Quarterly Progress Report
AAHPM Points of Progress
Membership and Communities Committee Update
Expand and Enhance Engagement
Lindsay Ragsdale, MD FAAHPM, Chair
AAHPM membership remains steady at 5,582 with an 83% retention rate and 1.3% growth. AAHPM membership comprises 72% physicians; 10% interprofessional (nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, chaplains, social workers); 16% fellows, residents, and students; and 1% international members.
The Communities Committee continues to provide strategic direction for all the activities of the more than 40 Academy communities. The committee welcomed new leaders for Academy special interest groups (SIGs) and forums and hosted Community Leader Town Hall calls in May. AAHPM communities continue to meet virtually; these events are open to all members and are posted on AAHPM Connect.
AAHPM Connect is an active online platform for members to share articles, post presentations, and participate in discussions. In the first quarter of 2023, there were more than 330 discussion posts, 98 new discussion threads, and more than 207 unique contributors to the Open Forum. To join a community, add it to your demographic profile by going to your Member Profile page. Learn more at connect.aahpm.org.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee worked to recruit a section editor for AAHPM Quarterly, working with staff to ensure that the DEI LAB column will contain content related to health equity, share information on current training programs and resources, provide updated info on AAHPM DEI efforts and work, and highlight the activities of our members.
Next Gen Scholars for Equity in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) Program, our new equity scholars’ program, is looking for eight postgraduate medical residents who
- are interested in hospice and palliative medicine
- are from communities that are underrepresented in the profession’s workforce and leadership.
These residents will be essential as our professional community works together toward centering the needs of those historically marginalized and minoritized in HPM.
Information on the program was shared at the annual assembly in Montréal, and we have already received interest from potential scholars and sponsors. Learn more about the Next Gen Scholars program on our website and in the fall issue of AAHPM Quarterly.
The LGBTQI+ SIG held its first June Pride Webinar. The Power of Pride: Challenges and Victories on LGBTQI+ Rights to Health Care in 2023 was presented at 2 pm CDT on June 8 by Dr. Kimberly Acquaviva, a professor from the University of Virginia School of Nursing. The live webinar was not recorded.
The DEI Strategic Planning Subcommittee met April 26 to determine priorities and finalize an action plan. The goal is to update the 3-year DEI strategic plan and submit an implementation plan for AAHPM to the DEI Committee and board of directors.
Workforce and Career Development Committee Update
Build and Sustain a Diverse Workforce
Bethany Snider, MD HMDC FAAHPM, Chair
AAHPM recognizes the importance of promoting diversity in the workforce and is actively working toward this goal. By expanding the leadership training program and improving accessibility to training, AAHPM aims to cultivate a diverse group of leaders in the field of hospice and palliative care. Collaboration between committees also focuses on advancing DEI in daily practice and training through development of replicable educational tools and strategies.
The Assessments Work Group hosted a preconference workshop at the Annual Assembly in Montréal that provided tool kits for fellowship programs to improve fellow assessments and faculty development. The tool kits aim to improve the overall assessment process for fellows and promote consistent and effective evaluation of fellows’ competencies in the field.
Education and Learning Committee Update
Engage, Develop, and Sustain Expertise
Lynn O’Neill, Chair
The 2023 Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care Planning Committee successfully hosted our hybrid 3-day event March 22-23, bringing together more than 2,900 colleagues to share research, clinical best practices, and practice-related guidance to advance the specialty of hospice and palliative care. Content for the on-demand component of the Assembly continued until April 24, and content was available available until April 30, 2023.
The Annual Assembly is designed for physicians, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, researchers, social workers, fellows, residents, chaplains, students, professionals in training, and other members of the healthcare team interested in acquiring, maintaining, or expanding skills needed to function effectively in the field of hospice and palliative care.
Our 2023 Annual Assembly brought together a wide diversity in disciplines to learn together to improve the care of patients and families with serious illness.
AAHPM Learn, the Academy’s learning platform, had an exciting lineup of premiere continuing medical education (CME)–accredited activities, including the following:
- April 18: AAHPM hosted a free webinar, Pain Management and Opioids: Balancing Risks and Benefits, presented by Kathleen Broglio, DNP ANP-BD, and Joe Shega, MD. The course curriculum is fully compliant with the Food and Drug Administration Opioid Analgesic REMS Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Treatment and Monitoring of Patients with Pain and the 2022 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain. In addition, this course met the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act. The MATE Act requires new or renewing DEA registrants, as of June 27, 2023, to have completed at least 8 hours of training on opioid or other substance use disorders.
