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CMS to Include ABIM's MOC Program for Additional PQRS Bonus in 2012


Philadelphia, PA, July 24, 2012 – The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) today announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will include ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive for 2012, enabling ABIM board certified physicians to earn an additional bonus payment beyond the PQRS incentive for participating in MOC.

PQRS is a federal quality reporting program that enables physicians to earn an incentive payment equal to 0.5% of their total Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) allowed charges for covered professional services. Physicians can earn the quality reporting bonus by satisfactorily submitting information to CMS on a designated set of quality measures. Detailed information on the PQRS program is available on the CMS website.

The PQRS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive is an additional, voluntary program that enables physicians who are certified by a participating member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and who successfully report PQRS quality measures to CMS to earn an additional 0.5% bonus by also participating in their board's MOC program more frequently than is required. In order to receive the additional PQRS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive, ABIM board certified physicians have to be enrolled in MOC and earn MOC practice assessment and medical knowledge points in 2012. Physicians who choose not to participate in the PQRS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive program will not be penalized by either ABIM or CMS.

“The inclusion of ABIM's MOC program in this CMS initiative is evidence of the value that important stakeholders—including the federal government—are beginning to place on professional Maintenance of Certification and the commitment to continuous learning and improvement that it embodies. The PQRS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive provides our diplomates with an exciting opportunity to gain additional benefits from active participation in MOC,” said Dr. Christine K. Cassel, President and CEO of ABIM. “We are deeply gratified that public policies are beginning to explicitly recognize the work that board certified physicians already are doing to improve quality and aligning incentives to support that work.”

To receive the bonus for 2012, ABIM board certified physicians must complete the following by December 31, 2012:

MOC Matters, a Web-based portal created to help physicians enroll in the PQRS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive and report their MOC activity, will be available to ABIM board certified physicians later this summer. Developed in collaboration between ABIM and ABMS, the portal features tools that allow physicians to participate in PQRS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive as well as complete the PQRS requirements.

For media inquiries, contact Lorie Slass at 215-399-4005.

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.