In This Issue

nominatePlanning Committee Seeking Nominations for Vision Commission

The  Planning Committee for the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future initiative  is issuing a call for nominations  for 21 to 25 individuals to serve on the Vision Commission.
Designed to be a collaborative and transparent process, the Commission will bring together multiple stakeholders to assess the current state of continuing Board Certification and en v ision its framework for the future. The initiative's Planning Committee will identify the construct and membership of the Commission, identify key questions for consideration by that Commission, and oversee a national opinion survey. The Commission will in turn gather information, hold hearings, address key questions, and make recommendations for the future continuing Board Certification process. Having established the criteria for Commission membership, the Planning Committee is now issuing an open call for nominations for the Vision Commission.
Physicians, specialty and state medical societies, hospitals and health systems, health care organizations, consumer groups, patient advocacy organizations, members of the public, and ABMS Member Boards are all encouraged to  submit nominations as well as share this open call for nominations with their members and colleagues. Completed submissions must be received by 9:00 pm CST January 8, 2018 for consideration. Commission members will be notified in late January 2018, with a public announcement of members scheduled in February 2018.
The criteria for potential Commission members , submission requirements, and instructions are available on the newly launched Vision Initiative website. This website serves as a central reference point for the Vision Initiative and includes updates, information, and reports from the Planning Committee and Commission. It allows stakeholders to actively engage in the process by including a dedicated section for feedback and input.
Take this opportunity to frame the future continuing certification program by nominating someone to serve on the Vision Commission.

meetingABMS, State Medical Societies, and Specialty Societies Meet to Address Concerns about MOC
In early December, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) met with members of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), the Specialty Society CEO Consortium (S2C2), and state medical societies to discuss the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs of its Member Boards. The meetings focused on the critical issues and concerns that physicians have raised about MOC, what the ABMS Member Boards are doing to resolve these concerns, and how these organizations can work together to create a future continuing Board Certification program that is relevant and valuable to all of our stakeholders, especially to Board Certified physicians and the patients they serve.
State medical and specialty societies voiced their members' concerns about the relevance to practice and the time and cost burden associated with MOC programs. Physician frustration with MOC programs has led to legislative initiatives in many states that would prevent hospitals from requiring physicians to recertify. The state medical society leaders and their members expressed a desire to have ongoing input in the development of the continuing certification programs, a commitment to action and transparency from the Member Boards Community, and improved communication. In addition, they seek more consistency across the Boards' continuing Board Certification programs in order to truly establish best practices that also indicate the programs' impact in improving patient care. All agree on the need to jointly develop solutions for the problems within the House of Medicine, as there are unintended consequences of not doing so, including a decline in the value of Board Certification and the erosion of public trust in the ability of the profession to self-regulate. 
rich2ABMS Names Richard E. Hawkins, MD, New President and CEO

Richard E. Hawkins, MD, has been named as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Dr. Hawkins was selected by the ABMS Board of Directors following an extensive national search. He succeeds current President and Chief Executive Officer Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, whose term will end in December of this year.
Dr. Hawkins brings more than 35 years of professional expertise, ranging from his service in the United States Navy as an officer in the Medical Corps to leadership positions at national medical professional associations. Most recently, Dr. Hawkins was the Vice President of Medical Education Outcomes at the American Medical Association (AMA), providing leadership for its Accelerating Change in Medical Education Initiative. He also provided senior staff leadership to the AMA's Council on Medical Education and Academic Physician Section.
Prior to joining AMA in 2012, Dr. Hawkins was the Senior Vice President of Professional and Scientific Affairs at ABMS. In this role, he led education, assessment, and international initiatives. Previously, Dr. Hawkins was the Deputy Vice President and Vice President of Assessment Programs for the National Board of Medical Examiners, a role he assumed following his various academic appointments in the Naval Medical Corps. Dr. Hawkins is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and is participating in Maintenance of Certification. Read the press release
jasonAn Outsider Looking In
By Jason Johanning, MD, MS, FACS, Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery - Vascular Surgery, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the recent American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Conference 2017 in Chicago as a poster presenter. The poster used the geriatric patient as a focus to address cross-cutting issues relevant to multiple specialties through a joint project involving the American Geriatric Society and ABMS. I do not represent a society or sit on any society boards. I am simply a Board Certified General and Vascular Surgeon who took this unique opportunity to learn about my Board Certifications in a new light, network, and expand my knowledge about what these certifying boards do on a collective basis.
Given the recent issues with Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and turf battles within my own specialties, I approached the meeting with caution. However, to say that I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. The ABMS staff is to be commended for a top notch program that rivals any major meeting I have attended. The venue and support, with a special mention of the phone-based app, were outstanding.
So what did I learn and what did I bring home? First and foremost, the meeting reaffirmed that Board Certification is important. 

