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    The Phoenix—Winter 2010 Edition

    Monday, December 13, 2010  The latest issue of the ABFM's newsletter, The Phoenix—Winter 2010, which was recently mailed out to all Diplomates, is now also available online.

     

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    ABFM Launches New Exam Prep IPhone App

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010   The ABFM is pleased to announce the launch of its new iPhone app, the ABFM Exam Prep app. This mobile application provides family physicians with useful information to assist with preparation for the ABFM Maintenance of Certification Exam. This module turns your iPhone into an invaluable tool for keeping you in touch with what you need to know as you enter your certification or recertification year. Free Download: ABFM Exam Prep

    Features include:

    Exam Prep documents and videos—including the detailed ABFM Guide for Exam Preparation document

    Upcoming Exam Dates—a quick view of future dates

    Links to the ABFM website and the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine website

    Practice Quiz—Over 200 questions addressing problems commonly encountered by family physicians. Each practice quiz presents 10 questions followed by a clear rationale for the correct answer including the associated reference.

    While not a substitute for a well-designed and executed study plan, the ABFM App is an additional tool to help prepare for the Maintenance of Certification Exam. This module is designed for family physicians, but the questions may be useful for medical students and other health care providers as well.

     

    Former ABFM Board Chair Larry A. Green, M.D., Receives the 2010 Thomas W. Johnson Award

    Monday, October 4, 2010  Larry A. Green, M.D., professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado – Denver, was awarded the 2010 Thomas W. Johnson Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians at its annual meeting in Denver. The award was one of seven presented for exceptional achievement in the field of family medicine at the AAFP’s Scientific Assembly, one of the largest gatherings of primary care physicians in the country.

    The Thomas W. Johnson Award is the highest honor presented by the AAFP for outstanding contributions to family medicine education at the undergraduate, graduate and continuing education levels. It is intended to recognize a career of national prominence, reflecting leadership and long-term dedication to family medicine education.

    Over the course of his 35-year family medicine career as an educator, author, clinician and professional leader, Green has made significant contributions in family medicine and to the improvement of public health through health care education.

    Green was the Woodward-Chisholm Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado for 14 years and continues to serve on the faculty there. He currently holds the Epperson Zorn Chair for Innovation in Family Medicine, an endowed chair created to honor his innovative accomplishments and to support his continued role in health care education.

    Green is the founding director of The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, which opened in 1999 in Washington, D.C., with the mission of bringing a family medicine perspective to health policy deliberations in the nation’s capitol. The Center was organized around three initial themes: the functional domain (scope of practice), primary care infrastructures, and universal health coverage. Within just two months of its inception, the Center began fulfilling its commitment to train a new generation of physician-researchers by launching an internship program. The first research products were published in HealthCare Papers in December of that same year. In its first six years, the Center produced 80 peer-reviewed publications, two book chapters, five monographs and 29 one-pagers.

    Green was one of the architects of the Future of Family Medicine project initiated in 2002 by the leadership of seven national family medicine organizations. Recognizing fundamental flaws in the fragmented U.S. health care system and the potential of an integrative, generalist approach, the FFM project developed a strategy to transform and renew the specialty of family medicine to meet the needs of people and society in a changing environment.

    The FFM team outlined a model of care based on the concept of a patient-centered medical home. Based on this model, Green was instrumental in helping the AAFP establish TransforMED in 2005, with the mission to provide ongoing consultation and support to physicians looking to adopt the PCMH model. He helped launch a "proof-of-concept" National Demonstration Project to test the TransforMED model of care in 36 diverse family medicine practices across the country. He then led the effort to create the P4 initiative which aims to inspire and evaluate innovation in family medicine residency education. A collaborative project with TransforMED, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors and the American Board of Family Medicine, P4 will identify best practices in the training of future family physicians.

