CHEVY CHASE, Md., March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) announces the release of its report on "Performance Measures for the Addiction Specialist Physician" that establishes much needed benchmarks for addiction related care. Drafted by a diverse panel of researchers, academicians and performance measure experts, the document describes nine measures that address key areas of concern in health care delivery which, when implemented, will have the potential to improve patient and health care outcomes.
The release of this report is part of a multi-year initiative by ASAM to help standardize processes for evaluation and management of addiction by physicians and to raise the quality of addiction practice across the nation. "While there are many measures across different areas of health care," said Dr. Michael Miller, chair of the multi-specialty work group that oversaw the performance measure development, "there are very few that specifically address care provided by the addiction specialist physician."
And with nearly 1 in 10 Americans suffering from addiction and the related consequences of the disease, there is increased need to access quality addiction care services. According to Dr. Stuart Gitlow, ASAM President, "One driver behind the need for standards of care and performance measures for addiction specialist physicians is the epidemic of prescription drug use and addiction involving heroin and prescription pain killers and the need for specialty consultation."
The release of the nine performance measures is the next step in a path towards helping standardize and improve addiction practices. ASAM has begun work on a research and development project to test and further specify three of the measures described in the report in order to help bolster their application. Measures for physicians are often linked to financial incentive programs and reimbursement for clinical performance.
"ASAM will continue to work toward assuring that the measures are broadly accepted and adopted in the treatment of patients with addiction," comments Dr. Corey Waller, chair of the Performance Measures Expert Panel. "This will encourage physicians to make significant improvements in the quality of patient care for the addiction field as well as in the health care system as a whole."
The development of the Standards of Care and Performance Measures for Addiction Specialist Physicians by ASAM's Practice Improvement and Performance Measurement Action Group was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Dependence.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine is a national medical specialty society of over 3,200 physicians and associated professionals. Its mission is to increase access to and improve the quality of addiction treatment, to educate physicians, and other health care providers and the public, to support research and prevention, to promote the appropriate role of the physician in the care of patients with addictive disorders, and to establish Addiction Medicine as a specialty recognized by professional organizations, governments, physicians, purchasers and consumers of health care services and the general public. ASAM was founded in 1954, and has had a seat in the American Medical Association House of Delegates since 1988. Follow ASAM on Twitter @ASAMorg.
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SOURCE American Society of Addiction Medicine