American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Announces Strategic Linkage With Bridges to Excellence (BtE)
Board Certified Internists Who Chose to Submit ABIM Performance Data To BtE Will Be Eligible to Receive Pay for Performance Rewards
Philadelphia, PA, February 6, 2006 – The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced today that it is developing a broad self-evaluation of internist performance—the Comprehensive Care Practice Improvement Module (PIM)—which Bridges to Excellence (BtE) will recognize in its pay for performance (P4P) programs. This program will allow internists, who participate in ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program, to make the performance data they report as part of that program available to BtE and potentially to others. The strategic linkage between these two leading organizations will reduce the measurement burden internists face, and make it significantly easier for internists to apply for recognition by BtE.
ABIM certifies internists, the largest U.S. medical specialty, through a comprehensive, rigorous evaluation program. BtE is an influential private sector purchaser that rewards providers for high quality care.
Working with an expert advisory committee and relying on analysis of empiric data, ABIM will select the measures and determine if and how performance thresholds can be rigorously and reliably set for the Comprehensive Care PIM . BtE will ultimately determine thresholds for payment. ABIM expects its product to be available in late 2006.
This arrangement builds upon a similar linkage that ABIM has established with NCQA, which focuses specifically on ABIM's Diabetes Practice Improvement Module and NCQA's Diabetes Physician Recognition Program. With both arrangements, physicians decide whether to send their ABIM performance data to others for reward and/or recognition.
"These arrangements reduce costly waste – they permit data to be collected once, but used for multiple purposes– and provide additional incentives beyond board Certification for physicians to get involved in performance assessment," said Christine Cassel, MD, President and CEO of ABIM. "They are an important step toward not only aligning incentives, but reducing the effort required of physicians when they respond to those incentives."
"This brings together professional and market-oriented approaches and is a win–win for patients, purchasers, physicians and the overall health system, "said BtE President Dale Whitney. "This approach also stresses physician review of their own clinical data, which our experience has shown engages doctors and is a strong motivator for improvement."
The Comprehensive Care PIM will draw upon existing ABIM products, including condition-specific tools (Practice Improvement Modules, or PIMs) for self assessment of clinical performance (e.g., asthma, diabetes, heart disease and other prevalent conditions), a practice infrastructure assessment (e.g., care management systems and information management/IT capacity), and a patient survey. This summary assessment of overall internist performance complements ABIM's self-evaluation of knowledge modules and secure exams. Together, these comprise ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of knowledge, diagnostic acumen, clinical judgment, and performance in Internal Medicine and its subspecialties.
ABIM has brought together an outside, technical advisory group to provide input into product design. The advisory group includes: Richard Baron, MD, practicing internist and ABIM Director; Sheldon Greenfield, MD, University of California, Irvine; Sherrie Kaplan, PhD, University of California, Irvine; Sharon-Lise Normand, PhD, Harvard Medical School; Elizabeth McGlynn, PhD, RAND Health; and Kevin Weiss, MD, Northwestern University and Chair of the Performance Measurement Work Group of the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance (AQA). ABIM also plans to apply a selective audit to the submitted data to assure veracity of the information.
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.