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    The Phoenix—Winter 2009 Edition

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009  The latest issue of the ABFM's newsletter, The Phoenix, which was recently mailed out to all Diplomates, is now also available online.

     

     

    New Section: Exam Preparation

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009  The ABFM has recently added a new page to its website, Exam Preparation.

    On this page, there are videos explaining how to prepare for the certification/recertification examination. These videos discuss the process of preparation, not about specific content. In addition, there are helpful tutorials and exam study tips for exam candidates.

     

    Cultural Competency MIMM

    Friday, October 2, 2009  The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is now offering a Methods in Medicine Module on Cultural Competency.  The course, offered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through TRAIN (Training Finder Real‐time Affiliate Integrated Network) will qualify for Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians (MC‐FP) Part IV credit.

    The Institute of Medicine and the Commonwealth Fund have identified cultural competency as a core component of health care quality among diverse populations. Cultural competency, however, is just one component of successful health communications between providers and patients.  A number of well‐developed resources exist to assist physicians and other health care providers in improving their health communication/cultural competency skills.

    This module will operate somewhat differently from the Performance in Practice Modules (PPMs) developed by the ABFM. In addition to the standard MC-FP fee, the course requires a one‐time registration with the TRAIN system.  Diplomates will find instructions and a link to the TRAIN website in their Physician Portfolio that will allow them to register. Once registered, the next step is to complete a pre‐course assessment that consists of 26 items; this is required in order to complete the instrument. Next, Diplomates will proceed to the first of five modules, which is entitled Introduction to Health Communication. After completing this module (which generally takes about 30 minutes), or each subsequent module, there is the option to exit the system and return later to complete the remaining modules (Health Literacy, Cultural Competency, and Limited English Proficiency). Following completion of the four instructional modules, Diplomates will engage in a "Capstone Activity," which consists of a patient care scenario.

    Here's a snapshot of what to expect in the modules:

    Module 1: Introduction to Health Communication focuses on a concept known as the Unified Health Communication approach, which includes awareness of patients' level of health literacy, culture, and language skills.

    Module 2: Health Literacy focuses on factors that influence an individual's "capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information."

    Module 3: Cultural Competency deals with the "set of attitudes, skills, behaviors, and policies that enable organizations and staff to work effectively in cross‐cultural situations."

    Module 4: Limited English Proficiency explores how limited English proficiency affects patient communication, obligations under Title VI, and provides guidance to Department of Justice and Health and Human Services requirements for interpreter services.

    Module 5: Capstone Activity presents scenarios in which you will apply the knowledge you've gained in the first four modules.

    HRSA has provided online access to many of the reference materials used in creating the modules. These resources are available for review without registering for the course.

    The reference materials can be accessed via this hyperlink:
    Unified Health Communication Course References.pdf

    The entire MIMM will take about five hours of contact time to complete. 

    For questions regarding this MIMM, MC-FP status, or for help with logging in to the Physician Portfolio, call the ABFM Support Center at 877-223-7437 or email at help@theabfm.org.

     

     

    ABFM and ABIM to Jointly Participate in Recognition of Focused Practice (RFP) in Hospital Medicine Pilot Approved by ABMS

    Friday, October 2, 2009  The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is joining forces with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in establishing a pilot program for Recognition of Focused Practice (RFP) in Hospital Medicine.  This pilot was approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board of Directors on September 23, 2009.

    Recognition of Focused Practice (RFP) in Hospital Medicine will utilize the current maintenance of certification framework and would be the first customized MOC pathway that draws heavily on practice-based learning as its foundation. The pilot would engage hospitalists in uniquely designed Part II, Part III and Part IV tools that will be developed by the ABFM and ABIM.

    The criteria for the proposed RFP pilot program are detailed in the ABIM's New and Emerging Disciplines in Internal Medicine II (NEDIM II) report. The pilot program hopes to begin in the fall of 2010 and will continue for a 3-year period at the outset.

     

     

    The Phoenix—Summer 2009 Edition

    Thursday, September 3, 2009  The latest issue of the ABFM's newsletter, The Phoenix, which was recently mailed out to all Diplomates, is now also available online.

     

    ABFM to Continue as PQRI Registry for 2009

    Friday, June 5, 2009  The PQRI Diabetes Module for 2009 is now available through the ABFM. In 2008, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the ABFM Performance in Practice Registry as one of 32 qualified registries that may submit Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) data to CMS on behalf of its Diplomates. The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) authorized CMS to make PQRI incentive payments for satisfactory reporting of quality measures data in 2008. It also established alternative reporting periods and criteria for the reporting of measure groups and for the reporting of PQRI quality measures through an approved clinical data registry. The PQRI Diabetes Module was designed by the ABFM to facilitate reporting of this data to CMS through our registry while also providing Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians (MC-FP) credit for those Diplomates that desire it.

