AAHA: Only accredited hospitals will be eligible for membership starting in 2018

November 3, 2016

Association announces it will discontinue option for nonaccredited veterinary practices.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has announced changes to its membership model, moving to accreditation-only, instead of also allowing nonaccredited member hospitals.

Over the next two years, AAHA will transition all member hospitals to accredited status, according to an association release. Nonaccredited practices must enter an agreement to become accredited or have a staff member become an individual member by July 1, 2017, with all member hospitals accredited by June 30, 2018. Any nonaccredited practices that have not switched voluntarily will have the owner or medical director converted to individual membership.

“For years, we have included a separate membership category that has allowed hospital membership for practices that are not accredited,” says Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (canine, feline), chief executive officer of AAHA, in the release. “In doing this, AAHA inadvertently created confusion in the marketplace about what constitutes an ‘AAHA member hospital' vs. an ‘AAHA-accredited hospital'. Over time, we came to realize that we could not be everything to everyone. We need to hold true to our priorities.”

The AAHA accreditation program serves as the foundation of the AAHA board of directors' strategic priorities, the release states. The change in membership allows the association to keep its pledge to put accreditation at the forefront.

“We know that there are countless nonaccredited hospitals practicing excellent medicine-we want you to join us!” says Nancy Soares, VMD, 2016-2017 AAHA president, in the release. “I invite you to join us as we expand and strengthen our community of veterinary practice teams who are dedicated to providing excellent care. Together, we will elevate the standard of veterinary medicine and provide pets with the care they deserve.”

More information is available at aaha.org/becomeaccredited.