Four National Health Care Organizations to Use American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Board Certification Tools in Their Physician Recognition Programs

The majority of insured Americans now receive coverage from health

insurance plans that recognize or reward physicians for measuring quality

of care through board certification

Aug 07, 2007, 01:00 ET from American Board of Internal Medicine

    PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Board of
 Internal Medicine (ABIM) today announced that four national health care
 organizations are using its Maintenance of Certification program tools to
 recognize and/or reward quality care. Putting performance assessment and
 continuous quality improvement front and center in their programs, these
 organizations -- the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, CIGNA
 HealthCare, Humana and Wellpoint, Inc. -- will incorporate ABIM's
 Maintenance of Certification tools into their quality recognition programs.
 Since March 2006, 12 insurers across the country have demonstrated this
 commitment to physician quality improvement, which ultimately could lead to
 enhanced care for the more than 135 million Americans they collectively
     Internists enrolled in ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program who
 regularly complete a PIM (Practice Improvement Module) can participate in
 the programs offered by contracted health plans with which they
 participate. ABIM's PIM is a Web-based quality improvement tool that allows
 physicians to analyze and evaluate their performance in practice in order
 to improve the quality of patient care they provide. Physicians can
 voluntarily authorize ABIM to send verification of their completed PIMs to
 participating health plans with which they contract, thereby avoiding the
 administrative burden traditionally associated with satisfying multiple
 requests for data collection and reporting.
     Physicians participating in programs offered by these four national
 organizations will receive special recognition in the plans' and
 Association's provider directories, demonstrating to patients and other
 stakeholders that they are committed to quality care. Specifics vary by
 organization; more information about each program can be found at
     "Increasingly, private payers committed to improving health care
 quality are recognizing the value of Maintenance of Certification and
 measurement of practice performance," said Carolyn Clancy, MD, Director of
 the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Co-chair of the AQA
 Alliance. "Physician engagement and professional leadership are critical to
 quality improvement, and I commend the work that ABIM and the participating
 health care organizations are doing to enhance the quality of health care
 across the country."
     "These organizations understand that ABIM's PIMs offer an effective way
 to engage physicians in quality improvement," said Christine Cassel, MD,
 President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine. "And by
 recognizing physicians who are participating in Maintenance of
 Certification and who have completed a PIM, we together reduce duplicative
 physician data collection and reporting."
     ABIM is also working with Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Health Alliance
 Plan, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Nebraska, New Jersey,
 Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and Tennessee, to recognize and reward quality
     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 at

SOURCE American Board of Internal Medicine