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NICU Verification Program Frequently Asked Questions

​​​​What is it?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) NICU Verification Program provides a survey service to verify a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) meets a state’s standards for a selected level of care and/or standards as outlined in the AAP statement, Levels of Neonatal Care.

​Why should NICU facilities be interested?
For Texas facilities, in 2015, the state of Texas mandated that all facilities caring for newborns require a neonatal level of care designation to receive Medicaid payment for neonatal services. The AAP is 1 of 2 state-approved survey agencies.

For facilities in other states, the AAP uses a consultative model and provides third-party review of the care offered at a NICU. Both model programs and opportunities are identified and discussed, with the goal of improved quality of care. 

​Why is the AAP doing it?
Child health. The AAP NICU Verification Program was created to achieve the best possible outcomes by ensuring that every high-risk newborn is cared for in a facility with the personnel and resources appropriate for the newborn's needs and condition.

How will it improve child health?

  • The primary role of a site survey team is to verify a facility meets the requirements described in their state’s rules and/or standards as outlined in the AAP statement, Levels of Neonatal Care.
  • Over time, the AAP can review the data it collects on NICUs and use them to develop and help NICU facilities meet program benchmarks to compare themselves with other facilities across the country.

Why should I select the AAP NICU Verification Program as a survey agency?

  • The AAP is the leading authority on this topic as the author of the policy statement, Levels of Neonatal Care.
  • While the AAP survey team evaluates a facility’s compliance with their respective state’s rules, they also evaluate alignment with AAP perinatal guidelines and provide expert consultation to the facility.

NICU facilities meeting the level of care described in AAP policy will receive a certificate of recognition.

​What are the long-term plans for the program?
The pilot program in Texas is complete and was successful. The AAP is open to reviewing facilities in other states and having conversations with state leaders about improving neonatal systems of care and perinatal regionalization.

How long does AAP NICU Verification take? 
Below are the steps for the verification process:

  • Site completes an application form.
  • Site completes a Pre-Review Questionnaire (PRQ). Sites are given 90 days to complete. The site visit is scheduled and an agenda is developed. 
  • The 2-day site visit takes place. Once complete, the AAP will forward a site visit report within 30 days. The AAP survey team provides a summary of findings specific to the state’s rules (if applicable), but also provides a separate report of additional findings (for the site’s use) that outlines model practices and opportunities based upon AAP policy around neonatal levels of care and expert opinion of the review team. 

How much does AAP NICU Verification cost? 
Rates are based on the level of survey needed (Level II, Level III, Level IV). Contact Rick Rooney for information about fees. 

Who can I contact with additional questions?
Questions can be directed to NICUVerify@aap.org