    "Dr. Green has long been a recognized leader in family medicine as a practicing family doctor, as a leader and teacher in the academic arena, as a researcher, and as an innovative thought leader in our discipline,” said Douglas E. Henley, M.D., FAAFP, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the AAFP. “The Robert Graham Center thrived under Dr. Green’s leadership and continues to be known for its excellent research in primary care. His long and valuable commitment to the specialty of family medicine makes him extremely well qualified to receive this prestigious award."

    Credit: American Academy of Family Physicians
    Full Article

     

    Come Visit the ABFM at the 2010 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Scientific Assembly

    Thursday, September 23, 2010  The ABFM will be in attendance at the 2010 AAFP Scientific Assembly held this year in Denver, Colorado, from September 29 through October 2. As in past years, the ABFM will again maintain a booth in the exhibition area and be available to all Diplomates to answer questions, check MC-FP status, and help in any way with current Diplomate concerns.

    In addition, the AAFP, in conjunction with the ABFM, offers SAM Working Groups during the Assembly. Diplomates who register for these have the opportunity to complete the Knowledge Assessment portion of the SAM in a group setting. After the group answers are submitted, the ABFM is then available to aid Diplomates in completing the Clinical Simulation portion in an onsite computer lab setting. The four topics offered at this year’s assembly are: Diabetes, Hypertension, Cerebral Vascular Disease, and Coronary Artery Disease.

    We at the ABFM encourage everyone attending this year’s Scientific Assembly to come visit us and look forward to seeing you there!

     

    The Phoenix—Summer 2010 Edition

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010  The latest issue of the ABFM's newsletter, The Phoenix—Summer 2010, which was recently mailed out to all Diplomates, is now also available online.

    Newsletter Download Options

    To download these PDF files: clicking on the link will open the PDF (Adobe Reader required) and then you may select Save As from your File menu to save the Newsletter to your computer. Windows users may also choose to right-click on the links and select Save Target As to download the files. 

     

     

     

    Get AcrobatClick Here to download the Acrobat reader from the Adobe site.

     

    New 2011 Medicare Payment Rule Implements Key Provisions of Reform Law

    Thursday, July 15, 2010  With the recent release of the proposed regulation detailing Medicare physician payment policies for 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is beginning to implement many of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provisions—now being referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—that will have a significant impact on physician practices. For example, the proposed rule outlines CMS’s review of the geographic adjustment factors and proposes a number of improvements in the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). The rule is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on July 13, and is open for comment until Aug. 24.

    PQRI
    The proposed rule implements ACA provisions advocated by the AMA to ensure timely feedback and establishes an informal appeals process. Per the ACA, the PQRI bonus payments will apply from 2011 through 2014 for physicians that satisfactorily report PQRI measures. For 2011, the bonus for successful reporting is one percent. An additional bonus payment of 0.5 percent per year is available for those who participate in a maintenance of certification (MOC) program required for board certification by a recognized physician specialty organization for at least one year, and complete an MOC practice assessment.

    PQRI penalties will begin in 2015 for those who do not satisfactorily submit quality data. The AMA—being consistent with its policy—will continue to aggressively work with Congress to delay penalties until the PQRI has been refined to be more efficient and physician friendly.

     PQRI bonus and penalty schedule
    20111.0 percent if no MOC, 1.5 percent if MOC
    20120.5 percent if no MOC, 1.0 percent if MOC
    20130.5 percent if no MOC, 1.0 percent if MOC
    20140.5 percent if no MOC, 1.0 percent if MOC
    2015-1.5 percent
    2016-2.0 percent

    As also required by the ACA, CMS will develop a “physician compare” Web site by Jan. 1, 2011, where the names of physicians and groups that successfully participate in the PQRI will be posted. The AMA supports CMS’s proposal not to publicly report any individual or group performance information for the 2011 PQRI, although such reporting is required by law in future years.

