by Michael Johns
, Project Manager | July 03, 2006
as reported on helathcareitnews.com June 30, 2006 , By Emily Bowen, Associate Editor
More than 100,000 physicians can now go online to meet re-certification requirements and receive performance rewards from their health insurance plans.
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) this week announced that physician members have the option of submitting practice improvement assessments to their chosen health plan's pay-for-performance program.
"This reduces the burden of measurement because the physicians were sending the same data to their health plans," said Christine K. Cassel, MD, president and CEO of ABIM.
Forty percent of the nation's physicians are required to maintain their board certification status partly by filling out online Practice Improvement Modules (PIM) with the ABIM. The physicians log on to the ABIM website and submit specific assessments of their practice, which focuses on the treatment of diabetes or HIV and patient experience of care.
A physician can request that the results, the completed status of the ABIM assessment, be sent to health plans. Many health insurance pay for performance program rewards physician groups who meet the company's standards of clinical, member satisfaction and information technology. Now, many of these health insurance groups will match ABIM's standards.
In March 2006, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska became the first plan to use to work with the ABIM. This fall, Aetna will begin accepting diabetes PIMs from their members. Other participants include UnitedHealthcare and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. According to the ABIM, more than 100,000 internists qualify for the pay-for-performance award programs.
Don Liss, an internist and a regional medical director for Aetna in the Delaware Valley region, said the program will help physicians avoid redundancies and maintain their board certification.
"With this, it's not Aetna telling me about my clinical process. It's an ABIM program. That is more credible from a professional perspective," he said.
For more information about re-certification, go the the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) website. http://www.abim.org/