HFAP’s mission is to be the valued partner for healthcare organizations committed to improving their quality of care through accreditation standards and continuing education, with a focus on advancing the health and welfare of their communities.

Our history

Originally created in 1945 by the American Osteopathic Association to conduct an objective review of services provided by osteopathic hospitals, HFAP was named in the authorizing Social Security Act as a deeming authority to accredit all acute care hospitals under Medicare Conditions of Participation. This means that a facility accredited by the program is deemed to be in compliance with all Medicare requirements at the time of survey.

Since receiving initial deeming authority for acute care hospitals in 1965, HFAP has added additional CMS approval for critical access hospitals (CAHs), ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and clinical laboratories (under CLIA). In addition, HFAP accredits long term acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities, all types of freestanding ambulatory specialty care/office-based surgery facilities, and physical rehabilitation centers.

In 2006, HFAP launched certification as a means to establish standards and recognize specialty programs within healthcare facilities. We currently offer certification options for stroke, laser/lithotripsy, wound care, joint replacement, and compounding pharmacy.

The Accreditation Association for Hospitals/Health Systems (AAHHS) was founded in 2012 with the intention of creating a hospital accreditation program with an initial focus on small and rural hospitals. The AAHHS program was developed by staff and volunteers from its sister entity, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). The Boards of these two non-profits (AAHHS and AAAHC) were governed by an umbrella organization known as The Accreditation Association.

A change in ownership

In 2015, the AOA entered into an agreement with AAHHS to sell the HFAP program. The sale and the transfer of deeming authority were discussed with CMS and a process was approved. The initial phase involved transfer of management functions to AAHHS while the AOA’s designated body, the Executive Committee of the Bureau of Healthcare Facility Accreditation (BHFA), remained in place to make accreditation and certification decisions. AAHHS staff moved to the HFAP offices and operated parallel programs—one with deeming authority, and the other for hospital and CAH accreditation only, for two years.

In 2017, AAHHS adopted all of the HFAP standards and processes to align all programs under a single brand. That same year, the board of The Accreditation Association voted for its own dissolution, thereby ending any formal relationship between AAHHS and AAAHC.

In January 2019, CMS formally recognized the transfer of deeming authority from AOA/HFAP to AAHHS/HFAP retroactively effective from March 2017.

75 years young

As we celebrate HFAP’s 75th anniversary in 2020, we are adding leadership to longevity  by building on a legacy of education-based programs that promote safe, high quality patient care across a range of settings.