HIGHMARK ANNOUNCES AMBULATORY SURGERY CENTER
In the October 2007 PRN, Highmark announced that, as of January 2008, it will require freestanding ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) to be accredited by one of three accrediting bodies, i.e., the Joint Commission, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare ("AAAHC"), or the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities ("AAASF"). The text of the PRN article appears below. Note that newly formed ASCs, i.e., those practicing for less than a year, may apply for network participation and have 18 months to complete Highmark accreditation requirements. Existing ASCs which already participate in Highmark’s network have an 18-month compliance window. However, ASCs have been in existence for more than a year, but which do not currently participate in Highmark’s network, must receive accreditation before they are eligible to apply for network participation.
Ambulatory surgical care facilities accreditation requirements outlined
Beginning in January 2008, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will require any free standing ambulatory surgical center (ASC) to be accredited by one of these accrediting bodies:
Initial applicants that have been practicing for one year or more must be accredited to be eligible to apply for network participation.
Newly formed ASCs that have been practicing less than one year are eligible to apply for network participation. They will have 18 months after they are credentialed to obtain accreditation.
ASCs that are already in Blue Cross Blue Shield’s network will have 18 months to obtain accreditation.