Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) and Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) are joining to form a single company. HFAP will operate as a brand within ACHC, and collectively the organization will be known as ACHC.

Effective October 19, 2020, the merger of ACHC and Accreditation Association of Hospitals/Health Systems (AAHHS), HFAP’s parent company, which has been formally approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), streamlines services and creates new opportunities for existing customers and healthcare organizations of both previously separate, nonprofit organizations.

“The union between ACHC and HFAP makes perfect sense, from our reputable legacies and complementary cultures, to our shared dedication to providing unparalleled service to clients,” says José Domingos, president and CEO of ACHC, in a release. “Together, the combined services of ACHC and HFAP open possibilities for healthcare providers, affording them more choices and greater ease in meeting the accreditation and certification needs of their organizations.”

Meg Gravesmill, CEO of AAHHS, says in a release, “HFAP is America’s original healthcare accreditation program and, since its founding in 1945, has driven advancements in patient safety and quality of care through a collaborative, informative and peer-based approach to the accreditation experience. ACHC has a similar philosophy, and the expanded program choices, available resources and education opportunities under the merged company give our customers greater value and convenience in meeting their strategic business goals and broadening plans for the future.”

Suite of Accreditation and Certification Offerings

The merger streamlines accreditation and certification services for healthcare providers with multiple survey needs. ACHC has CMS deeming authority for home health, hospice, renal dialysis, home infusion therapy, and DMEPOS. The newly expanded ACHC adds HFAP programs with CMS deeming authority for hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories, and critical access hospitals.

Additional HFAP offerings—such as accreditation programs for ambulatory specialty care (office-based surgery), non-deemed accreditation, and specialty certification for four levels of stroke care, laser and lithotripsy services, inpatient and outpatient joint replacement, and wound care—will expand and complement the ACHC portfolio, which also includes programs for ambulatory care, behavioral health, pharmacy, private duty, and sleep.

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Transition for Existing Customers and Employees

This merger does not affect accreditation cycles for either ACHC or HFAP customers. Current accreditation and/or certification status, account managers, and processes will not change. Furthermore, the merger does not require current HFAP customers to undergo an initial survey.

“Our merger brings existing HFAP customers additional opportunities to be awarded recognition of their programs and a broader range of education,” says Gravesmill. “As importantly, customers will continue to enjoy the highest level of personalized service and quality they have trusted for decades.”

ACHC staff remain in Cary, NC, outside Raleigh. HFAP staff are based either in Chicago or Cary.

“We continue to add programs to our portfolio of services, offering clients in hospital, ambulatory surgery center, and clinical laboratory settings the first true alternative solution for their full accreditation needs,” says Domingos. “This merger changes everything, by providing a choice that hasn’t previously existed. Together we provide a stronger market solution and are better able to assist organizations that are committed to raising the bar when it comes to improved patient care. We’re excited about our future and what this means for our combined clients, strategic partners and the communities we serve.”

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