A Brief Comparison of Accreditation Programs

ORGANIZATION

WEBSITE

PRE-REQUISITES

ACCREDITATION FEES

ANNUAL FEES

National Urgent Care Center Accreditation Program (NUCCA)

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Accreditation for Ambulatory Care (JCAHO)

The Urgent Care Association (UCA)

A medical center is eligible for an Accreditation survey by the National Urgent Care Center Accreditation program when it:

1. Has been providing health care services for at minimum of six months before the on-site survey (excluding organizations that are seeking Accreditation through the Early Survey Program - ESP)

2. Provides medical care that is under the direction or supervision of a physician who accepts responsibility for that medical practice

3. Is in compliance with applicable Federal, state, and local laws and regulations

4. Is licensed by the state in which it is located, if the state requires licensure for the medical entity.

5. Completes the signed Application for Accreditation in advance of the survey.

6. Acts in good faith in providing complete and accurate information during the Accreditation or re-Accreditation process.

7. Pays the appropriate fees.

Any ambulatory health care organization may apply for Joint Commission accreditation if all the following eligibility requirements are met:

· The organization is in the United States or its territories or, if outside the United States, is operated by the U.S. government or under a charter of the U.S. Congress.

· The organization has a facility license or registration to conduct its scope of services, if required by law.

· The organization can demonstrate that it continuously assesses and improves the quality of its care, treatment, or services. This process includes a review by clinicians, including those knowledgeable in the type of care, treatment, or services provided at the organization.

· The organization identifies the health care services it provides, indicating which care, treatment, or services it provides directly, under contract, or through some other arrangement. The organization provides services that can be evaluated using Joint Commission standards.

· The organization meets parameters for the minimum number of patients or volume of services required for organizations seeking Joint Commission accreditation for the first time* or reaccreditation; that is, 10 patients served, with at least two active at the time of survey.

The tests, treatments, or interventions provided at the organization are prescribed or ordered by a licensed independent practitioner† in accordance with state and federal requirements.

[A]n urgent care center that meets the criteria of the UCA certified center, including x-ray and laboratory services, as well as a quality and safety commitment to your patients and your employees. It represents the only endeavor in the industry that will provide the applicant dual accreditation & certification. Through this process you are making a commitment of:

· Both financial and human resources

· A willingness to conduct a comprehensive organizational assessment that examines your center’s capacity in Governance, Human Resources, Patient Care Processes, Physical Environment, Quality Improvement, Health Record Management and Patient Privacy/Rights/Responsibilities.

· Ensuring access and a scope of services to your community representative of a UCA certified urgent care center.

Certification standards and an overview of accreditation standards are available at www.ucaoa.org.

If your organization currently holds accreditation from another accrediting body, please contact accreditation@Ucaoa.org for UCA Accreditation options.  The UCA accreditation encompasses the scope of Urgent Care which is covered by the Urgent Care Certification criteria. Thus, centers must meet the CUC criteria to be eligible to receive UCA Accreditation.

Accreditation fees start at $1,800.00. Pricing is based on the number of clinic locations an organization operates.

The clinic (the “Applicant”) is also responsible for travel expenses for the surveyor (airfare, hotel, car rental and meals, as applicable) [to be invoiced to Applicant after completion of the site review(s)].

See  http://users.neo.registeredsite.com/5/9/9/13089995/assets/NUCCA_Application_for_Urgent_Care_Center_Accredit85910.pdf for full pricing information.

The cost of accreditation is based on the on-site survey fee PLUS an annual fee each year of the accreditation cycle. [starting at $3,720] Annual fees for all accreditation programs are based upon the size (for example: number of sites of care) and annual patient volumes of an organization, as determined by the information submitted in the application. The Joint Commission spreads the costs of accreditation over a 3-year period. Most customers can generally expect to pay 60% of the accreditation fee for the first year (on-site survey cost PLUS annual fee), 20% the second year, and 20% the third year. Deposit The application is submitted with a $1,700 deposit, which is applied toward your accreditation fee.

See

https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/AHC_Med-Urgent_Care_pricing_19.pdf and  https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/AHC_Overview_Guide_20181.PDF for full pricing information.

Accreditation fees start at $2,400.00 for members and 3,500 for non-members. Pricing is based on the number of clinic locations an organization operates.

You are also responsible for reimbursing the travel expenses for the surveyor (hotel, airfare, car rental, etc.). You are invoiced for these expenses after the survey visit.

See https://www.ucaoa.org/Standards/Accreditation/Accreditation-Process for full pricing information.

No annual fees.

The cost of accreditation is based on the on-site survey fee PLUS an annual fee each year of the accreditation cycle. Annual fees for all accreditation programs are based upon the size (for example: number of sites of care) and annual patient volumes of an organization, as determined by the information submitted in the application. The Joint Commission spreads the costs of accreditation over a 3-year period. Most customers can generally expect to pay 60% of the accreditation fee for the first year (on-site survey cost PLUS annual fee), 20% the second year, and 20% the third year. Deposit The application is submitted with a $1,700 deposit, which is applied toward your accreditation fee

See

https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/6/AHC_Med-Urgent_Care_pricing_19.pdf and  https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/AHC_Overview_Guide_20181.PDF for full pricing information.

