American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Commends IOM P4P Report, But Encourages a More Expansive Definition of Physician Quality

Sep 21, 2006, 01:00 ET from American Board of Internal Medicine

    PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was issued today
 by the American Board of Internal Medicine:
     The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) recognizes the Institute
 of Medicine (IOM) for its thoughtful, insightful report on accelerating
 improvements in Medicare via pay-for-performance (P4P). We particularly
 commend the call for a phased approach to implementation, acknowledging the
 operational issues that physicians, especially those in small practice
 settings, will face, and for addressing the need to promote shared
 accountability for care coordination through innovative strategies such as
 common reward pools.
     However, we encourage further efforts to align Centers for Medicare &
 Medicaid Services (CMS) and private sector efforts, so that physicians and
 consumers get consistent and reinforcing messages about what is important.
 In this regard, we believe it is important that CMS recognize the value of
 board certification and active maintenance of certification in any
 recognition/reward program, as an increasing number of private payers
 (Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and several Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans)
 recently have done.
     Evidence establishes that board certification is a credential
 associated with improved health care outcomes and one that is highly valued
 by physicians as a marker of professional distinction. For these reasons,
 we encourage CMS to study how it may make board certification part of its
 recognition and reward programs. We also encourage continued dialogue and
 exploration into ways to reward well-coordinated, high-quality efficient
     ABIM is committed to enhancing health care quality, and we look forward
 to continued work with physicians, policy makers, insurers and other
 stakeholders to build a health care delivery system that works effectively
 and efficiently - providing the high quality of medical care that every
 patient deserves.
     About ABIM
     The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is an independent,
 not-for- profit organization that grants board certification -- a
 well-accepted marker of physician quality -- to internists and
 subspecialists. Certification is a rigorous, comprehensive program for
 evaluating physician knowledge, skills and attitudes to assure both
 patients and payers that a physician has achieved competence for practice
 in a given field. Individual physician certification results may be found

SOURCE American Board of Internal Medicine