Hospice Medical Director Certification Board
HMDCB has recently launched their website. Visit www.hmdcb.org for more information.
Over a timeframe of three years, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine explored the interest and need in a certification for Hospice Medical Directors (HMD). This certification would be 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.
Certification for 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 or without knowledge of the regulatory, administrative or leadership responsibilities that are a mandated part of this role. Also, completing a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine does not necessarily prepare a physician for the role of hospice physician or hospice medical director. A certification for HMDs is one way to help address the growing workforce and quality issues for this field.
The concept of a certification for HMDs was considered and validated by thought leaders, outside organizations, hospice administrators and hospice physicians. Learn more about the research and background on this certification.
Similar to other high quality physician certification programs, a non-profit organization separate from the membership organization administers and oversees the certification program available to candidates. This demonstrates autonomy in decision making regarding essential certification activities, a requirement of accreditation of certification programs which the certifying body will want to obtain to demonstrate a commitment to value and quality. Establishing this firewall also reduces liability and eliminates conflicts of interest if educational or preparatory materials for prospecitve candidates are developed by AAHPM. Therefore, in 2012 the AAHPM Board of Directors provided start-up funding and appointed the organizing Board of Directors of the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board.
The Organizing Board of Directors for the HMDCB had their inagural meeting in March 2012 and confirmed the mission statement of the organization: "To relieve suffering and improve quality of life by promoting the excellence and professional competency of hospice medical directors".
Their initial tasks in 2012 included consulting with an attorney to begin the process of incorporation and developing a governance structure. This Board also selected a testing company, Applied Measurement Professionals Inc. (AMP), who in 2013 will guide the development process of the certification program. The goal is to begin certifying hospice medical directors in spring 2014.