The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. was established in 1980 to develop an accreditation program to standardize and improve the quality of medical and surgical care in ambulatory surgery facilities while assuring the public of high standards for patient care and safety in an accredited facility.
Today more than 2000 ambulatory surgery facilities are accredited by AAAASF, the largest not-for-profit accrediting organization in the United States. Many more facilities are in process for accreditation. These numbers have increased dramatically over the last two years. Surgeons, legislators, state and national health agencies and patients acknowledge that AAAASF stands alone as the program setting the “Gold Standard” for quality patient care.
The vast majority of ambulatory surgery facilities are still unaccredited, operating independent of any peer review and inspection process. A growing number of states and specialty societies, however, are recognizing the need for mandatory accreditation. AAAASF has been and continues to be in the forefront of these legislative efforts.
n 1996, California became the first state to mandate accreditation for all outpatient facilities that administer sedation or general anesthesia. AAAASF was instrumental in the development of the California legislation (AB 595) as well as subsequent laws and regulations in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and many other states. AAAASF accreditation has been approved by some State Departments of Health in lieu of State Licensure.
Many private insurance carriers recognize accreditation by AAAASF for reimbursement of covered procedures. For those insurance carriers that require Medicare certification, AAAASF has a separate program to evaluate and approve facilities for certification by Medicare, using the same peer inspection process that is used for regular accreditation.