On July 26, 2013, CMS approved the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ) as a national hospital accrediting organization.  Effective July 26, 2013 through July 26, 2017, hospitals seeking participation in the Medicare program may seek certification from CIHQ and other approved accrediting organizations in lieu of ongoing State survey review for compliance with the Medicare hospital conditions of participation.  The final notice approving CIHQ notes the many ways in which the organization amended its accreditation procedures to conform to the Medicare requirements at 42 C.F.R. § 482 et seq.  For more information, CIHQ’s Website is available here, and CMS’s notice approving the organization is available here.