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ACM™ Exam Development

ACM™ Exam Development

The content of the ACM™ Accredited Case Manager Examination is defined through a national job analysis study. The study involves surveying practitioners in the field to identify routine tasks considered important to competent practice. Practitioners are selected from a wide variety of work environments, settings and geographical areas. The examination is developed and maintained through a combined effort of qualified subject-matter experts and testing professionals who construct the examination in accordance with the ACM™ Accredited Case Manager Examination content outline.

This practice analysis study was conducted to identify critical tasks performed by case managers. Study results were used to make recommendations to the advisory committee (AC) that will influence examination assembly for the ongoing Accredited Case Manager (ACM™) credentialing program of the American Case Management Association (ACMA). The practice analysis study was conducted in 2015.

Members of the practice analysis committee (the Committee) supervised the study and made the decisions affecting data gathering and results evaluation. These included selection of tasks included in the detailed content outline and determination of test specifications. Committee members represented different settings across Canada and the United States.

This survey-based study was conducted in phases including survey development, distribution, and response analysis. The Committee developed task statements and items to collect background information about respondents. After survey response analyses were completed by AMP, the Committee created exclusion rules by which tasks were rated as performed or not performed and significant or not significant. The Committee also specified item distributions by content domain and cognitive level for a test specifications table. Study results come to the Certification Committee as a set of recommendations when assembling forms of the examination starting in 2016.

An invitation asking recipients to participate in the online survey was distributed by email to 19,963 potential respondents. A volunteer sample of 2,520 chose to provide usable responses in time for the analysis. The approximate response rate among potential respondents was 13.7%.

After respondents responded to the survey, at least 98.8% found that the list of tasks had adequately covered the scope of their job activities. The lowest intraclass correlation value among the domains under which tasks were organized was 0.991. Therefore, the same ratings were highly probable among other potential samples from the population. The lowest coefficient alpha value among the content areas was 0.95, indicating tasks within each content domain had received ratings that were consistent.

The Committee assessed the degree to which the study sample had represented known subgroups (e.g., by region, by years of experience) within the population of case managers. Committee members detected no disproportionate representation. Still, the Committee decided to use a task exclusion method that would give sample subgroups opportunities to exclude tasks in case representation bias was present, but undetected by the Committee.

After examining task-rating results, the Committee established exclusion rules designed to narrow the full list of 91 tasks to a subset of those tasks that were critical to practice. These rules were designed to first identify the tasks that were extensively performed. The average significance of surviving tasks was assessed next with the intent to only retain significant tasks. Applying 5 decision rules excluded 7 tasks and retained 84 tasks across 4 content domains. Committee members assigned cognitive complexity designations by consensus to each critical task according to their perceptions of the mental process by which practitioners behaved competently. The Committee was confident that candidates’ scores should reflect critical job content associated with the demands of the job when an examination comprised of multiple-choice items is developed to the new specifications.

ACM™ Test Validation

Validation of the ACM™ core exam is determined using a modified Angoff Method, which is applied during the performance of a Passing Point Study by a panel of experts in the field. These universally accepted psychometric procedure rely on content experts to estimate the passing probability of each item on the examination. The experts evaluate each question to determine the number of correct answers necessary to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to pass. A candidate’s ability to pass the examination depends on the knowledge and skill displayed, not on the performance of other candidates. Passing scores may vary slightly for each version of the examination. To ensure fairness to all candidates, a process of statistical equating is used. This involves selecting an appropriate mix of individual questions for each version of the examination that meet the content distribution requirements of the examination content outline. Because each question has been pre-tested, a difficulty level can be assigned. The process then considers the difficulty level of each question selected for each version of the examination - attempting to match the difficulty level of each version as closely as possible. To assure fairness, slight variations in difficulty level are addressed by adjusting the passing score, depending on the overall difficulty level statistics for the group of scored questions that appear on a particular version of the examination.

Validation of the Specialty Simulation Examination is set by an examination committee using a criterion-referenced method similar to a modified Angoff Method. The exact passing point may vary from one form of the examination to another, depending on the scored problems included on the examination form attempted. The examination committee follows strict guidelines in selecting the problems for each examination form to ensure the versions of the examination are parallel in difficulty.

Announcements

Close the Medicare Observation Coverage Gap

Thanks to all of you who raised your voice to support the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act and our campaign to close the observation status coverage gap in Medicare. With your help more than 1,000 of your peers have signed the petition! But the work is not done. We need more. If you have signed the petition, we encourage you share this initiative with your colleagues. In addition, you can take further action and connect with your federal representatives. We've made it easy for you!
Take Action    Sign the Petition!  

ACMA ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT OF CMAC

ACMA has acquired and is now managing the Case Management Administrator Certification (CMAC). Originally developed and launched by the Center for Case Management in 2000, the purpose of the CMAC certification is to measure the competence of case management administrators, managers, supervisors and leaders. Read more. >>>

ACMA Announces Transitions of Care Standards

ACMA and 15 collaborating organizations publish National Transitions of Care Standards and a Consensus Measures Crosswalk. ACMA announces the first multi-setting, interprofessional National Transitions of Care Standards endorsed by an Executive Steering Committee composed of representation from payer, provider, and other organizations. To learn more about how your organization can take the Transition of Care Standards self-assessment, click here. >>>

New Online Continuing Education in the CE Center

Have you checked out the CE Center in the members-only section online lately? We have four new continuing education opportunities available for you! New topics include: (1) Data-Driven Performance with Dashboards (2) CMS TWO-Midnight Rule: Developing and Sustaining a Team Approach to Accurate Admission Orders (3) Centralized Utilization Review (4) Reducing Readmissions: A New Approach to Transitional Care Planning. These free CEs are a key benefit of your ACMA membership. Log into the members-only section today to fulfill your CE requirements. Get New CEs >>>

Time is Running Out: Submit Your Proposal by February 12

Do you have a unique solution, intervention or strategy to improve care management? What tips and best practices could you share with case management, care transitions and physician advisor/leaders to implement into their practice? Share your knowledge at the 2019 Leadership and Physician Advisor Conference, November 14–17, at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami, Florida. The deadline is next Tuesday, February 12. Submit Your Proposal >>>

Are You on Board? Compass 2019 has ARRIVED!

Creating a case management team that is consistent and confident with ever-changing regulations and practice standards can be a daunting goal. However, it can be done with annually updated online training. Currently in use at over 1,100 hospitals with more than 31,000 users, Compass courses are updated each year for case managers and physician advisors across multiple care settings. Streamline your onboarding and competency validation around regulations and national standards of practice today. Compass 2019 is now available. Watch a video to learn more and subscribe now. >>>

ACM Workshop: Register by February 6

Enhance your career with the ACM credential! Take advantage of an excellent opportunity to prepare for the exam. Registration for the two-part webinar series closes on Wednesday, February 6. The five-hour course, broken into two, 2 1/2 hour sessions, will begin at 10 a.m. EST/7 a.m. PST on both Saturday, February 9 and February 16. To learn more and/or register, click here. >>>

New Simulation Program for Value-Based Results

ACMA leads the practice by introducing Advanced Care Transitions Simulation (ACTS). This simulation program will transform orientation and professional development for your case management team. ACTS is focused on improving care transitions through assessment, communication, planning and collaboration. It leverages unique, team-based simulations of patient scenarios and enhances care coordination and critical thinking. Enhance case management and impact your system with ACTS. >>>

American Case Management Association
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