AAAHC Publishes New Handbook for Advanced Orthopaedic Certification


AAAHC Publishes New Handbook for Advanced Orthopaedic Certification

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) of Deerfield, Illinois, released its Certification Handbook for Advanced Orthopaedics (AOC), v43, according to a release. Standards included in v43 will take effect April 3. Leveraging the previously released handbook updates to the Ambulatory Accreditation (AMB) and Medicare Deemed Status (MDS) accreditation programs, the new edition provides the most current information and guidance for surgery centers seeking to demonstrate their commitment to ongoing quality improvement and industry best practices in orthopaedic surgery.

The three-year specialty AOC program, launched in 2018, focuses on patient outcomes and aligns seamlessly with the AAAHC Certificate of Accreditation for Ambulatory or Medicare Deemed Status program. An expert panel of professionals in orthopaedic and complex spine procedures created the AOC program to provide a comprehensive focus on transitions of care from pre-assessment through discharge and rehabilitation, according to the release. Organizations may seek certification for total joint, complex spine or a combination of both services.

Like the latest v43 handbooks, the updates reflect and integrate 1095 Engage, AAAHC’s new Accreditation Management System (AMS), into the program with AOC standards organized by category, and each category groups similar concepts to facilitate compliance.

“Ambulatory surgery organizations already accredited by AAAHC will realize additional benefits with the AAAHC AOC program,” said Noel Adachi, president and chief executive officer of AAAHC, in the release. “AOC elevates the status of organizations having a dedicated core team of clinicians with an expertise in orthopaedics. Through an assessment of evidence-based clinical practice standards and guidelines, ultimately, the AOC program assesses an organizational infrastructure that promotes excellence.”

Changes from previous Advanced Orthopaedic Certification Standards include guidance to support understanding of community needs assessment, as well as clarification of on-call physicians and examples of training hours, according to the release. For ease of review and implementation, the v43 handbook contains a crosswalk identifying all changes from the previous versions.

“Committed to advancing healthcare, AAAHC remains dedicated to updating our resources with the latest industry best practices, ensuring organizations are prepared for surveys on a daily basis,” said David Shapiro, MD, former president and current member of the ASCA Board of Directors and immediate past board chair of AAAHC, in the release. “Whether providers are seeking accreditation to meet regulatory obligations or using it as a mechanism to enhance organizational performance and quality, the new handbooks feature expert-guided updates in our standards, serving as a pertinent resource for your quality improvement journey.”

AAAHC will release an educational webinar titled "Your Successful Transition to AAAHC v43 Standards" on February 5 that is specifically designed for organizations currently participating in the AAAHC AOC program or those seeking this certification. The goals of this webinar are to increase awareness and help facilities align their survey preparation and ongoing compliance activities with the newly developed standards.

For additional information on the latest standards updates as well as registering for v43 training webinars, please visit For additional information on AOC, visit