CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) today announced that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care initiative will join ABMS' Multi-Specialty Portfolio Approval Program (Portfolio Program). As a result, EvidenceNOW physicians who are Board Certified by one of 20 of the 24 ABMS Member Boards may now receive maintenance of certification (MOC) credit for engagement in this effort.
The goal of AHRQ's EvidenceNOW initiative is to help clinicians in small primary care practices systematically implement the latest evidence to help prevent heart attacks and stroke. Through seven regional cooperatives, EvidenceNOW will provide quality improvement services to up to 300 small primary care practices with over 5,000 primary care professionals serving approximately 8 million people.
"ABMS and its 24 Member Boards are committed to improve and evolve the MOC process so that it continues to be both relevant and meaningful to physicians," said Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, ABMS President and Chief Executive Officer. "QI initiatives like those being implemented by the EvidenceNOW regional cooperatives are an excellent example of how Board Certified physicians can obtain MOC credit for doing the work at hand – and directly impact the quality of care delivered to their patients and in the community."
EvidenceNOW is supported by funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund created by the Affordable Care Act. This program is aligned with the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) "Million Hearts®" national initiative to prevent heart attacks and stroke.
"The EvidenceNOW initiative is an important component of HHS' commitment to improve heart health in this country," said David W. Price, MD, FAAFP, FACEHP, Executive Director of the Portfolio Program. "The Portfolio Program encourages participation and recognizes meaningful physician engagement in this effort with MOC credit. We hope that all Board Certified physicians involved in these practices will take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the EvidenceNOW cooperatives in their region."
"We are pleased to be working with ABMS and its Portfolio Program to provide an extra incentive for physicians to participate in AHRQ's EvidenceNOW project," said David Meyers, MD, AHRQ's Chief Medical Officer. "Providing MOC-eligible credits for improving heart health outcomes for patients is a win/win for everyone."
To date, the Portfolio Program has helped engage more than 6,000 physicians in practice improvement initiatives at hospitals and health systems across the country (many showing improvement in care outcomes) and has recognized their participation with MOC-eligible credit. Since its inception, more than 7,500 QI efforts have been completed by Portfolio Program participants. For more information about participation in the Portfolio Program, visit the program website at http://mocportfolioprogram.org/become-a-portfolio-sponsor/.
Established in 1933, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) continues to be the leading not-for-profit organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. ABMS establishes the standards its 24 Member Boards use to develop and implement educational and professional evaluation, assessment, and certification of physician specialists. More than 840,000 physicians are certified in one or more of the 150 specialties and subspecialties offered by the ABMS Member Boards. For more information about ABMS, visit www.abms.org or call (312) 436-2600.
About the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and its EvidenceNOW Initiative
AHRQ's mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work with HHS and other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used. For more information about AHRQ's EvidenceNOW initiative, including details on each of the cooperatives, visit: http://www.ahrq.gov/evidencenow.html.
SOURCE American Board of Medical Specialties