HMDCB Certification for Hospice Medical Directors
Certification for hospice medical directors (HMDs) has the potential to improve the quality and consistency of the practice within hospice and palliative medicine and the care provided by local hospices. Many HMDs are working part-time in small or medium hospice programs with little background in palliative medicine.
Completing a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine does not necessarily prepare a physician for the role of hospice physician or hospice medical director. Obtaining knowledge of the regulatory, administrative, or leadership responsibilities that are a mandated part of this role is key. A certification for HMDs is one way to help address the growing workforce and quality issues for this field.
In 2012, the AAHPM Board of Directors provided start-up funding and appointed the Board of Directors of HMDCB. Similar to other high-quality physician certification programs, the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board (HMDCB) is incorporated as an indepedent not-for-profit organization that administers and oversees the certification program to eligible candidates along with a well-recognized testing company, Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc.
HMDCB is separate from the AAHPM membership organization, demonstrating autonomy in essential decision making activities. Establishing this firewall reduces liability and eliminates conflicts of interest if educational or preparatory materials for prospective candidates are developed by AAHPM.
This certification is separate and distinct from the subspecialty certification of hospice and palliative medicine by the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists. The concept of a certification for HMDs was considered and validated by thought leaders, outside organizations, hospice administrators, and hospice physicians.
HMDCB's first certification examination was in May 2014.
AAHPM provides many products to help candidates prepare for the HMDCB exam.
- HMD Prep - 75-item multiple-choice practice test that assesses your knowledge in hospice practice. Content is based on the HMDC exam blueprint.
- Hospice Medical Director Manual defines best practices, offers tools and sample documents, and provides answers about physician roles in hospice, employment in or contracting with a hospice, and the medical director's responsibilities on the hospice team and within the organization.
- Recordings of the Hospice Medical Director Course - highlights the clinical, administrative, and regulatory aspects of your work; audio and synchronized PowerPoint content and separate audio files are included.
Additionally, AAHPM has created a recording library of clinical and regulatory content that will help expand your knowledge base.
Note: AAHPM has no direct role or input in the development of the HMDCB Exam. The Academy relies on the publicly published material about the exam to develop its products.