Ambulatory Surgery Center Accreditation

Ambulatory Surgery Center Accreditation

Ambulatory Surgery Center Accreditation

Most patients check the surgeon’s credentials before undergoing a surgical procedure in an outpatient healthcare facility. But the ambulatory surgery center accreditation is equally important.

So if you are looking for a way to gain the patient’s trust, you should get an ASC accreditation. Now, the question is which accreditation agency to choose. 

Let’s find out by reviewing the requirements and benefits of the available options. 

Benefits of Ambulatory Surgery Center Accreditations

Ambulatory surgery center accreditation has several benefits. The accreditation for the ASC is a valuable asset because it brings more patients and a bigger return on investment.

Other reasons why you should consider getting your ambulatory surgical center accreditation are:

  • To validate your medical care performance
  • To maximize your organization’s value and ensure you follow the legal requirement for ASC
  • To minimize the client staff and brand risk areas
  • To improve the quality of care you provide to your patients
  • To leverage the accreditation standards by improving efficiency and the emergency process
  • The ambulatory surgery center can participate in the Medicare program
  • To take advantage of policies, procedures, and best practices
  • To receive feedback and discover ways how to improve your work
Benefits of Ambulatory Surgery Center Accreditations

Accreditation Agencies for Ambulatory Surgery Centers

There are several ambulatory surgery center accreditation bodies, including:

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations – JCAHO

The Joint Commission offers accreditation for various healthcare facilities, including ambulatory surgery centers. All applicants need to meet the eligibility criteria before applying for accreditation.

Overall, The Joint Commission will assess the readiness of the ASC in the following fields:

  • Staff competency
  • Patient assessment
  • Medication management
  • Infection control

You can learn more about the process of accreditation from their Ambulatory Care Accreditation Overview and Standards for Ambulatory Surgery Centers. The accreditation services of The Joint Commission are available in almost every state and territory in the US.


The joint commission offers multiple resources to make the accreditation process easier. One of them is the 90-day free access to the standards. This is extremely helpful because you can try the standards and see if you are eligible to get the accreditation.

Other benefits of choosing The Joint Commission for accreditation are leveraging the framework for organizational growth and expanding, minimizing risk areas, and a possible return on investment of 638%.


The fees for The Joint Commission accreditation include an on-site survey fee and an annual fee. The annual fee is determined by the size of the facility and annual patient volume. Along with the application, you need to pay a nonrefundable $1,700 deposit. This amount will be calculated in your accreditation fee.

All things considered, the average Joint Commission accreditation costs $12,000.

Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care
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Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care – AAAHC

The AAAHC is one of the leaders in the accreditation of ambulatory health care. In fact, they have accredited over 6,600 organizations coming from different medical backgrounds. Many are ambulatory surgical centers, community health, and office-based surgery centers.

The AAAHC accreditation is done in three phases:

  • Documentation review
  • Interview
  • Direct observation

You can apply to get the accreditation for your organization online. Before considering the body for accreditation, check to see if their services are available in your state or territory.


There are multiple benefits of AAAHC accreditation. One of them is the different survey types. The AAAHC provides early option surveys, reaccreditation, interim, and random support surveys.

The AAAHC accreditation for ASC is widely recognized by payors, medical professional associations, government agencies, and liability insurance companies. This is important because you will invest your time and money in an accreditation known for high-quality standards.


The AAAHC accreditation pricing varies according to the length of the onsite visit, the number of surveyors needed, and the size and type of the ASC.

Accreditation Commission for Health Care – ACHC

The ACHC provides a straightforward and intuitive survey process. The body is a long-standing accreditor that uses the regulatory requirements as a framework. Their approach is customized and distinctive. You can get your accreditation while reaching your highest potential.


The accreditation body organizes regular webinars on various topics. However, the most important are the webinars for the updates in the 2022 standards. By attending, your ASC can be updated with the latest requirements.

Furthermore, ACHC publishes quality reviews. The review is a handy tool with the requirements the ASC must meet. Additionally, it emphasizes the most frequent deficiencies noticed in healthcare facilities.


The ACHC doesn’t charge annual fees for ambulatory surgery centers to remain accredited. Also, they don’t charge surveyor expenses. Instead, the cost of ASC accreditation is a single, all-inclusive fee.

Quad A

Quad A has been standardizing and improving healthcare facilities’ quality of care since 1980. In 2022, the non-profit organization was rebranded from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Plastic Surgery Facilities (AAAAPSF) to Quad A.

To apply for Quad A accreditation, you must complete the online application. After the paperwork and floor plan approval, Quad A will send a surveyor to your facility within 30 days.

Generally, Quad A accreditation can be obtained from 90 to 150 days after applying. If the period needed for regular accreditation is too long for your facility, you might request an immediate survey for the non-Medicare programs by paying an additional fee.


The Quad A accreditation is done according to global safety standards that might increase visibility. When you apply for accreditation of your facility, you will get a standards and checklist manual which you can use for self-evaluation before your initial survey.

After the survey, the organization will receive a formal report explaining all the areas that should be improved. Quad A is transparent in its surveying process and requires 100% compliance with the accreditation standards between onsite surveys.


Quad A charges annual and survey fees. The invoices are sent to the facilities six months prior to the expiration date of the facility. The accreditation body also offers additional surveys that the facilities can initiate.

