On March 13, 2014, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine announced revisions to its standards for accreditation of sleep centers and out of center sleep testing (OCST) program. This overview summarizes the changes in the revised Standards for Accreditation.
The revised standards align with current models of clinical practice, which emphasize high quality, patient-centered care and long-term disease management. Recognizing the increasingly important role of OCST for the provision of cost-effective care, the AASM also is making accreditation available to stand-alone OCST programs.
Language in the standards has been revised to clarify expectations and requirements, addressing questions posed by previous applicants and eliminating areas of uncertainty. A detailed list of specific revisions is available in the document below
Previously the AASM had two separate sets of standards for accreditation of sleep disorders centers and OCST. These standards have been combined into one streamlined and unified document: the Standards for Accreditation. This change promotes efficiency and simplifies accreditation documentation by eliminating duplicate standards. Each standard is coded to indicate whether it applies to facility accreditation of sleep centers (standards labeled F and FO) or OCST program accreditation of sleep centers and stand-alone OCST providers (O and FO).
Sleep centers that are currently accredited have six months to become compliant with the revised standards by Sept. 15, 2014. Documentation of this compliance will be required when the sleep facility applies for re-accreditation. Currently accredited sleep centers that are adding OCST program accreditation can submit an attestation form rather than completing a new application.
Sleep centers that have submitted an accreditation application have six months to become compliant with the revised standards by Sept. 15, 2014. 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 submitted after April 15, 2014, demonstration of compliance with the revised standards will be required.
Beginning March 13, 2014, compliance with the revised standards is required immediately for any facility that opens a new accreditation application. One unified, online application allows sleep centers the flexibility of applying for facility accreditation only or both facility and OCST program accreditation.
The opportunity to apply for OCST program accreditation is now available to stand-alone providers of OCST services, which have a clinic and provide comprehensive patient management but do not have a lab for overnight polysomnography. These applicants must download an accreditation application in PDF format.