Am I able to apply before I open my center?
Yes. UCA offers an Early Accreditation option. Organizations may seek accreditation up to 6 months prior to opening their first center (startup organization). An attestation is available for a senior level officer to complete, attesting that the new location will meet the standards for accreditation and certification at the time it opens. Additionally, the organization must submit the appropriate application and associated fees 45-60 days prior to opening. The organization is to be survey-ready within the first 60 days after opening. If the survey has not been scheduled and the organization desires to withdraw the application, the Accreditation status will be lost, and the organization will forfeit the full amount paid. If opening is delayed and surveyor travel has already been scheduled (airfare booked), any travel related change fee would be covered by the organization.
How do I obtain the UCA accreditation standards and preparation manual?
The UCA Accreditation Standards and Preparation Manual is available through UCA’s online store and is forwarded to applicants as soon as their application is processed. This manual consists of standards and required expectations as well as potential success demonstrators. Should an organization choose to purchase the UCA Accreditation Standards and Preparation Manual prior to applying for accreditation, the purchase price will be subtracted from the accreditation application fee if the organization elects to proceed with the process and pays for accreditation application fee within six (6) months of the purchase. NOTE: Organizations may be asked to provide a valid paid invoice for the manual at the time of application so please retain your receipt.
What is a standard?
What is the difference between a standard, an expectation, and a success demonstrator?
What happens during a survey?
The Pre-Conference is the formal "kickoff" of the survey. Organizations may wish to include key leadership and staff who have been involved in preparing for the survey. During this part of the process, the surveyor will review what can be expected during the survey, including follow-up activities and answer any questions about the process itself.
Interviews and Observations
When a site visit occurs, the surveyor will tour the organization's centers to observe the safety, quality, and maintenance of the facility. During these tours, the surveyor will also observe staff/patient interactions. Discussions are conducted with staff to confirm an awareness with the processes and policies of the organization. The surveyor will also observe patient intake and triage processes during the site visit.
The Post-Conference is intended to provide the organization with some initial feedback and to assure all administration, board members, executive and management staff and key staff members understand what to expect going forward. This also allows an organization to ask questions and bring closure to this phase of the process.
Who are the surveyors and what is their role?
UCA prides itself on the caliber of its surveyors as an essential component of the UCA Accreditation process. They have made a commitment to ensure integrity throughout the survey process. UCA surveyors are trained no less than annually on UCA processes, and standards as well as privacy regulations. Each surveyor dedicates many hours to each assigned survey. Surveyors familiarize themselves with each organization prior to the survey and have responsibilities until all survey activities conclude.
UCA surveyors may vary over time but are one or more of the following:
Surveyors have experience with the accreditation and survey process and have demonstrated a true commitment to the purpose and goals of UCA Accreditation.
How should we prepare for our survey?
Although senior management and staff are involved in all aspects of the accreditation efforts, the survey is the primary opportunity for staff at all levels in the organization to understand the gravity of their involvement and participation preparation and overall accreditation success. There are several things that you should consider leading up to your survey:
What happens after our survey is complete?
Immediately following the completion of a survey, your organization should do the following:
The UCA surveyor will send completed documentation with comments for administrative review. UCA then begins preparing your survey response. This report identifies only those standards that require a response and/or improvement/action step(s). Some areas may also be noted that were rectified by the organization during the survey itself or are simply recommendations based on findings. Those areas may be listed but will also indicate that no response is required.
Within forty-five (45) business days from the site visit, the organization will receive a copy of your report. It will be accompanied by a cover letter and instructions for how to prepare the response in electronic format. You will then have sixty (60) days to submit any required follow-up action items to the committee for review.
What happens if we cancel any part of the survey process?
An organization who voluntarily withdraw from the accreditation process at any time prior to scheduling a survey will forfeit its full application fee. Forfeited funds may not be applied to any other UCA events, products, membership, education, or materials. Canceling a confirmed survey date will result in forfeiture of the entire application costs and the applicant will be responsible for any non-refundable expenses including travel arrangements already made. Forfeited funds may not be applied to any other UCA events, products, membership, education, or materials.
What are the levels of accreditation awarded?
After the Committee reviews the survey findings and any subsequent action items submitted by the applicant, Accreditation plus Certification are awarded as follows:
Accreditation or Reaccreditation: The Accreditation Committee awards accreditation or reaccreditation to an organization for a period of three years when: 1.) The applying organization meets the requirements of UCA Standards and Expectations following the survey; 2.) there is no cause for concern about implementation of/or continuing performance with UCA standards; and 3.) the organization meets the scope of services criteria established to be recognized as a Certified Urgent Care Center.
Pending: When the Accreditation Committee has questions about an organization's implementation of/continuing performance with a standard that may require additional documentation/information for approval, they have the discretion to place the organization on pending status and to request this documentation. Full accreditation is not granted until the organization submits this documentation and the Committee finds it now meets the standard.
