HQAA stays fresh

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WATERLOO, Iowa – In an economy where, according to the Small Business Administration, two-thirds of businesses don’t make it past five years and 75% don’t make it past 10 years, Mary Nicholas feels pretty good about HQAA.

The accrediting agency celebrates its 10th year in business this year and will unveil a new look at The Heartland Conference in June.

“We’re the same solid, customer-oriented, compatible accreditor that we’ve always been,” said Nicholas, president and CEO. “We’re just trying to keep people engaged by staying fresh.”

As part of the refresh, HQAA is changing everything from its logo to its branding to its website. The company will also have a new tagline: “Keep accreditation in check.”

Accomplishments at a glance

In 10 years, HQAA has gone from providing accreditation standards for HME to infusion/home infusion compounding, pharmacy, medical practice, facility-based vents and third-party billing. Most recently, it started a new division, Quality Compounding Certification Program.

“We’ve maintained our foundation, but we’ve grown,” Nicholas said.

Surveyor drift

Accreditation, despite being a requirement for Medicare since 1999, is a process that’s far from old hat, Nicholas says.

“Insurance groups, HMOs—they’re all getting on the bandwagon requiring accreditation,” she said. “So there’s still meat on the bone.”

But Nicholas says she worries about “surveyor drift.”

“There has been some variation in what’s required, enough that the entire industry is wondering about the validity of accreditation at all,” she said. “We’re staying tightly wrapped around our standards.”