With its mission to improve health care quality through accreditation, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) has published version 41 of the Accreditation Handbook for Medicare Deemed Status. Released September 1, the revised edition provides the most current information and guidance for organizations seeking AAAHC Medicare Deemed Status (MDS) accreditation and promotes best practice for the safety and care of patients and staff within the ambulatory setting.
“As we begin our fifth decade of service to ambulatory health care centers, the updated handbook reflects refinements in our Standards and delivery of improved tools to provide guidance for facility quality improvement efforts,” said AAAHC Board Chair Ira Cheifetz, DMD. “The revised Standards uphold the AAAHC 1095 Strong, quality everyday philosophy by driving excellence and relevance and survey readiness throughout the 1,095 days of the accreditation term.”
Following an extensive review process and multiple public comment periods with accredited organizations, partner associations, committees, surveyors, and staff, the moderate revisions in v41 reflect realignment of Standards for improved clarity of requirements. For ease of review and implementation, the handbook contains a crosswalk identifying changes from the previous version.
In addition, reformatted v41 of the Accreditation Handbook for Medicare Deemed Status includes “elements of compliance” and compliance ratings charts. These additions to the MDS handbook increase transparency about how surveyors will evaluate compliance and allow organizations to easily conduct self-assessments that may more closely align with onsite surveys.
“While the revised 2020 version of the handbook includes only moderate changes, it presents the expectations for demonstrating compliance in a more concise, cohesive format,” said Noel Adachi, MBA, president and CEO of AAAHC. “We anticipate a seamless transition for organizations to integrate policies, procedures, or programs to be compliant with the v41 changes.”
AAAHC has prepared educational support materials for the updated handbook, including the Moving Forward with Enhanced v41 MDS Standards webinar. In addition, the upcoming virtual Achieving Accreditation Conference, September 14-17, will address these changes, providing an opportunity for organizations to connect with staff to answer questions. To view the webinar and for more information, please visit www.aaahc.org/education/standards-and-policy-updates.
For more information, visit www.aaahc.org.