The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has revised and reformatted its standards for accreditation to ensure that they are aligned with current models of clinical practice. To promote administrative clarity and efficiency, the two sets of standards – for accreditation of sleep disorders centers and out of center sleep testing (OCST) – also have been combined into one streamlined and unified document: the Standards for Accreditation. With the release of the revised standards, the AASM also is making accreditation available to stand-alone OCST programs
Facility Accreditation for Sleep Centers
The most significant change to the standards for facility accreditation of sleep centers involves the elimination of the previous direct referral standard. Another notable revision is the addition of a continuing education requirement for all center staff providers, which includes licensed physicians, psychologists, advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants. Most other revisions involve minor changes to clarify requirements and expectations.
Out of Center Sleep Testing Program Accreditation
OCST program accreditation continues to be available to sleep centers as an add-on to facility accreditation, and now it also is available to stand-alone providers of OCST services. To qualify for accreditation, OCST programs must have a clinic with the capability to provide comprehensive patient management for the full range of sleep disorders, including appropriate follow-up and effective treatment.
The following resources on the AASM website provide additional details about the revisions to the Standards for Accreditation:
- Beginning March 13, 2014, compliance with the revised standards is required immediately for any entity that opens a new accreditation application.
- Facilities that have begun an application, but have not yet submitted it, are permitted to demonstrate compliance with the previous version of the standards if the completed application is submitted by April 15, 2014. If an application that is already open is completed and submitted after April 15, 2014, demonstration of compliance with the revised standards will be required.
- Sleep centers that are currently accredited, or that submitted an accreditation application before March 13, 2014, have six months to become compliant with the revised standards by Sept. 15, 2014.
Updated March 18, 2014