The Palliative Care Measures Project
In September 2021, AAHPM completed a three-year measure development project to create two new patient reported experience measures for outpatient palliative care with project subrecipients the National Coalition For Hospice and Palliative Care and RAND Corporation.
The new measures assess the quality of care provided by asking how much patients felt heard and understood, and if patients got the help they wanted for their pain. The next phase of this project will include work on resources to support implementation of the measures. A unique element of this project was a consistent and intentional commitment to include patients and caregivers in the measure development process.
This project was funded through a cooperative agreement between the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and AAHPM. More information can be found on the quality measures project webpage hosted by the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care.
AAHPM Quality News
Article on Palliative Care Denominator Results
September 3, 2021
An article in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (JPSM), results are shared regarding whether a commercial claims database can be used to identify patients with serious illness and provide a useful denominator for palliative care quality measures. With a grant from AARP, AAHPM; AMGA; OptumLabs; and researchers Amy Kelly, MD MSHS, Christine Ritchie, MD MSPH, and Laura Hanson, MD MPH, aimed to operationalize a conceptual definition of serious illness to identify those with serious medical conditions (SMC) among commercial insurance and MA enrollees, and to compare the populations identified through electronic health record (EHR) or claims data sources. Read More.
Technical Expert Clinical User Patient Panel and Measure Specification Panel Selected for Palliative Care Measures Project
February 18, 2019
To support the Palliative Care Measures Project, a new Technical Expert Clinical User Patient Panel (TECUPP) and Measure Specification Panel has been named and will be chaired by Sydney Dy, MD MS FAAHPM and Mary Ersek, PhD RN FPCN. The panels will contribute direction and thoughtful input on the development of the measures for patients with serious illness.
The panel members represent a broad array of stakeholders including measure development experts, palliative care clinicians, specialty society representatives, patients and patient advocates, healthcare industry representatives, and others. Read the full release.
AAHPM Awarded $5.5 Million Grant from CMS
January 9, 2019
AAHPM, in partnership with the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care and the RAND Corporation, was awarded a $5.5 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop patient-reported quality measures for community-based palliative care.
The measures are intended for use in CMS's Quality Payment Program (QPP), including the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs). Read the CMS MACRA funding opportunity FAQ.
This measure development project complements other AAHPM-convened quality and payment initiatives, including: the unification of specialty palliative care quality registries under a new quality collaborative, testing of a methodology to identify the population with serious illness for inclusion in quality measures, and a proposal for an alternative payment model to support community based palliative care.
The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) doesn’t exclude, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services under our quality measures development project funded by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).
There are many federal quality programs that might impact AAHPM members. Mandated by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) website contains updates regarding program requirements through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)
MACRA repealed the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and authorized a new incentive based system for Medicare physician payments, known as MIPS.
Learn more about an opportunity to report palliative care measures through a Qualified Clinical Data Registry - this is a Palliative Care Quality Collaborative initiative, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
What is MACRA?
MACRA replaces legacy quality programs with the Quality Payment Program (QPP) in which physician Medicare payments will be based on participation in one of two tracks:
These programs reward physicians based on performance participation in new payment and delivery models.
Find more resources on the Quality Payment Program page.