How to Choose an ASC Accreditation Service
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How to Choose an ASC Accreditation Service

Now that you know the agencies offering ambulatory surgery center accreditation, you need to decide where to get it. To make the right decision consider the following factors:

  • Standards
  • Survey methodology
  • Convenience
  • Payor preferences and accreditation of your competitors
  • Expense


Before you apply for accreditation of your center, research the standards that you are supposed to meet. We like to advise our clients to do a quick internal survey and check letters that their facility complies with the agency standards for accreditation.

Another important thing to consider is how often the accreditation agency updates its standards. If you choose an agency that makes changes quite often, ensure your organization is capable of following them. If you don’t, you might risk losing your accreditation which might influence your reputation in the community.

Ultimately, compare the standards from different agencies and see how strict they are. Some bodies have more flexible standards, while others require 100% compliance with the requirements.

Survey methodology

Each agency has a different survey methodology. The first difference is who will make the accreditations. Generally, all agencies have experienced medical staff doing the accreditations. But, some agencies have them as their employees, while others hire them as contractors.

Typically, all agencies practice the same survey methodology. It is a combination of legal and medical requirements with the practical implementation of the same standards

In other words, surveyors will evaluate whether the building is constructed according to the legal regulations and standards. At the same time, the surveyors will evaluate your staff, how they work, and the quality of care the center provides.


Next, you should check how convenient the accreditation process is. Begin by finding out how many changes they have made through the years to make the process easier and faster for healthcare facilities.

The answers to the following questions might help you choose the right organization:

  • How easy is their application process, and can you do it online?
  • What is their turnaround time from application to survey?
  • Do they offer guides with peer reviews?
  • Do they have employees who specifically work with ASCs?

Payor preferences and accreditations of competitors

Aside from your preferences, you need to consider what your future patients prefer. There are patients who favor some accreditation agencies over others.

Similarly, check where your competitors are getting their accreditations from. If the majority of the healthcare facilities in the community have accreditation from the same organization, you should put them on your shortlist.


Last but not least are the expenses. Unfortunately, there is no universal charging method among ASC accreditation organizations in the US. They have the freedom to choose what fees to charge.

When you are browsing through the different options, you may come across the following fees:

  • Application fee
  • Standards manual
  • Survey fees
  • Annual fees
  • Expenses for workshops and benchmarking

Our Accreditation Services

At Surgery Center Consultant, we offer consulting services you can trust. We can assist you in any phase of the process of opening an ambulatory surgery center. More specifically, we can help you with:

  • Designing your ASC floor plans
  • GC management services and contracting
  • Accreditation

Regarding the ambulatory surgery center accreditation process, we offer expert guidance and practical advice. We can help you meet the necessary standards and turn the procedure from a hassle to a care-free accreditation.

We will assist you from start to finish. This means you will get help with:

  • Assistance with document preparation
  • Mock surveys to find compliance gaps
  • Expert advice on how to align your facility design, construction, and work according to the accreditation standards
Our Accreditation Services
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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does ambulatory surgery center accreditation cost?

The accreditation pricing varies depending on the agency. For instance, the ACHC charges only a one-off fee for accreditation. On the other hand, other bodies charge annual fees and survey fees.

More often than not, the annual fees for accreditation of ASC depend on some of these factors: the number of physicians, the number of specialties the facility serves, and the average daily census.

What are the disadvantages of getting ASC accreditation?

The first disadvantage of ASC accreditation is the cost. Typically the accreditation costs thousands of dollars. Additionally, the application process is complex and requires employees to dedicate time. Lastly, there is always the risk of not getting your application approved because you don’t meet the required standards.

Is accreditation for an ambulatory surgery center worth it?

Yes, getting your ASC accredited is definitely worth it. Some of the aspects that make the process worth it are improving patient safety and quality of care, ensuring regulatory compliance, getting credibility and reputation, and space for continuous improvement.

How long does the accreditation process for an ambulatory surgery center take?

The length of the accreditation process for ambulatory surgery centers depends on the accrediting body. As a rule of thumb, you can expect the whole process to be done within 150 days after you submit the application.

Who provides the best accreditation support for ambulatory surgery centers?

We at Surgery Center Consultant offer one of the best accreditation support in the United States. With over 45 years of combined experience with medical regulations for ASC, we can help you get accreditation from the desired agency.

Client Success Stories

We are proud to say that we have numerous success stories behind us. Our consultants have more than 45 years of combined experience, and we use it to help others.

See what our clients have to say about us.

“With their assistance, I successfully achieved accreditation and witnessed exponential growth in my new surgery center from the start, elevating the standards of surgical care I provide.” – Dr. JV, Atlanta-based plastic surgeon

“After having such a great experience from start to finish with SCC, I would not trust anyone else with future projects. Well done.” – Dr. LY, New York-based endoscopic surgeon

“Surgery Center Consultants was referred to me by a colleague who had built 2 different successful surgery centers with them. Could not have been happier with the outcome, and I’m looking forward to my next build with them.” – Dr. SV, Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon

Contact Information

We are happy to hear from you and help you have a smooth experience opening your ambulatory surgery center and getting it accredited. There are multiple ways you can get in touch with us, use whichever is most convenient for you.

First, you can fill out our online contact form. If you prefer sending emails, you can reach us here

Lastly, if you feel like having a conversation, call us at (502) 235 3880. Our service team will answer your questions and make an appointment for a consultation.


The accreditation of your ambulatory surgery center will bring along many benefits. Patients will trust your facility because you will be promoting patient safety, enhancing overall operational efficiency, and improving clinical outcomes.

Our final advice would be to see the ambulatory surgery center accreditation as a crucial step towards building a high-quality healthcare facility. Never look at it as something you must do or as a bureaucratic requirement.

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