Indescribable Credibility for PMCs: AAAHC Accreditation

AAAHC Vertical Website LOgoBefore becoming AAAHC accredited, “we were acting like we were a medical clinic, but we didn’t fully know what that meant. Becoming accredited has given us the confidence that we know what we’re doing, and it’s the best.” Robin Fuller, ED, Pregnancy Care Center, Grants Pass, OR

AAAHC is the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care.

“AAAHC accreditation means that the organization participates in on-going self evaluation, peer review and education to continuously improve its care and services. The organization also commits to a thorough, on-site survey by AAAHC surveyors, who are themselves health care professionals, at least every three years.” Source:

Isn’t that what every PMC needs to be on top of their game?standards-and-compliance

  • On-going self-evaluation
  • Peer review
  • Education

Doesn’t every PMC want to continuously improve its care and services?

Why wouldn’t a PMC want to become accredited?

Sparrow Solutions Group Founder and CEO Connie Ambrecht attended her first AAAHC Achieving Accreditation seminar in 2010. Because of Connie’s experience and recognizing the benefit of centers working together, Connie spearheaded a concerted effort with AAAHC to have a faculty member focused on PMCs in a breakout session at the Achieving Accreditation seminar held in Las Vegas each year in early December.

“Achieving Accreditation is an interactive, in-depth two-day seminar designed to help organizations prepare for the AAAHC survey.” Source:

As Connie put it, “I started hearing people talk about accreditation. Experience tells me it’s always best to go to the source for information about expectations and standard practices, and in the case of accreditation, the process of how that is achieved.”

This year, eight PMCs have already registered for the seminar, which will be held December 2-3, so it is a great time for other PMCs to join them. The size of the group is small enough to allow for excellent interaction, relationship building and encouragement, and large enough to yield diverse expertise and backgrounds that can help leaders to sharpen each other.

Like the name implies, the seminar is designed to help organizations get the information they need to “achieve accreditation.”

“Day One begins with a comprehensive review of AAAHC Core Standards and how to prepare your organization to meet them. The afternoon is spent in smaller, setting-specific break-outs to introduce Illuminating Quality Improvement, a new tool we’ve developed to take the mystery out of identifying opportunities for meaningful improvement in your organization. Working with your organizational peers, you’ll have the opportunity to ask specific questions, share concerns and offer feedback.

“On Day Two you will meet with faculty and your peers in either primary or surgical/procedural care to discuss the relevant adjunct Standards. After lunch, the program is yours to tailor by selecting from a range of elective sessions.

“You’ll leave with actionable knowledge designed to help you lead your organization through a successful accreditation experience.”

For registration information, click here:

Be sure to email Connie and let her know you’re coming too! If you have questions and want to talk to her more about it, you are welcome to email her. Sparrow is planning a preconference event as well as a debriefing afterwards. Contact for information.

Connie explained, “The majority of those who have passed and are currently accredited have participated in Sparrow training at some point. Not that we’re the end all. AAAHC does not put a stamp of approval on any consulting group. PMCs that have been through our Essentials training and our Shared Decision training—because of how involved our educational components are—they will find that they are ready to go through the accreditation process. Center leadership and staff have told us, ‘We can do this.’”

Connie went on to explain how “the simplicity of our medical services: pregnancy testing and pregnancy confirmation—because they are an uncomplicated service platform,” as well as all of the governance, administrative, financial and other policies and procedures that PMCs already have in place, it is not a stretch for them to do the work to become accredited.

In fact, Connie described how many consultants charge a fee ranging from $2K-$20K to help centers achieve accreditation, and may give the impression that AAAHC requires centers to work with a consultant. However, “it is not a requirement to have a consultant. Many do it on their own.”

According to Connie, PMC leaders can expect great things from attending AAAHC:

  • “It will be the strongest medical conference you’ve ever attended.”
  • “You’ll be in a small group with other PMC leaders having discussions related to accreditation.”
  • “Everyone who leaves feels very empowered about being a medical clinic.”

Once a PMC achieves AAAHC accreditation, it gives the PMC “indescribable credibility. Like any other certification—like with MBTI or RT—after you’ve completed the process to go through what’s required—you don’t know the impact it has on you to have that stamp of approval based on true medical standards until you have it.”


Reni Bumpas
Sparrow Solutions Consultant

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