preparedness or Pandemic Plan.
The recorded webinar, Adapting to Serve: Exploring COVID-19 Hospital Status, and supporting resources may be accessed below.
- Adapting to Serve: Exploring COVID-19 Hospital Status webinar
- Adapting to Serve: Exploring COVID-19 Hospital Status webinar slide deck (pdf)
- Adapting to Serve: Exploring COVID-19 Hospital Status FAQs (pdf)
Refresh and deepen your knowledge on infection, prevention and control.
We also want to assure our 6,100+ clients and nearly 300 surveyors that AAAHC maintains a robust business continuity plan to ensure that we deliver exceptional 1095 Strong experience to clients during this time. To support your efforts to mitigate risk of spreading infection, AAAHC is offering a recorded webinar that provides an overview of CDC COVID-19 guidelines and how they relate to AAAHC Standards, with an emphasis on steps to identify, isolate and inform.
The recorded webinar, COVID-19 Risk Mitigation: Identify, Isolate and Inform, and other COVID-19 resources may be accessed below.
- COVID-19 Risk Mitigation: Identify, Isolate and Inform webinar
- COVID-19 Webinar slide deck (pdf)
- COVID-19 FAQs (pdf)
Align AAAHC Standards to ASCA Recommendations.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) recently released ten recommendations for Protecting Patients, Families and Staff During Necessary Surgeries. These ten recommendations provide sound guidance for infection control and prevention that align with your AAAHC Accreditation Standards. AAAHC has created a grid which crosswalks the Standards with the ten recommendations and will support your efforts in conducting a gap analysis.
To download the crosswalk, click here.
Review ACHA/AAAHC joint press release and crosswalk.
Recently, ACHA released recommendations to help student health centers limit the spread of infection throughout college campuses. AAAHC has published a complementary tool which crosswalks ACHA guidelines and AAAHC Standards to manage student health and wellness within the COVID-19 era.
Click below to download.
AAAHC Standards temporarily affected by the Propofol shortage.
To prevent the impact of the shortage, the FDA has indicated it will allow compounding pharmacies to repackage or combine propofol to meet the demand for these patients being treated with COVID-19. AAAHC has identified Standards impacted by this change.
To download detailed information, click here.
AAAHC Change Notification Form
For service scope changes including temporary closures, suspension and expansion of services directly associated with COVID-19, requirements for submission of the AAAHC Change Notification is waived until further notice.
For all facilities, if your primary contact changes during this time, email AAAHC at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to make sure we can reach you.
To ensure the health and safety of our employees as well as the communities in which we work and live, effective Wednesday, March 18, AAAHC is instituting an Employee Work from Home policy for our headquarters staff. We are committed to ensuring that this change is as seamless as possible to you.
We will keep you apprised of changes to the current guidance and impacts to your accreditation.
03.17.20, Updated 03.24.20, Updated 03.27.20, Updated 04.17.20, Updated 04.22.20, Updated 04.30.20, Updated 05.12.20, Updated 06.11.20, Updated 6.30.20, Updated 10.16.20