No annual fees.

The survey may take up to half a day per location for the average-sized clinic. There are no additional fees when reviewing multiple clinic locations.

LENGTH OF SURVEY

Typically, on-site surveys are conducted by one or two surveyors for two days at a minimum.

A scheduled announced survey takes place over a (on average) 1-2 day time frame depending on organization size/# of locations, geographic proximity, etc. …added per diem if more time is required due to the distance between centers and/or the administrative office location requires more time as determine necessary for the size of the organization.

WITHDRAWAL OF APPLICATION

Any clinic that submits an application for Accreditation has 30 days to request a refund of their application fee (less $250 processing fee to be retained by NUCCA) if they elect not to seek Accreditation. After 30 days all fees are non-refundable. If a clinic submits an application and application fee but never schedules an on-site, all fees will be retained by NUCCA.

Withdrawal notifications must be made in writing, via email or physical mail to your account representative of record. Customers who withdraw from the accreditation or certification process, with an effective date after January 31, each year, will be responsible or the full-year’s annual fee. Annual fees are not prorated at withdrawal.

If the survey has not been scheduled and the organization desires to withdraw the application, the Accreditation status will be lost, and the organization will forfeit the full amount paid as well as any non-reimbursable expenses including travel arrangements already made.

POSTPONING SURVEY

There are no fees to postpone an on-site survey (travel change expenses may occur).

If one of the “Accepted Reasons for Postponement of Initial Surveys” are not met – the Urgent Care Center pays a minimum fee of $2,000.00.

There are no fees to postpone an on-site survey.*

*Travel change expenses may occur

EARLY SURVEY

The Early Survey Program (ESP) is a survey program developed for medical practices that are newly constructed and require Accreditation for health insurance, managed care, or third-party reimbursement and/or require Accreditation for the purposes of state regulations that mandate some form of Accreditation before a facility can legally begin operations. An Urgent Care center may apply for Accreditation up to eight months before the clinic becomes operational. The clinic will need to have all policies and procedures in place in order to meet the standards of Accreditation.

The Early Survey Option is utilized by organizations not actively caring for patients, but needing to provide evidence (to payers, state and/or federal regulators) of their intent to obtain “full” accreditation. Questions? Call 630-792-5286 or email ahcquality@jointcommission.org.

UCA offers an Early Accreditation option. Organizations may seek accreditation up to 6 months prior to opening their first center (startup organization). Please note: pricing for an early opening accreditation application includes a $200 surcharge for each site.

EARLY SURVEY ADDITIONAL FEES

No additional fees for applying under the Early Survey Program (ESP).

Call 630-792-5286 or email ahcquality@jointcommission.org.

For organizations seeking Early Accreditation, a surcharge of $200 (members) and $275 (non-members) per location will be added to the above pricing.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Unless a center is found to have areas of needed improvement during the survey no additional evaluations or surveys are necessary for the duration of Accreditation. National Urgent Care Center Accreditation allows 60 days for an organization to submit any and all documentation required to reach compliance with the standards of Accreditation.

The Three Years Between On-Site Surveys

Intracycle Monitoring (ICM) Process
The Intracycle Monitoring (ICM) process helps accredited organizations maintain peak performance throughout the three-year cycle of accreditation. Facilitating this process is the ICM Profile – a comprehensive extranet workplace – that provides resources and tools to help identify risk points of standards compliance. Note: ICM Tool is available, but submission is not required. Important steps include:

· Focused Standards Assessment (FSA) is an electronic self-assessment tool used to identify and correct performance areas not in compliance with the standards before the next on-site survey. At approximately 12 and 24 months after a triennial survey, an accredited organization is required to perform an FSA and submit any findings along with corrective actions to ensure continuous compliance.

· “TouchPoint Conference Call” is an optional conference call held annually with Joint Commission’s Standards Interpretation Staff (and others as needed) to review an organization’s performance and ensure continuous progress.

Organizations are invited to participate in an Annual Compliance Review (ACR) program. This program is completely optional at the discretion of the accredited organization. The cost of this program is $150.00 per hour with a one hour minimum.

This comparison is intended as a comparison of the basic aspects of each Accreditation program. The information provided should be considered a starting point for centers interested in Urgent Care Center Accreditation. 

National Urgent Care Center Accreditation encourages Urgent Care Centers to conduct their own research into each organization and the Accreditation program that is offered.

Please refer to each organization’s individual Accreditation program for complete, detailed Accreditation program information.

Interested parties should consult the individual organization for the most current data available for that organization’s Accreditation program.

The National Urgent Care Center Accreditation Program is not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Information current as of April 2019