Optimal care occurs when patients possess the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to effectively manage their health. Promoting such patient activation in kidney disease care is increasingly being prioritized, and patient activation has recently emerged as central to kidney disease legislative policy in the United States. Two options of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Kidney Care Choices model-the Kidney Care First option and the Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting option-now include patient activation as a quality metric; both models specifically name the patient activation measure (PAM) as the patient-reported outcome to use when assessing activation in kidney disease. Because nephrology practices participating in these models will receive capitated payments according to changes in patients’ PAM scores, it is time to more critically evaluate this measure as it applies to patients with kidney disease. In this review, we raise important issues related to the PAM’s applicability to kidney health, review and summarize existing literature that applies this measure to patients with kidney disease, and outline key elements to consider when implementing the PAM into practice and policy. Our aim is to spur further dialogue regarding how to assess and address patient activation in kidney disease to facilitate best practices for supporting patients in the successful management of their kidney health.
Copyright © 2020 by the American Society of Nephrology.