Provisional: The Accreditation Committee grants accreditation to an organization with the stipulation that the organization must submit additional documentation of completed compliance within a designated time frame. If the organization does not submit the requested documentation, its accreditation designation is revoked. Additionally, provisional status may be awarded if a virtual survey has been successfully completed but an on-site visit is pending.
Right to Resurvey: The Accreditation Committee reserves the right to resurvey the organization depending on the initial survey findings; it is the responsibility of the applying organization to submit a new application and fees for this resurvey.
Denial: The Accreditation Committee reserves the right to deny an organization accreditation status if: 1) a surveyor determines during a site visit that the organization has failed to meet the minimum standards and there is no opportunity for corrective action; 2) a surveyor determines during a site visit that the organization blatantly compromised patient quality or safety; or 3) an organization fails to respond to the Accreditation Committee’s request for additional documentation/information within the appropriate time frame.
An organization has the right to appeal any Accreditation Committee’s decision.
What happens after we achieve accreditation?
Following the successful completion of the accreditation process, you will receive the following:
What happens if we open a new site(s) in between our accreditation cycle?
Newly opened centers during an accredited organization cycle period may consider that clinic to be accredited upon execution and submission of an written attestation that the clinic operates under the same standards and policies/procedures as the surveyed accredited sites AND once newly opened sites submits verification that it meets and is awarded UCA certification status. Accreditation & Certification Certificates will be available for the newly opened center once the attestation statement is received. The accreditation status for the new site will expire commensurate to the dates of the other locations in the organizations included in the previous survey process. A $540 new location fee will be assessed per center added by attestation. This cost will be prorated according to where an organization is at in their survey term. Organizations will pay 100% of the new site price if they were accredited with-in 12 months or less, 2/3 of the new site price if they were accredited within-in 1 year to 24 months, and 1/3 of the new site price if they were accredited if within the final 12 months of their accreditation approval term. Therefore, a new site attested to in the third year of an accreditation cycle would pay $180 and subsequently be re-accredited in alignment with the other organization’s sites.
What happens if we acquire or merge with an organization with site(s) that are already open during our accreditation cycle?
Accredited organizations who acquire or merge with another organization may consider those centers accredited upon execution and submission of an attestation statement acknowledging that the center will be in compliance with UCA standards/expectations and policies/procedures as the surveyed accredited sites within 120 days of the acquisition or merger. Accreditation and Certification certificates will be available for the newly acquired or merged centers once the attestation statement is received and the invoice for new sites paid in accordance with where the organization is in its 36-month accreditation cycle. The accreditation status for the new center(s) will expire concomitant to the expiration date of the existing accredited organization.
We are accredited by another accrediting organization but want to convert to UCA accreditation. Our accreditation expires soon. Is there an interim accreditation option that allows us to prepare?
It is possible that organizations accredited by another recognized accrediting body may receive additional time to prepare for their UCA survey up to 6 months following their expiration date. The organization will receive a certificate of accreditation for the 6 months. A survey must take place during this 6-month period allowing enough time for the organization to not only prepare for the survey, but to respond to the survey response and allow the committee time for review of the response. A 10% administrative fee (or the cost of the survey based on organization size) will be assessed at the time of application. Contact UCA at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information about qualification and processes related to this program.
How do we maintain our UCA accreditation?
Accredited organizations should continually monitor themselves and review their processes for meeting standard requirements throughout the accreditation period. Continuous involvement by administration/ management/ staff/ medical providers assures engagement in the process and successful reaccreditation by the organization. Should there be a change in status, ownership, or scope, your organization must notify UCA within 30 days of the change.
Organizations are invited to participate in an Annual Compliance Review (ACR) program. This program is optional, but strongly encouraged. The goal of this program is to help organizations stay on track maintaining documentation demonstrating compliance with accreditation standards/expectations. It is offered on annual basis during the 3-year period between an organizations site survey and re-survey. It will also provide the opportunity for organizations to ask questions related to any new or revised standards. The program offers a one-hour telephone call will an experienced UCA surveyor and the organization’s leadership designee(s). It allows the organization to participate in creating the agenda so the surveyor covers what the organization’s team would like to review. For more information about the Annual Compliance Review (ACR) please contact the UCA Accreditation Department by email at email@example.com.
To avoid a lapse in an organization’s accreditation status a re-survey will be required once every three years. Organizations choosing to become reaccredited must submit a renewal application 8 months prior to the expiration. Three months prior to expiration, if the organization has not applied for renewal, the applicant may not be able to renew prior to expiration as surveyor availability may be limited.
In between accreditation and reaccreditation processes, organizations are welcome to contact UCA staff regarding all accreditation-related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens if we allow our accreditation status to lapse and then decide to re-apply?
Lapses in an organization’s Accreditation Status: Should an organization choose to re-apply for accreditation after their UCA Accreditation status lapses, the organization’s application and survey will be considered first-time / initial application and a history of compliance will no longer be expected. Organizations should avoid lapsing, as repeating cycle of lapse/initial application is not allowed.