    In addition to implementing these ACA provisions, the proposed rule responds to AMA advocacy with several other important PQRI improvements. The rule:

    • Lowers the threshold for claims-based reporting of individual measures from 80 percent to 50 percent, so more physicians will be able to successfully report and qualify for incentive payments.
    • Implements new 2011 PQRI care coordination measures developed by the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI).
    • Allows groups with less than 200 physicians, including those with as few as two, to participate in the group practice reporting option.
    • Ensures that the 2011 PQRI offers additional measures for electronic prescribing so that additional physician specialties can participate using this reporting modality

    For more information, see full article here.
    Source: American Medical Association.

     

    Qualified Electronic Health Record (EHR) Vendors for the 2010 PQRI and Electronic Prescribing Incentive Programs

    Thursday, July 8, 2010  The ABFM is proud to be an approved PQRI registry. For physicians seeking EHR vendors who provide other options for the submission of PQRI data, we offer the list provided by CMS in the linked .pdf file.

    CMS is pleased to announce the EHR vendors and their programs (including specific version or release) that have been “qualified” to submit quality data to CMS by eligible professionals for 2010 PQRI reporting (see .pdf below). Each of these EHR vendors has gone through a thorough vetting process for the product and version listed including checking their capability to provide the required PQRI data elements for 10 PQRI measures. These 10 PQRI measures may be found on the CMS website, click on the “Alternative Reporting Mechanisms” section page. Some EHRs are also capable of reporting the electronic prescribing measure to CMS as listed in the table below. In addition to capturing the required data elements for the measure calculation, these “qualified” EHR products can also transmit the required information in the requested file format. While the listed EHR vendors and their EHR product have successfully completed the vetting process, CMS cannot guarantee that any other product or version of software from the listed vendors will be compatible for EHR based submission for PQRI.

    Eligible professionals who wish to participate in 2010 PQRI using the EHR-based reporting option may contact the EHR vendor’s listed in the .pdf below for additional details about their software and about PQRI participation.

    QualifiedEHRVendors.pdf [27 KB]

    * Note: The EHRs listed in the .pdf may not be used for the 2010 PQRI GPRO option. They may be used (as noted) for the GPRO option of electronic prescribing incentive program for those practices participating in PQRI GPRO who also elect to report the electronic prescribing measure as a group.

     

    American Board of Family Medicine Elects New Officers and Board Members

    Thursday, June 3, 2010  The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is pleased to announce the election of four new officers and three new board members. The new officers elected at the ABFM’s spring board meeting in April are: Craig W. Czarsty, MD of Oakville, Connecticut, elected as Chair; Warren P. Newton, MD of Chapel Hill, North Carolina as Chair Elect; John R. Bucholtz, DO of Columbus, Georgia as Treasurer; and Arlene Brown, MD of Ruidoso, New Mexico as Member-at-Large, Executive Committee. In addition, the ABFM welcomes this year’s new members to the Board of Directors: Alan K. David, MD of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Carlos R. Jaén, MD of San Antonio, Texas; and Kailie R. Shaw, MD of Tampa, Florida.

    The new ABFM officers will each serve a one-year term:

    Craig W. Czarsty, MD, Chair, has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2006. He has been practicing family medicine full time in Connecticut since 1983 and has been very involved at the national level in both the production and accreditation of continuing medical education. He serves on the medical staffs of both Waterbury and St. Mary’s Hospitals. Dr. Czarsty has served as Watertown’s school system’s medical director for the last 25 years and as the department surgeon for both Watertown’s Police Department and Fire Department for the last 27 years. He is also the Medical Director for the Watertown Convalarium. As Chair of the ABFM Board, Dr. Czarsty will serve as an ex-officio member of all ABFM Committees and as a representative to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

    Warren Newton, MD, Chair-Elect, has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2007. Dr. Newton is the Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and William B. Aycock Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has held local, state and national leadership positions within family medicine and has been involved in the development of the North Carolina Governor's Quality Initiative. Dr. Newton will serve the ABFM on the Executive Committee, the Information & Technology Committee, the Examination Committee, the Audit/Finance Committee, the Research & Development Committee as its Chair, the Communications/Publications Committee, the MC-FP Committee, and as a representative to the American Board of Medical Specialties.

