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Initial Certification indicates that physicians have met rigorous standards through intensive study, accredited training and evaluation and that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care.

MOC is a professionally determined standard that attests that an internist is staying current in knowledge and practice throughout his/her career.

For more than 75 years, Certification by ABIM has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 20 subspecialties.

Policy Makers

The quality of health care that board certified internists are able to provide is very much influenced by national policy makers, including members of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Executive branch (e.g., CMS), and regulatory organizations such as The Joint Commission.

ABIM is "of the profession, for the public." Our policy team works to advance the quality and professionalism of medical practice by working with a wide array of health care stakeholders and policy leaders to shape the laws and regulations that affect and assess the quality of care that board certified internists are able to provide.

ABIM's policy agenda focuses on enhancing recognition of the value and impact of ABIM Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification as a foundational element of national efforts to drive improvements in health care quality and accountability. Although they have evolved from very different settings and use different techniques and incentive structures, professional, regulatory and marketplace approaches to accountability are complementary, and ideally should be synergistic.

ABIM's policy activities aim to align the various accountability programs, where appropriate, and improve their scientific rigor, in order to realize synergies and improve health care quality for patients while reducing redundant reporting requirements on physicians.

ABIM's Policy Focus

Physician Performance Measurement:

  • Expanding understanding of the evaluation framework;
  • Working with ABMS and other organizations to advance performance measurement; and
  • Advocating for alignment and recognition of MOC and ABIM programs within external quality/accountability efforts (PQRS; Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology; PCMH accreditation).

Patient-Centered, Coordinated Care & Delivery Interventions:

  • Collaboration with other organizations interested in patient experience measurement;
  • Advocating for inclusion of board certification as criterion for new care delivery models, such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes; and
  • Engaging patients in the design of new physician assessment tools.

Transparency & Public Reporting:

  • Advocating that board certification status be included in public reporting initiatives;
  • Working with measurement partners to build more clinically relevant and scientifically valid performance measures; and
  • Tracking the issues surrounding public reporting of physician performance.

ABIM monitors additional issues that have a direct connection to clinical quality:

  • Payment Reform
  • Medical Education and Training

How ABIM Works with Thought Leaders, Policy Makers and Other Stakeholders

ABIM and the ABIM Foundation engage in active discussions with dozens of organizations that help shape the policy agenda, in order to align our quality improvement efforts with theirs. These organizations include: