ABMS adopts changes to certification standards

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 13, 2009

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The American Board of Medical Specialties in March announced it approved a uniform set of standards for adopting new elements to maintenance of certification programs.

Four main changes will be made, with different timelines for each. As part of the plan, the 24 ABMS member boards will:

  • Provide documentation by 2011 that physicians are meeting continuing medical education and self-assessment requirements.
  • Require physicians by 2010 to provide evidence of participation in practice assessment and quality improvement every two to five years.
  • Ensure, starting in 2010, that every physician enrolled in MOC completes a patient safety self-assessment program by 2012 and then once again for every following MOC cycle.
  • Test communication skills for all physicians who care directly for patients, using in 2010 a survey approved by the ABMS Committee on Oversight and Monitoring of Maintenance of Certification, then a peer-reviewed survey in 2012.

The changes come amid the start of the ABMS 2008-2011 Enhanced Public Trust Initiative designed to increase health care quality and make physician accountability more transparent.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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