    John R. Bucholtz, DO, Treasurer, has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2006. He is the Program Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program and Director of Medical Education at the Medical Center in Columbus, Georgia. Dr. Bucholtz will serve the ABFM on the the Executive Committee, Bylaws Committee as its Chair, the Information & Technology Committee, the Examination Committee, the Audit/Finance Committee, the Research & Development Committee, and the Communications/Publications Committee.

    Arlene M. Brown, MD, Member-at-Large, Executive Committee, has been a member of the Board since 2007. She is a practicing family physician with over twenty years' experience caring for her patients and her community. She has taught medical students, residents and mid-level students and has been involved in quality improvement initiatives. She is a recipient of the New Mexico Family Doctor of the Year Award. Dr. Brown will serve the ABFM on the Executive Committee, the Bylaws Committee, the Credentials Committee as its Chair, the Examination Committee, the Audit/Finance Committee, the Communications/Publications Committee, and the MC-FP Committee.

    The following new Board members will each serve a five-year term:

    Alan K. David, MD is the Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He previously served as the family medicine department chair at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Kentucky. Dr. David currently serves as the Chair of the Residency Education Committee for the Association of Departments of Family Medicine. He has also served as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. David will serve the ABFM on the Examination Committee and the MC-FP Committee.

    Carlos Roberto Jaén, MD is the Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio. He is also an adjunct professor at the UTHSC School of Public Health at Houston and is co-director of the Center for Research in Family Medicine and Primary Care. Dr. Jaén will serve the ABFM on the Information & Technology Committee and the Research & Development Committee.

    Kailie R. Shaw, MD is an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the University of South Florida, where she also served as the Vice-Chairperson for 15 years. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. In addition, she serves on the Finance Planning Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Shaw will serve the ABFM on the Credentials Committee and the Communications/Publications Committee.

    The remaining current members of the Board are: Diane K. Beebe, MD of Jackson, Mississippi; Howard Blanchette, MD of Valhalla, New York; Erika Bliss, MD of Seattle, WA; Thomas H. Cogbill, MD of LaCrosse, Wisconsin; Susan C. Day, MD of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Thomas P. Gessner, MD of Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Larry A. Green, MD of Denver, Colorado; Samuel Jones, MD of Fairfax, VA; Michael G. Workings, MD of Detroit, Michigan.

     

    2010 PQRI Registry Now Available

    Thursday, May 20, 2010  The PQRI Diabetes Module for 2010 is now available through the ABFM website. In 2008, the Centers 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 and 2009. 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 wish to take advantage of this added benefit.

    Over 700 ABFM Diplomates participated in PQRI Diabetes Module in 2009, and the ABFM is approved as a PQRI registry participant for 2010.

    This year, physicians who meet the criteria for satisfactory submission of quality measures data for 30 unique, separate and distinct patients earn an incentive payment of 2.0 percent of their total allowed charges for Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) covered professional services furnished during the reporting period, January 1, 2010—December 31, 2010 (the 2010 calendar year). CMS approved financial incentives earned during 2010 reporting are scheduled to be paid in mid-2011 from the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B) Trust Fund.

    All measures of the Diabetes Mellitus measure group for 2010 are listed below.

    2010 Diabetes Mellitus Measures Group

    Measure NumberMeasure TitleMeasure 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

    The PQRI Diabetes Module may be accessed without fee; 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 the PQRI, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document. For additional information, please contact the ABFM Support Center at 877-223-7437 or via email at help@theabfm.org.

     

    American Board of Family Medicine Joins the National Institutes of Health in Advancing Asthma Control and Care

    Friday, March 19, 2010  The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) today joined an esteemed group of leading, non-profit, scientific, professional, academic, and consumer/patient advocacy organizations in helping Americans with asthma breathe easier through a national asthma initiative coordinated by the National Institute of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

    The ABFM received a $99,750.00, two-year contract through the NHLBI's National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI) Strategic Partnership Engagement Program. Michael D. Hagen, MD, Senior Vice-President of the ABFM, and Kurt Elward, MD, Assistant Professor of Research in Family Medicine at the University of Virginia, will serve as co-principal investigators.

