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) and The Joint Commission (TJC) to award accreditation and/or PCMH recognition status to health centers. HRSA also contracts with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for PCMH recognition. These organizations also provide health centers with technical assistance in the accreditation and PCMH process. Review the specific recognition and accreditation organizations’ websites for more information, and download the following comparison charts to decide which option is best for your health center.
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.
How to Apply
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 'BPHCAnswers@hrsa.gov' to your address book.
Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care
NCQA Government Recognition Initiative Program