American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Commends IOM P4P Report, But Encourages a More Expansive Definition of Physician Quality
Philadelphia, PA, September 20, 2006 – 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 care.
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.
For more than 75 years, certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 19 subspecialties and has meant that internists have demonstrated – to their peers and to the public – that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care. ABIM is not a membership society, but a non-profit, independent evaluation organization. Our accountability is both to the profession of medicine and to the public. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties. For additional updates, follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter.