American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

American College of Surgeons (ACS) Accreditation and Verification Programs Grant One Year Extensions

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has been closely monitoring the progression of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the work of our front-line providers and systems of care. We are especially connected with hospitals that participate in one or more of the ACS verification/accreditation programs. During this difficult time, we are continuously reviewing what we can do to help you.

The College is granting an extension of one year for hospitals currently accredited and verified. This additional year will extend the standard three-year verification to a four-year verification, for sites in good standing, in any of the ACS programs:

  • Commission on Cancer (CoC)
  • Children's Surgery Verification (CSV)
  • Metabolic and Bariatric Surgical Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP)
  • National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC)
  • National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC)
  • Trauma Verification (Trauma VRC)

We know hospitals are diverting resources, limiting visitors, and placing mandatory travel bans on their staff. This one-year extension will alleviate the time and effort usually required in the preparation for an onsite review. We anticipate resuming site visits when appropriate.

From all of us at ACS, thank you for all you are doing for your patients, providers, families and communities. We appreciate your commitment to our quality programs. If you have any specific questions on how this will affect your hospital, ACS programs will be communicating additional information to accredited and verified sites the coming days.

For Commission on Cancer, National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer Accredited Centers, please note that all site visits scheduled from early March through the remainder of 2020 (covering activity from 2017, 2018, and 2019) will be pushed back by six months resulting in site visits resuming in mid-September/October at the earliest and continuing into 2021 until all originally scheduled 2020 site visits are completed. We will also work with programs pursuing initial accreditation to schedule site visits beginning later this year. Cancer Programs staff and your assigned site reviewer will be contacting you once this crisis has subsided to schedule your site visit.

In addition, all programs due for a site visit in 2021, 2022 and 2023 will be pushed back one full year to allow adequate time to fully recover from this crisis and return to regular program operations. This means, for example, that programs due in 2021 will now be due in the same month in 2022 and will be evaluated on 2020 and 2021 activity.

The accreditation status of all programs will be maintained during this time. We understand normal cancer program operations are disrupted and the utmost flexibility will be granted, and programs will not be penalized, for standards that cannot be met at this time. The Survey Application Records (SAR) for programs due in 2020 will remain open this year to upload program information but there is no mandatory requirement to do so until such time as the site visit is re-scheduled. In addition, programs with deadlines to resolve deficiencies in 2020 will be extended six months with additional flexibility provided as requested.

Our goal is to support you during this challenging time and eliminate any burden that maintaining accreditation might pose on you; including site visits. We appreciate your commitment to our accreditation programs and to your patients and wish you well during this difficult time. If you have any questions please contact Cancer Programs at acscancerprograms@facs.org or at 312-202-5085.