    Drs. Hagen and Elward will collaborate with the University of Kentucky to emphasize the key messages of the 2007 NHLBI asthma guideline within the ABFM's asthma Self-Assessment Module (SAM). In addition, Drs. Hagen and Elward will examine the use of "group" SAMs as a vehicle for disseminating these key messages.

    "Our goal is to help people who have asthma lead longer, healthier, and fuller lives, thereby reducing asthma's toll on those who have it," said the NHLBI's Coordinator of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, Diana Schmidt, M.P.H., NAEPP. "Strategic partners play a critical role in realizing this goal."

    The NACI Strategic Partnership Engagement Program is one of three core NACI national efforts to enlist dedicated stakeholders at national, regional, state, and local levels to improve asthma care, control and outcomes. The other two are the NACI National Champions Program, and the NACI National Demonstration Project Program. The mission of all three is to help stakeholders implement the selected six, evidence-based recommendations from the Expert Panel Report 3-Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3), and the priority message for each as presented in the EPR-3 companion document, the Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP) Report. Those messages are to assess asthma severity; assess asthma control; schedule follow-up visits; use inhaled corticosteroids; use asthma action plans; and control environmental exposures.

    The reports, their recommendations, and the NACI itself originate in the NHLBI's long-standing National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, which in December 2008 launched the NACI to expand guidelines implementation across a broad array of settings (i.e., clinical practices, schools, childcare settings, worksites, and communities,) through wide-range engagement of multiple stakeholders.

    The NACI will evaluate the impact of the six messages through its partnerships projects, which focus on promoting quality improvement with clinical decision support tools and expert feedback; integrating asthma clinical practice guidelines into medical school curricula, accredited continuing education courses, and physician maintenance of certification requirements; expanding Web-based and in-person education and training programs for school personnel and health care professionals; and more.

    The contracts total nearly $900,000 and will be administered by Washington DC-based AED, a contractor for the NACI. Following are the other NACI strategic partners:

     

    • Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (Fairfax, VA)
    • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (Milwaukee, WI)
    • American School Health Association (Kent, OH)
    • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (Cherry Hill, NJ)
    • National Asthma Campaign Foundation (Parsippany, NJ)
    • National Environmental Education Foundation (Washington, DC)
    • University of Michigan Center for Managing Chronic Disease (Ann Arbor, MI)
    • University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

     

    The NACI continues to seek strategic partners, and most recently added the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to those ranks.

     

    Cerebrovascular Disease SAM Now Available

    Friday, March 5, 2010  The ABFM is pleased to announce the launch of a new Self-Assessment Module (SAM), Cerebrovascular Disease, which is now available online. A SAM consists of the 60-question Knowledge Assessment and the Clinical Simulation. The next new SAM, Preventive Health Care, is expected to launch later in 2010. To view available SAM health topics, log in to the Track Your Progress page and select Begin a Part II Module.

     

    Mayo Clinic Recognized by Three Certifying Boards for Quality Improvement Activities

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010  The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP)—the nation’s three largest physician certifying boards—today announced that Mayo Clinic has been approved as a Portfolio Sponsor of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) activities. Mayo Clinic’s rigorous attention to detail and the structure of its physician quality improvement (QI) programs was recognized for inclusion in the pilot MOC Portfolio Approval Program.

    As an MOC Portfolio Sponsor, Mayo Clinic has primary ownership of the design and execution of a large number of QI activities that are managed centrally through an established infrastructure and overseen by a formal governance body. Mayo Clinic will also accept accountability for ensuring the activities meet the standards outlined by the three boards and for management of the QI activities.

    While the ABFM, the ABIM, and the ABP have individually recognized other organizations’ QI products and programs for MOC credit in the past, Mayo Clinic is the first organization to be recognized, jointly, by all three boards. The three primary care boards expect to approve 2–4 additional portfolio sponsor organizations in the next three years as part of this effort.

