Selecting an Accreditation and/or PCMH Recognition Organization

The first step for participating health centers seeking accreditation or PCMH recognition is to select an ambulatory health care accreditation and/or PCMH recognition organization. When selecting an organization, health centers should carefully review the costs to participate in different accreditation or PCMH recognition options, as well as the accreditation resources and PCMH recognition resources comparison charts.

Accreditation and PCMH Recognition Organization Comparison Charts

HRSA contracts with the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) HRSA Exit Disclaimer and The Joint Commission (TJC) HRSA exit disclaimer to award accreditation and/or PCMH recognition status to health centers. HRSA also contracts with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) HRSA Exit Disclaimer for PCMH recognition. These organizations also provide health centers with technical assistance in the accreditation and PCMH process. Visit the specific recognition and accreditation organizations’ websites for more information, and review the following comparison charts to decide which option is best for your health center.

Patient-Centered Medical Home Resources: Comparison Chart

Cost to Participate

HRSA covers different fees based on whether a health center pursues ambulatory health care accreditation, PCMH recognition, or both.

NCQA PCMH Recognition

HRSA covers the NCQA survey tool and review fees for initial, renewal, and add-on recognition surveys of health centers.

Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation

HRSA covers AAAHC or TJC fees for on-site initial, re-accreditation, and add-on surveys of health centers. 

HRSA also will cover TJC annual fees for health centers, specifically:

  • Ambulatory health care services
  • Behavioral health services (except for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supported Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs))
  • Laboratory services of  moderate or high complexity and required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home or Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH) Option; for more information see Preparing for Accreditation Site Visit and PCMH Recognition Surveys
  • Adjunct surveys to expand clinical services requiring an extension survey; these surveys are for health centers that are already accredited and seeking to add behavioral health and/or laboratory surveys or the PCMH option

Health centers are responsible for:

  • All other applicable annual and on-site survey fees (e.g., home care, conditional follow-up surveys, clarification validation surveys, evidence of standards compliance surveys)
  • Surveys of SAMHSA supported OTPs and extension surveys not related to clinical services expansion, or for the convenience of the health center

Application Next Steps

Once you have selected which accreditation and/or PCMH recognition option is right for your health center, learn how to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) and prepare for your health center survey or site visit.

Date Last Reviewed:  August 2018

Accreditation & PCMH Contacts

Please submit your Accreditation and/or Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) requests to the health center APCMH team. To make sure you receive our reply email, add '' to your address book.

Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care HRSA exit disclaimer
Mona Sweeney
(847) 324-7487

The Joint Commission HRSA Exit Disclaimer
Pam Komperda
(630) 792-5551

NCQA Government Recognition Initiative Program HRSA Exit Disclaimer
(888) 275-7585

More Accreditation & PCMH Recognition

PCMH Resource Center (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)