"Most significantly, I saw an organization whose focus is on making improvements for the most important person of all - the patient."
registryABMS Member Boards Embrace Patient Registries
They help align MOC with QPP

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Boards are increasingly incorporating the use of patient registries into their continuing certification process
. Not only do registries target high-value, high-priority quality concerns and provide physicians with meaningful, actionable information, incorporating them helps align their Programs for Maintenance of Certification (ABMS MOC®) with federal and state quality incentive programs. 

Also known as clinical data registries, patient registries can offer physicians information that will help them improve the quality and safety of patient care, for example, by comparing the effectiveness of different treatments for the same disease. When the Qualified Clinical Data Registry was introduced in 2014 as a reporting option under the Physician Quality Reporting System, which has since transitioned to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System under the Quality Payment Program, it stimulated investment in registries for data collection and performance measurement. As it became easier to extract data from electronic health records and incorporate measures that matter to patients and physicians, registries quickly evolved to become the cornerstone of clinical quality and improvement activities within the specialties.
While many ABMS Member Boards have been providing physicians the opportunity to earn MOC credit for participating in externally developed patient registries, some Boards are taking registry use one step further by designing performance improvement initiatives supported by registry data.
whyWhy Physician Assessment is Important 

Patients are more knowledgeable about health care than ever before, and place a high premium on the quality of care they receive. Patients expect their physicians to be up to date with the latest advancements and armed with the most current medical knowledge. That is why assessing physician competence is so important, and why it is a priority for the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its 24 Member Boards.

A medical  lice nse, which is required to practice medicine in this country, indicates that a physician has met minimum competency requirements to diagnose and treat patents. ABMS Board Certification, however, is a voluntary process indicating that a physician has  gone above and beyond basic medical training to demonstrate proficiency  in a particular specialty. Board Certified physicians must meet the same requirements for medical licensure plus obtain additional internship and residency training in a specialty that can last from three to seven years, and p ass a written and, in some cases, an oral exam created and given by an ABMS Member Board. T he fact that most physicians in the United States have chosen to become Board Certified and maintain their certification speaks to its importance.   

Come Visit ABMS at Booth #720 
at the ACEHP Annual Meeting 
Jan. 20-23, 2018 in Orlando. 
VSABMS Announces the 2017-18 Class of Visiting Scholars 

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)  Research and Education Foundation (REF) recently selected six individuals to participate in its Visiting Scholars Program for 2017-18. This year, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) has, once again, sponsored a Visiting Scholar whose research will support improvement in orthopaedic practice and performance. In addition, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation has provided a grant that will support two Visiting Scholars' research focusing on ways to improve physician diagnostic accuracy.
From left to right: Drs. Bernard, Bergmark, Chatterjee, Martin, Casey, and Garibaldi.
Launched in 2014, the one-year, part-time program facilitates scholarl y projects relevant to physician certification that support early career physicians and scientists in their pursuit of improving patient care and furthering physician certification. The program also exposes the scholars to the fields of professional assessment and education, health and public policy, and quality improvement, as well as provides leadership development.
Members of the Visiting Scholars Class of 2017-18 are:
  • Regan Bergmark, MD, Gliklich Healthcare Innovation Scholar, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear®
  • Johnathan Bernard, MD, MPH, Attending, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery, National Sports Medicine Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (ABMS/ABOS Visiting Scholar)
  • Martin Casey, MD, MPH, Resident, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital
  • Souvik Chatterjee, MD, Pulmonary Critical Care Fellow, National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • Brian Garibaldi, MD, Associate Program Director, Osler Medical Residency Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Shannon Martin, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago
conferenceABMS Conference 2017 Sets Attendance Record

Nearly 500 health care professionals and leaders from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Boards, hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, specialty societies, and continuing medical education/continuing professional development communities attended ABMS Conference 2017 in September in Chicago; that's 100-plus additional attendees than the previous year. More than 60 sessions - double the number in 2016 - highlighted such topics as continuous learning and physician assessment; initial and continuing Board Certification; practice improvement, patient safety, and related research; and public policy and communications. New in 2017, the conference incorporated ABMS' Forum on Organizational Quality Improvement, covering a range of quality improvement topics. It also included a Poster Session and Exhibitor Reception. Mark your calendar for ABMS Conference 2018, which is scheduled for Sept. 24-26 in Las Vegas.

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