Joint Replacement Certification

August 26, 2019


HFAP Joint Replacement Certification

The Joint Replacement Certification is a newer certification offered by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) in order to promote excellence in the inpatient and outpatient settings of specialty Orthopaedic care. By creating this certification, the HFAP has responded to the environmental demands as the number of elective total joint procedures is on the rise. According to HFAP CEO, Meg Gravesmil, “The certification encourages the adoption of practices that improve outcomes and reduce risk”

Joint Replacement Certification Requirements

There are a few main requirements an organization must meet in order to be eligible to apply for the certification. This includes either holding a Medicare certification or having acquired “deemed status,” as well as meeting the State requirements. The organization must submit its current performance measures and outline its target joint replacement population. Once an organization receives acceptance for certification it must remain compliant with the standards that are set by the HFAP

Process for HFAP Accreditation and Joint Replacement Certification

In order to apply for accreditation, an organization must first meet the eligibility requirements, and then they may apply on the HFAP Website after creating a profile. After establishing membership they can apply for one (1) of the five (5) joint replacement certifications they offer. Once they apply there will be an unannounced survey once every three (3) years. At this visit, surveyors are looking to be sure that the hospital is “meeting core functions of assessment, patient participation, treatment, nutrition, medication use, discharge coordination, environmental safety, patient safety, infection control, quality improvement, and information management.” (Fennel, 2017) Based on this survey, one (1) of three (3) decisions will be made: 1) approval for accreditation for three (3) years, 2) approval for accreditation with a follow-up survey within the three (3) year span, 3) or denial of accreditation (Fennel, 2017). 


The strength of holding the Joint Replacement Certification through the HFAP is that it gives an organization high visibility and recognition. “HFAP is recognized by the federal government, state departments of public health, insurance carriers, and managed care organizations” (HFAP, 2019). 

Because the certification is closely aligned with the standards set by CMS, there are no discrepancies in what is expected (Fennel, 2017). Everything is laid out clearly in a manual including how the surveyor will be scoring the health care organization, therefore it can be studied before the actual survey (Fennel, 2017). Being accredited through the HFAP in addition to meeting the requirements of CMS, ensures an extra level of “focus on patient treatment, quality improvement, patient safety, and environmental safety” (Fennel, 2017).


One of the main considerations is that The Joint Replacement Certification is a rather newer certification so it does not yet have the credibility some other certifications may have. However, since it is offered by the HFAP which was founded in 1945, its name is highly visible in the health care sector. Another consideration is that there are no flat costs given out for accreditation as this varies depending on the healthcare organization.

Joint Replacement Certification Costs

The cost of becoming accredited through the HFAP varies depending on multiple factors including the size of the organization and the volume of patients eligible (Fennel, 2017). There are varying fees involved such as the registration fees and paying the direct costs of having a surveyor come out to survey their health care organization (Fennel, 2017). 

History of the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP)

The Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) is a not-for-profit health care organization founded in 1945. It was originally called the American Osteopathic Association and is the oldest hospital accreditation organization in the United States. They have the ability to survey any “hospitals, ambulatory care/surgical facilities, mental health facilities, physical rehabilitation facilities, clinical laboratories, and critical access hospitals” in order to ensure “compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation and Coverage” (HFAP, 2019). HFAP’s mission is to “advance high-quality patient care and safety through objective application of recognized standards.”


HFAP. (2019). Joint Replacement Certification. Retrieved from Link

HFAP. (2019). Overview. Retrieved from Link

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