Health Insurers Work With American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to Reduce Physician Quality Data Reporting Burden

ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program data to be incorporated into

major insurers' quality recognition and pay for performance programs; will

lead to enhanced care for millions of Americans

Jun 28, 2006, 01:00 ET from American Board of Internal Medicine

    PHILADELPHIA, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing the need to reduce
 redundancy in reporting of physician performance data, UnitedHealthcare,
 Aetna and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey will begin
 incorporating ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program data into their
 physician recognition and incentive programs over the next several months.
 This initiative will enable more than 100,000 internists and subspecialists
 nationwide to more easily qualify for recognition and potential pay for
 performance rewards, and will create the potential for improvements in
 health care for millions of Americans.
     To participate, internists must be enrolled in ABIM's Maintenance of
 Certification program and complete a Practice Improvement Module (PIM) - an
 innovative web-based assessment tool that allows physicians to analyze and
 evaluate practice performance so that they can improve the quality of
 patient care. On a voluntary basis, physicians can then authorize ABIM to
 send information about completed PIMs to those health plans they choose for
 use in their quality recognition programs - providing access to incentives
 without the administrative burden traditionally involved with reporting
 quality measures.
     "By recognizing physicians who are participating in Maintenance of
 Certification, and who have gone through the process of evaluating their
 practice performance with an ABIM PIM, health plans are reducing the burden
 of measurement and are recognizing the profession's standards for quality,"
 said Christine K. Cassel, MD, President and CEO of ABIM.
     In March of this year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska became
 the first health plan to work with ABIM to recognize internists who
 participate in Maintenance of Certification and complete PIMs. ABIM
 continues to have active discussions with other health insurers regarding
 possible future efforts to reduce redundancy and enhance quality care.
     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