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What Does It Mean to Be AHCA Certified?

Dec 23, 2020
What Does It Mean to Be AHCA Certified?
In the State of Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is responsible for licensing and regulating Florida’s health care facilities, including long-term and post-acute facilities, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. 


In the State of Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is responsible for licensing and regulating Florida’s health care facilities, including long-term and post-acute facilities, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. 

Integrity Spine and Orthopedics performs the majority of our spine and orthopedic procedures in the ambulatory surgery center setting, which means we’re subject to regulation by AHCA. An ambulatory surgery center is defined as a licensed facility responsible for performing elective surgeries. Patients are admitted and discharged from the facility the same day. 

Keep reading to learn more about what it means to be AHCA certified.


In Florida, AHCA is responsible for licensing and regulating ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). Per Chapter 395, Part I, Florida Statutes and Chapter 408, Part II, Florida Statutes, ASCs must have a state license to lawfully operate the facility. After obtaining an initial license, ASCs must pass routine, on-site licensure surveys and Life-Safety Code inspections to remain in compliance with state regulations.

Outside of obtaining state licensure through AHCA, ambulatory surgery centers in Florida can voluntarily obtain the following:

  • Medicare certification. ASCs can choose to become certified under Medicare if they want to participate in the Medicare program. Medicare reimburses ASCs for approved surgical procedures. In order to maintain Medicare certification facilities must demonstrate ongoing compliance with Medicare standards for quality of care. 
  • Accreditation. ASCs can choose to become accredited by one of five accrediting organizations: Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), American Osteopathic Association/Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (AOA/HFAP), The Joint Commission (TJC) or Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ). Accreditation means that the ASC continuously works to improve quality of care and services and passes regular, on-site surveys by the accreditation organization.

Ambulatory surgery centers remain AHCA certified by consistently meeting quality initiatives for providing care to patients. State and federal surveys measure the quality of care provided to patients during the pre-operative, intraoperative, and postoperative processes. Failure to uphold quality measurements can result in a facility having its license revoked.


At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons have years of experience performing outpatient, minimally invasive spine surgeries, arthroscopy and ligament reconstruction in the ambulatory surgical center setting. 

There are several benefits to undergoing surgery in an outpatient surgical center:

  • Lower risk of infection. ASCs have the flexibility to reschedule patients who are sick or contagious, which reduces the chance that you’ll contract a virus or another infection from someone else. Additionally, you’ll spend far less time in an ASC than you would in a hospital, further reducing the chances of developing a surgical site infection. 
  • Time savings. Undergoing surgery in the hospital usually requires an in-patient stay that lasts for several days to weeks. In contrast, you’ll only spend a few hours in an ASC and you’ll be able to return home the day of surgery. Additionally, ASCs have more control over scheduling than hospitals do. Once your surgery appointment is booked, it’s less likely to be rescheduled to make room for an emergency procedure, as is common at the hospital. 
  • Cost savings. In-patient hospitalization admissions can rack up enormous costs in the thousands of dollars even if you have insurance. In an ASC, there are fewer overhead costs and you won’t need to pay for overnight care, which significantly reduces your final bill. 
  • Individualized care. Unlike hospital surgeons, ASC physicians aren’t on-call 24/7 to handle any and every surgical case that comes in the door. ASC staff and doctors have the flexibility to work with you one-on-one to schedule your surgery for a convenient time and follow up for post-operative care. Because your surgeon will see fewer patients during the day, he or she will have the time to give you the personalized care and attention you need. 


At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, our surgeons have years of experience performing minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat painful spine conditions like bulging or herniated discs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis.

We have a convenient clinic located in Jacksonville, FL. Please call us or reach out online to schedule your first appointment.