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The ASAM Performance Measures for the Addiction Specialist Physician

Posted 1/28/2020 (updated 9/2/2021)

In January 2014, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) released its Standards of Care for the Addiction Specialist Physician  (Standards). These Standards were developed by the Standards and Outcomes of Care Expert Panel of ASAM’s Practice Improvement and  Performance Measurement Action Group (PIPMAG). In 2013, ASAM’s Board of Directors approved the Standards. 

After further PIPMAG Steering Committee review and refinement in 2014, the Standards were posted on the ASAM website and distributed to ASAM April 2014 conference attendees.

The Standards of six practice domains for the addiction specialist physician include:

  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Withdrawal Management
  • Treatment Planning
  • Treatment Management
  • Care Transitions and Care Coordination
  • Continuing Care Management

To assess how and if the Standards were being used in the physician’s practice, an expert panel, the Addiction Specialist Physician Performance  Expert Panel (the Panel) was created. Its goal was to develop performance measures in order to evaluate physician performance against the  Standards. The Panel used a consensus-decision making process for the selection of specific measures for evaluation. Its goals included  developing areas for further research and development.

Additional experts including a steering committee of representatives of key addiction physician specialty societies, as well as academicians,  researchers and clinicians experienced in performance measures and outcome measures development were consulted. A Field Review Panel offered additional feedback as well. (see Page 4 for Steering Committee, and Standards and Performance Expert Panel members).

The PIPMAG Performance Panel has produced this report and submitted it to the ASAM Board of Directors with the goal of the performance measures being adopted by the organizations that address population health as well as the health status of individual patients and the health care services rendered to patients. This would help addiction medicine become more relevant within the broader medical field.