    Over 400 ABFM Diplomates participated in the first year of this initiative, which began last September, and the ABFM submitted data at the end of 2008 on behalf of the 383 physicians that successfully submitted data to our registry. The ABFM was again approved as a PQRI registry participant for 2009

    This year, physicians who meet the criteria for satisfactory submission of quality measures data for 30 consecutive patients earn an incentive payment of 2.0 percent (up from 1.5 percent in 2008) of their total allowed charges for Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) covered professional services furnished during the reporting period, January 1, 2009—December 31, 2009 (the 2009 calendar year). Unlike last year, physicians will not have the option of a 6-month reporting period. For 2009, the only reporting period will be January 1—December 31, 2009. CMS approved financial incentives earned during 2009 reporting are scheduled to be paid in mid-2010 from the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B) Trust Fund.

    In addition, a new measure, measure number 163, has been added to the Diabetes Mellitus measure group for 2009. All measures are listed below.

    2009 Diabetes Mellitus Measures Group

    Measure Number
    Measure Title
    Measure Source
    1 Diabetes Mellitus: Hemoglobin A1c Poor Control in Diabetes Mellitus NCQA
    2 Diabetes Mellitus: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL-C) Control in Diabetes Mellitus NCQA
    3 Diabetes Mellitus: High Blood Pressure Control in Diabetes Mellitus NCQA
    117 Diabetes Mellitus: Dilated Eye Exam in Diabetic Patient NCQA
    119 Diabetes Mellitus: Urine Screening for Microalbumin or Medical Attention for Nephropathy in Diabetic Patients NCQA
    163* Diabetes Mellitus: Foot Exam NCQA
    * New measures added to this measures group for 2009 are denoted with an asterisk.

     

    The module may be accessed without fee for use in participating in PQRI. However, Diplomates who are participating in MC-FP and elect to complete this module to receive Part IV credit are required to submit the appropriate MC-FP processing fee.

    To begin a Part IV Module for PQRI reporting, click here. For questions regarding PQRI, MC-FP status, or for help with logging in to the Physician Portfolio, call the ABFM Support Center at 877-223-7437 or email at help@theabfm.org.

     

    Website Redesign

    Thursday, April 16, 2009  The American Board of Family Medicine is pleased to present the first phase of its website redesign. The redesign is an important challenge for the ABFM to meet, continuing to ensure that the ABFM offers the best possible service to Diplomates, utilizing the latest growing technologies. With a new look and feel, improved navigation, and increased support options, the ABFM is excited for this initial Phase 1 launch.

    This first phase of the redesign release includes only the public areas of the website. The general aesthetic is improved, with a richer palette and a more contemporary look. Site navigation has been streamlined, keeping the goal of 'less-clicks-per-destination' at the forefront of development. The redesign has been facilitated in large part by ongoing feedback from the stakeholders, and will include online live chat for anyone with questions for the Support Center.

    The second phase of the redesign project will address everything that is 'behind the login,' including the Physician Portfolio, Track Your Progress, and the MC-FP activities such as SAMs, PPMs, and MIMMs. Until Phase 2 is complete, Diplomates will find that all of these areas of the ABFM website will continue to have the same design, navigation, and function as previously. Thus, if a Diplomate visits the 'new' Portal, and then logs in, the Physician Portfolio and Track Your Progress will look the same as before, as will all MC-FP activities, so one need not worry that one has been taken to the wrong site, or that the site is not working properly. Upcoming improvements will include contextual help supplemented by new tech features like Jing videos. Webinars, videos, and possibly podcasts are other new media options under consideration as the redesign project moves forward.

     

    Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians Cycle Deadlines for 2009

    Thursday, January 15, 2009  In 2009, three groups of Diplomates have important Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians (MC-FP) deadlines to meet: Diplomates who certified/recertified in 2003 on the 10-year certification path, Diplomates who certified/recertified in 2003 on the 7-year certification path, and Diplomates who certified/recertified in 2006 and who wish to remain on the 10-year certification path.

    Diplomates who certified or recertified in 2003 and are currently on the 10-year certification path must complete Stage Two by December 31, 2009. A 3-year extension to the certificate will be awarded upon the successful completion of Stage Two. Stage Two requirements include two Part II modules (Self-Assessment Modules-SAMs) and one Part IV module (Performance in Practice Module-PPM, Methods in Medicine Module-MIMM, or approved alternative)

    Diplomates who certified or recertified in 2003 and are currently on the 7-year certification path must complete the MC-FP requirements for that cycle before the application process for the next recertification exam can be completed. The MC-FP requirements for the 7-year cycle include six Part II modules (SAMs) and one Part IV module (PPM, MIMM, or approved alternative).

    As some of the available Part IV options are activities that require a certain minimum period of time (at least three months) to complete, Diplomates who need to complete the Part IV requirement in the calendar year 2009 are strongly encouraged to select and begin a Part IV activity early.

    Diplomates who certified or recertified in 2006 and who wish to remain on the 10-year certification path must complete Stage One by December 31, 2009. A 3-year extension to the certificate will be awarded upon the successful completion of Stage Two. Stage One requirements include the option to complete either three Part II modules (SAMs) or two Part II modules and one Part IV module (PPM, MIMM, or approved alternative).

    Diplomates can check their MC-FP status in Track Your Progress within their Physician Portfolio, by contacting the Support Center at 877-223-7437, or by email at help@theabfm.org.