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Jun122018

Associations Between American Board of Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification Status and Performance on a Set of Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set Process Measures

Gray B, Vandergrift J, Landon B, Reschovsky J, Lipner R. Ann Intern Med. 2018. June 11, 2018. [Epub ahead of print] [CrossRef]

The value of the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program has been questioned as a marker of physician quality. The authors evaluated whether MOC status is associated with performance of 1260 general internists who were initially certified in 1991 and provided care for 85,931 Medicare patients between 2009 and 2012. Among the 1260 physicians, 786 maintained their certification from 1991 to 2012 and 474 did not. The mean annual percentage of HEDIS-eligible diabetic patients who completed semiannual hemoglobin A1c testing and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol measurement, measures for LDL cholesterol testing in patients with coronary heart disease and biennial mammography were higher in patients of physicians who maintained certification. Only in biennial eye examinations was there no significant difference between physicians who maintained certification and those who did not. The authors conclude that maintaining certification was positively associated with physician performance scores on a set of process measures. 

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