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ABIM and Bridges to Excellence® Collaborate to Reduce Data Reporting Burden on Physicians

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Philadelphia, PA, June 2, 2011 – In continuing an effort to ease the quality-reporting burden for board certified physicians, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) will enable board certified physicians to use the ABIM PIM Practice Improvement Module® in Hypertension to attain recognition and rewards through Bridges to Excellence® (BTE).

The Hypertension PIM is the second module that ABIM has linked to a BTE recognition program. In the spring of 2010, ABIM announced a similar partnership with BTE on its Diabetes PIM.

“The collaboration between ABIM and BTE underscores ABIM's commitment to allowing physicians to leverage their active participation in Maintenance of Certification for credit in other important arenas,” said ABIM President and CEO Christine K. Cassel, MD. “As with all of our PIMs, the Diabetes and Hypertension PIMs provide physicians the opportunity to evaluate how they are treating their patients and make improvements where needed.”

ABIM PIMs are Web-based tools that guide physicians through the collection of patient data to identify gaps in care and ultimately implement a quality improvement plan for their practice. Completion of the Hypertension PIM fulfills the self-assessment requirement of ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program.

BTE examines physicians' PIM data and determines if standards for recognition and/or rewards are met. IPRO, one of the nation's largest independent, not-for-profit health care consulting organizations, is the BTE performance assessor for eligible physicians applying for BTE through the Hypertension PIM.

Once physicians earn recognition from BTE, they might be eligible for fee schedule increases or earn a fixed annual bonus payment for each patient who is a member of a participating employer or health plan. They also may be listed on a health plan's preferred network tier and all recognized physicians are listed on the HCI3 website as well as other public sites.

BTE does not have any input into the content of ABIM PIMs and while physicians have the option of submitting the Hypertension PIM to BTE, it is a voluntary process. ABIM does not determine the standards for performance of the BTE recognition or rewards.

To be eligible for BTE recognition, physicians must be licensed as either a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO), provide continuing care for patients with the targeted condition and be able to meet the minimum patient sample requirements for BTE programs. Additional ABIM PIMs may be eligible for BTE recognition and reward in the future. Direct data submission fees do apply for the independent third party assessor (IPRO) and neither BTE nor ABIM receive any revenue. The BTE recognition duration is two years.

BTE is one of the many organizations, including health plans, offering recognition and rewards for diplomates in ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program. In addition, physicians may be eligible for CME credit upon completion of most PIMs.

ABIM Board Certified Doctors Make a Difference
Internists and subspecialists who earn and maintain board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) differentiate themselves every day through their specialized knowledge and commitment to continual learning in service of their patients. Established as an independent nonprofit more than 80 years ago, ABIM continues to be driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world. Visit ABIM's blog to learn more and follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.