What is Urgent Care Center Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary process through which an Urgent Care Center is able to measure the quality of its services and performance
against nationally recognized standards. The accreditation process involves self-assessment by the organization, as well as a thorough
review by National Urgent Care Center Accreditation expert surveyors. The accreditation certificate isa symbol to others that an organization
is committed to providing high-quality care and that it has demonstrated its commitment by measuring up to National Urgent Care Center Accreditation high standards. The true value of accreditation, however, lies in the consultative and educational process that precedes the awarding of the certificate. It is the self-analysis, peer review, and consultation that ultimately help an organization improve its care and services.
Why is accreditation important?
Urgent Care organizations value accreditation as a measure of professional achievement and quality of care. Urgent Care Centers welcome the National Urgent Care Center Accreditation (NUCCA) survey as a constructive learning experience. The NUCCA certificate of accreditation is a benchmark of quality, not only to those involved in the health care industry, but to the general public as well. Because of the excellence of NUCCA standards and the thoroughness of its survey procedures, many third-party payers, commercial insurance carriers, local and state agencies will recognize accreditation as a value and/or a requirement. In addition, professional liability carriers acknowledge that accreditation is a valuable indication of quality and frequently consider it in evaluating an organization applying for coverage.
What are the benefits of accreditation?
Accreditation demonstrates the highest level of commitment of the Urgent Care Center to providing quality medical care that is consistent with the highest ideals of the specialty of Urgent Care Medicine. Accreditation enhances the appeal of your Urgent Care Center to patients because it demonstrates that your facility and your healthcare providers are focused on providing high-quality care. Accreditation attracts the best providers who are eager to practice at an outstanding Urgent Care Center. Urgent Care Center accreditation ensures the provision of quality healthcare and the principles of exceptional levels of professionalism. Accreditation appeals to insurance carriers because it provides assurances of exceptional business practices and excellent patient care. Many payers, managed care contractors and regulatory agencies require accreditation for participation agreements and accreditation may assist with improved reimbursement rates and medical malpractice coverage.
Why choose National Urgent Care Center Accreditation?
The National Urgent Care Center Accreditation (NUCCA) program was designed by Urgent Care physicians for Urgent Care physicians. NUCCA has created an accreditation process that is ideally suited for the Urgent Care Center. NUCCA surveyors have experience in Urgent Care Medicine and understand the issues related to working in this industry. They provide consultative feedback on what each organization does well and methods of improvement. This type of survey brings qualified, expert leaders in the industry to work with each organization to educate and counsel them on how to achieve the highest levels of quality in Urgent Care Medicine.
How long is accreditation?
Accreditation is awarded for a term of three years when an organization is in substantial compliance with the standards of accreditation. Urgent Care centers applying for accreditation under the Early Survey Program are eligible for up to a maximum of a one-year term of accreditation. Please see information about the Early Survey Program below. An Urgent Care Center is awarded accreditation for one year when a portion of the organization’s operations are acceptable, however other areas need to be addressed and the organization requires sufficient time to achieve compliance. The organization must have an on-site review one year from the previous survey date to avoid a lapse in accreditation. Such an on-site review will be conducted by the surveyor in a visit to the organization at the prevailing fee (see accreditation fees).
Are there different "levels" of accreditation?
There are no "levels" of accreditation. The only differences in accreditation is the length of the term of accreditation as described above.
What is the Classification of Urgent Care Centers?
Classification is a ‘categorization’ of an Urgent Care facility for the purpose of providing better clarity for patients who are seeking treatment. Classification is not related to a clinic's accreditation. National Urgent Care Center Accreditation will assign the level of classification to a clinic based on the individual findings within each clinic, and any additional information collected, when conducting a review of an Urgent Care Center for accreditation.
What is the Early Survey Program (ESP)?
It is not uncommon these days that many insurance carriers mandate accreditation of a medical practice before that entity may begin any dialogue for providing coverage or reimbursement. 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. Urgent Care centers applying for accreditation under the ESP are eligible for up to a maximum of a one-year term of accreditation from the initial on-site review.
How long does a typical accreditation review take?
The survey typically takes about half a day per location for the average-sized clinic.
How can an Urgent Care center prepare for the review?
Clinics are encouraged to utilize the Self-Assessment Guideline to prepare for the on-site review. The Self-Assessment Guideline is a comprehensive overview of all the standards of compliance for accreditation. The Self-Assessment Guideline can help you prepare for your accreditation review. Consultation services with an accreditation surveyor are also available for any Urgent Care Center that needs assistance preparing for their on-site accreditation review. Because the review is meant to be as much a learning experience as an assessment of the clinic’s operations, a consultation prior to the official review is a great way for clinics to learn first-hand from the surveyors. See Consultation Services below for additional information.
Are there annual fees while an Urgent Care Center is accredited?
There are no annual fees.
Does NUCCA have consultation services available?
Consultation services with an accreditation surveyor are available for any Urgent Care Center that needs assistance preparing for their on-site accreditation review. Because the review is meant to be as much a learning experience as an assessment of the clinic’s operations, a consultation prior to the official review is a great way for clinics to learn first-hand from the surveyors. The surveyor will outline what the clinic can anticipate during the assessment, providing advice and insight, identify common pitfalls and pinpoint any areas where the center may be deficient. The surveyor will also provide suggestions and recommendations for areas of improvement. This will assist with preparation for the official review. Consultation services are available for $800 per day (plus travel expenses). If a clinic needs minor guidance prior to their on-site review, but is not in need of a consultation visit, phone consultations with the surveyor are available. Phone consultations are available for $150 per hour (price will be pro-rated if a full hour is not used or needed).