    “We are proud that Mayo Clinic is the first organization recognized by the three largest certifying boards and believe that this is a testament to Mayo’s leadership in quality improvement,” said Richard Berger, MD, Dean of the Mayo School of Continuous Professional Development. “We believe rigorous quality improvement efforts make better physicians, improve the systems of care that physicians work in, and, most importantly, enhance patient care, furthering Mayo Clinic’s leadership in the practice of medicine. We are delighted that family physicians, internists, and pediatricians who are engaged in QI activities every day will receive MOC credit for their hard work.”

    Research has shown that fewer than 30% of physicians examine their own performance data, and physicians’ ability to independently self-assess and self-evaluate is poor. Each certifying board requires physicians to look at their practice and make improvements. Mayo Clinic has established QI activities in its clinical setting that meet the three primary care boards’ requirements for improving performance in practice.

    ”We look forward to recognizing other programs that engage physicians in rigorous quality improvement activities” said James A. Stockman, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Pediatrics. “Physicians want to deliver the best care possible to their patients, and these programs help them understand where improvement is needed and give them a structured environment to make positive changes.”

    Mayo Clinic’s Quality Review Board will evaluate Mayo physicians’ participation in structured QI activities to determine if they meet the boards’ requirements for MOC. Among the requirements for MOC approval:

    • Projects must focus on one of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) six dimensions of quality (i.e., making healthcare more safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable).
    • Physicians must provide direct or consultative care to patients as part of the QI project or actively participate in the process of care being addressed by the project. This includes physicians who actively supervise a trainee (resident or fellow) during a QI project.
    • Physicians must demonstrate active collaboration in QI project design and/or implementation, such as team meetings, data analysis, implementation training, etc.

    “MOC is a multi-faceted program that includes knowledge and continuous improvement,” said Christine Cassel, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine. “We look for opportunities to reduce the administrative burden for physicians, but still ensure that they are meeting our high standards of self evaluation and quality improvement.”

    “The three primary care boards are working together to develop novel programs that can be used to maintain certification, and this collaborative pilot with Mayo Clinic represents just one of our innovative projects,” said James C. Puffer, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Family Medicine. “We continue to explore next generation approaches to quality improvement, including those that interface with integrated health care systems, community-based medical groups, and the individual physician's practice.”

     

    2010 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative & Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program—National Provider Call with Question & Answer Session

    Monday, January 4, 2010  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Provider Communications Group will host a national provider conference call on the 2010 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) and Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program (eRx). This toll-free call will take place from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., EST, on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

    Click here for PQRI and eRX National provider Conference call details.

    The PQRI is voluntary quality reporting program that provides an incentive payment to identified individual eligible professionals (EPs), and beginning with the 2010 PQRI, group practices who satisfactorily report data on quality measures for covered Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) services furnished to Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service (FFS) beneficiaries.

    The PQRI was first implemented in 2007 as a result of section 101 of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA), and further expanded as a result of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA), and the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA).

    The eRx Incentive Program is an incentive program for eligible professionals initially implemented in 2009 as a result of section 132(b) of the MIPPA. The eRx Incentive Program promotes the adoption and use of eRx systems by individual eligible professionals (and beginning with the 2010 eRx Incentive Program, group practices).

    The topics covered on this national provider call will include:

    * Program Announcements & Updates

    * Introduction to 2010 PQRI—How to Get Started

    Following the presentation, the lines will be opened to allow participants to ask questions of CMS PQRI and eRx subject matter experts.

    Click here for PQRI and eRX National provider Conference call details.

    Educational products are available on the PQRI dedicated web page located at, http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PQRI, on the CMS website, in the Educational Resources section, as well as educational products are available on the eRx dedicated web page located at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ERxIncentive on the CMS website. Feel free to download the resources prior to the call so that you may ask questions of the CMS presenters.