- April 27: AAHPM hosted Escape to the Museum: Finding Connection and Meaning webinar presented by Laura Morrison, MD, and Gordon Wood, MD and a panel of national faculty experts. This unique virtual session invited participants to experience art museum teaching, refining observation skills and connecting to meaning while considering how to learn and apply these teaching strategies in their home settings.
- May 25: Part of the Grand Rounds Clinical Series, “Is There a Pharmacotherapy Specialist in the House?” was presented by Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD MA MDE BCPS. Participants in this Grand Rounds session gained a deeper understanding of the role of a pharmacotherapy specialist in palliative care and how an evidence-based practice (the old three-legged stool) is implemented.
- June 2023: AAHPM released an on-demand recording with active learner engagement activities on Pain Management and Opioids: Balancing Risks and Benefits presented by Kathleen Broglio, DNP ANP-BD and Joe Shega, MD. See the April 18 activity description to learn more about the presentation.
- June 2023: AAHPM released an on-demand microlearning flight CME on surgical palliative care entitled Demystifying Complex Mechanical Support and Other Surgical Equipment and Devices Hanging Out of your Seriously Ill Patient, presented by Drs. Ana Berlin and Allyson Cook Chapman and their faculty support team. Developed by national palliative surgery content experts, this four-part microlearning flight demystifies complex mechanical support and surgical equipment and devices commonly seen in hospice and palliative care. Content presents a provider’s guide to maintaining, caring for, and withdrawing these often-intimidating devices, with a focus on surgical outcomes, palliative care utilization, and communication in surgical decision making.
- July 2023: Palliative Wound Care, a webinar presented by Erika Ketteler, MD, and her team of WOCN-certified nurses, was designed to enhance the palliative and hospice provider’s knowledge and performance in the management of palliative wounds and offers a framework using case studies to abate patient, family, and team suffering utilizing a systematic and patient-centered approach to care.
Save the date for AAHPM’s 2023 Advanced Clinical Course on November 3 in Chicago. This full-day intensive is designed to strengthen and expand the knowledge base of primary psychiatric skills that palliative providers need to enhance treatment planning and develop clinical interventions for the emotional distress associated with serious medical illness. Drs. Alex Gamble, David Buxton, Allison Jordan, and Paul Riordan and PharmD Christie Kahlon will be the faculty experts conducting this intensive training on the intersection of mental health and palliative care. More information will be coming soon.
Quality and Research Committee Update
Promote Quality of Care, Research, and Translation of Evidence into Practice
Rebecca Aslakson, MD PHD FAAHPM, Chair
The Quality Committee has reviewed and recommended the EMS Care of Adult Hospice Patients – a Position Statement and Resource Document of NAEMSP and AAHPM, which has been endorsed by the AAHPM Board of Directors. In collaboration with the Public Policy Committee, the Quality Committee has submitted comments pertaining to the quality provisions of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) FY 2024 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update proposed rule.
The Research Committee reviewed 22 applications for the Research Scholars Program to select six outstanding applicants to receive funding. These recipients will attend the 2023 Kathleen M. Foley Palliative Care Retreat and Research Symposium October 24-26 in Jackson Hole, WY. The scholarship recipients are Zhimeng Jia, MD CCFP (PC); Whitney Kiker, MD; Jessica Ma, MD; Gina Piscitello, MD MS; Rebecca Rodin, MD MSc; and Keisha White Makinde, MD MPH.AAHPM congratulates them.
The committee also is investigating the most effective strategies for AAHPM to promote the growth and development of a skilled group of investigators in serious illness.
Health Policy and Advocacy Committee Update
Advance Health Policy and Advocacy
Kyle P. Edmonds, MD FAAHPM, Chair
- AAHPM responded to a request by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) for policy recommendations to improve hospice program integrity and improve the Medicare hospice benefit.
- AAHPM joined stakeholder partners in urging Congress to pass legislation providing an annual inflation-based physician payment update based on the full Medicare Economic Index.
- AAHPM responded to a U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions request for input on healthcare workforce shortages. The Academy discussed existing and projected HPM workforce shortages and pointed to policies needed to support specialty training as well as supplement the specialty workforce caring for patients with serious illness—including passing the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S 4260).
- AAHPM submitted written testimony for the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, requesting $20 million in new spending to expand and intensify the strategic coordination of palliative care research efforts.
- AAHPM weighed in on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposals to advance interoperability and improve prior authorization processes within Medicare Advantage.
At the recent Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care, we achieved remarkable fundraising success. Members generously donated $6,907, a 128% increase from last year, to support programs providing vital resources for medical professionals in hospice and palliative care.
This accomplishment reflects the dedication and generosity of our members. We are immensely grateful for their contributions, as the Academy proudly continues to advance the field.