BCBS promotes board certification

January 1, 2010

BCBSA will cross promote with the American Board of Medical Specialties

CHICAGO-The initial focus of a new collaboration between the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn. (BCBSA), announced last month, will be on promoting the value of physician board certification and the process of maintenance of certification.

According to Kevin B. Weiss, MD, president and CEO of ABMS, board certification is not just about giving patients a way to identify doctors who meet certain standards.

"It is also about helping move the health system to a higher quality of care," Dr. Weiss says. "ABMS Maintenance of Certification, by building on board certification, provides an opportunity to take physician standards and accountability to the next level."

While BCBSA will initiate efforts to increase public knowledge and understanding of board certification, ABMS will seek opportunities to communicate how the certification differs from state licensing requirements and to make the process more transparent.

"The collaboration between ABMS and BCBSA will play an important role in communicating to plan purchasers and patients about the efforts of ABMS and its member boards to improve healthcare quality and safety. These synergies also will almost certainly help streamline accountability systems."

GROUPS' SHARED GOALS

BCBSA and American Board of Medical Specialties share common goals of improving healthcare quality and patient safety, according to Allan Korn, MD, chief medical officer, BCBSA.

"ABMS sets the highest standards of practice today within the physician community, and BCBSA will explore ways to communicate the value of ABMS Member Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) to all stakeholders in the healthcare system as well as educate health plan members," Dr. Korn says. "This also enables ABMS to collaborate with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationwide."

Over time, the collaboration will include additional efforts to ensure patient safety.