The Practice Improvement and Performance Measurement Action Group (PIPMAG) has published Standards of Care for the Addiction Specialist Physician. A dissemination plan is currently being developed which includes working with Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to inform important stakeholders about these newly released standards.
Dr. Margaret Jarvis, ASAM Secretary and Chair of the PIPMAG Expert Panel which developed the standards document, will be presenting the standards to SAMHSA’s liaison group on February 20th. This group, encompassing representatives of all the addiction field organizations as well as multiple federal agencies, meets monthly to share information on issues and projects of mutual interest.
PIPMAG is an ASAM activity with participating Steering Committee representatives from other professional societies and addiction-related federal agencies, in addition to individuals with significant experience in medical quality activities, performance standards development, and performance measurement.
ASAM Past President Michael M. Miller, MD, FASAM, serves as the Steering Committee’s chair, and the PIPMAG Expert Panel regarding performance measures for addiction specialist physicians has already begun its work reviewing existing physician performance measures and drafting its own report. After the standards document was presented to the ASAM Board and approved last October, ASAM received feedback leading the Steering Committee to expand the document further and clarify some of its language.
The issue of whether these standards should apply only to specialists and not to generalist physicians was discussed at multiple points in the PIPMAG process. The latest revisions, presented to the ASAM Board this January included revised language in the introduction to the standards, which now clearly states that the standards apply to any physician assuming the responsibility for caring for patients with addiction and acting in this capacity even if such a physician does not hold addiction specialty certification.
According to Dr. Miller, “It was very important for us to revise the document to make clear that these standards apply to all physicians caring for patients with addiction and not just to specialty physicians. All physicians should face similar accountabilities in order to assure that patients are receiving the highest quality of care.”
Dr. Miller also added that “In all areas of medicine, specially trained and certified specialists develop the standards of best practice for patient care in a specialized area, but primary care and other physicians must practice in accordance with these established standards. It should be no different when the condition is addiction or a substance-related disorder.”
As work started with the Performance Measures Expert Panel within PIPMAG, it was evident that more clarity was needed regarding pharmacotherapies and psychosocial treatments for addiction. As a result, the recent revisions include more specific language to the treatment planning and treatment management standards.
Final reports of PIPMAG will be released in October 2014, including Performance Measures currently being developed by the PIPMAG Expert Panel. During a component session at ASAM’s Annual Medical-Scientific Conference this coming April titled “Quality Improvement: Improving Patient Care with Standards, Performance Measures and Guidelines,” Drs. Michael Miller, Margaret Jarvis and Corey Waller, Chair of the Expert Panel on Measures, will discuss the standards and the development of performance measures. PIPMAG is part of a broader initiative at ASAM to improve the quality of care for patients with addiction.
Learn more about PIPMAG and the newly releasing standards by watching the below video.