Doctors Who Maintain ABIM Board Certification Are More Likely to Meet Important Quality Metrics Throughout Their Careers

ABIM News Release (06/12/18)

The results of a new study suggest a positive link between physicians who maintain board certification through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and performance on a set of performance measures. For the study, ABIM researchers looked for a connection between participation in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program and performance on Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures. The study involved 1,260 general internists—including 786 who maintained their certification—and identified nearly 86,000 Medicare patients who received primary care from these doctors. Using Medicare claims data, the investigators were able to determine physician performance scores based on the percentage of patients who met certain HEDIS performance standards. Physicians who participated in MOC scored higher for all three diabetes measures, LDL testing for patients with coronary heart disease, and biennial mammography measures. "Our findings suggest that MOC is a marker of care quality even after considering physician training and ability, and MOC status is an even more reliable indicator of clinical competence than other online sources patients might review when selecting a physician," said lead author Bradley M. Gray, PhD, ABIM Senior Health Services researcher. The findings are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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