Research and Background of HMD Certification
AAHPM's Medical Director Education Committee played a key role in a multiphased research process to validate the need and interest in a certification program for HMDs. The committee began by developing a statement of purpose to guide their work.
The purpose of a certification for HMDs is to create and maintain a professional credential for eligible hospice medical directors. The certification will be the key indicator of physician competency in the core elements of the practice of the hospice medical director, including the clinical skills necessary to enhance the care of patients with advanced illness and their families and the administrative, leadership, and regulatory skills necessary for the functioning of both the interdisciplinary team and the responsible hospice agency.
The committee then developed an initial draft of the core competencies for the hospice medical director, reviewed data and information, vetted options for assessment methodology, and made recommendations to the AAHPM board at each phase of the research process.
- Phase I of the exploration, November 2008–June 2009, involved extensive interviews with thought leaders and potential organizational stakeholders and exploration into what certification means.
- Phase II ran from June 2009 through June 2010 and included committee work on drafting core competencies for hospice medical directors and more in-depth exploration of the market, potential organizational partners, options for governance and organizational structures, and outlining a business plan and budget.
- Phase III included a formal market research study, solicitation of proposals from certification vendors, and further research into collaboration, governance structure, and organizational structure. This work was completed between July 2010 and February 2011.
- Beginning in March 2011, Phase IV started with the Medical Director Education Committee reviewing options for assessment methodologies of the core competencies and recommending that a separate 501(c)(6) Certification Organization be established. An Organizing Board of Directors for the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board (HMDCB) was appointed and began work on incorporation and development of the certification program in the spring of 2012.