AAAASF, Joint Commission suspend routine surveys indefinitely

Two major accrediting organizations are suspending normal survey activities due to COVID-19.

The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities is suspending routine on-site reaccreditation surveys. However, it will continue conducting initial on-site surveys for all programs to help bolster national healthcare capacity for handling the new coronavirus.

AAAASF will also conduct other surveys at its board's discretion, including ones related to infection control issues or patient abuse complaints. The organization will contact facilities due for reaccreditation to discuss next steps, including presurvey preparations.

Accreditation that expires during the suspension will still be considered valid, and AAAASF will move forward with postponed on-site reaccreditation surveys "when normal operations resume."

As of March 16, The Joint Commission also suspended all regular surveys. Like AAAASF, it plans to proceed with a small number of surveys involving high-risk situations and extend accreditations that expire during the indefinite suspension.

The suspensions won't affect Medicare payment status, according to CMS.

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