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

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Philadelphia, PA, May 26, 2010 – In an effort to reduce the redundancy of physician quality reporting, data collected for the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) PIM Practice Improvement Module® in Diabetes can now be used to achieve recognition and rewards through Bridges to Excellence® (BTE). ABIM and BTE expect to launch a similar program for the ABIM PIM in Hypertension in the winter.

“This collaboration underscores ABIM's commitment to allowing physicians to get credit for their activities in Maintenance of Certification in other important arenas,” said Christine K. Cassel, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine. “The Diabetes PIM provides an important opportunity for physicians to look at their practice, see how they are doing with their diabetes patients and make improvements. We think it is wonderful that those data can also be used by physicians to achieve recognition through BTE.”

The 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. It fulfills the Practice Performance requirement of ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program.

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

“Our programs are designed to provide incentives that reward physicians and practices for adopting better systems of care that result in physician practice reengineering, the adoption of health information technology and delivering good outcomes to patients,” said Bridges to Excellence Executive Director Francois de Brantes.

There are several benefits for physicians submitting Diabetes PIM data to BTE, including recognition on BTE's consumer portal at HealthGrades and recognition by health plans and employers. Physicians are provided with a scorecard that can help identify additional gaps in care to incorporate in an overall improvement plan. Where applicable, physicians can establish eligibility for pay-for-performance bonuses or differential reimbursement from payers and health plans.

BTE does not have any input into the content of ABIM PIMs and while physicians have the option of submitting the Diabetes PIM to BTE, it is a completely 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 will be 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, most PIMs offer CME credit.

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.

About BTE
Bridges to Excellence (BTE) is a not-for-profit organization developed by employers, physicians, health care services, researchers, and other industry experts with a mission to create significant leaps in the quality of care by recognizing and rewarding physicians and other providers who demonstrate that they have implemented comprehensive solutions in the management of patients and deliver safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care.