AAHPM Seeks Implementation of Palliative Care Quality Measures

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) has released an implementation guide for two patient-reported palliative care quality measures.

The two new measures fall under the category of “patient-reported outcome performance measures” (PRO-PMs) that assess quality using two main indicators: patient-provider communication and pain management. The National Quality Forum endorsed the measures earlier this month, pending a 30-day appeals period.

“Providing high quality and patient-centered care is one of the core values of the academy,” said Dr. Joe Rotella, chief medical officer of AAHPM. “Improving the quality of health care delivery to patients with serious illness and their caregivers is a priority of the academy, and we are so excited for the opportunities that will exist due to these new measures.”


AAHPM developed the measures in collaboration with the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (NCHPC), and the RAND Corporation, a research organization that focuses on public policy. A range of other stakeholders provided additional input.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) supported the three-year Palliative Care Measures Project through a $5.5 million grant.

While CMS does not require reporting on these measures, they can help providers gauge whether their services are meeting patient and family needs and help identify resources they may be lacking.


In a 2021 AAHPM survey, more than 83% of 200 health care professionals indicated that they were “very or somewhat likely” to use the communication measure. About 72% said they would use the pain management measure.

“We are most proud that the new measures incorporated patient, caregiver and family input, along with clinical and other stakeholder feedback, during the entire measure development process,” said NCHPC’s Executive Director Amy Melnick.

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