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    Newsletter 2011 Winter Edition

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011  A Message from the President

    Another year comes to a close, and as the Holiday Season approaches, it is always my pleasure to send you best wishes and update you on activities at the American Board of Family Medicine. This has been an extremely busy year for us, and it is probably worthwhile for me to recap some of our efforts designed to assist you with providing the highest quality of care to your patients. 

    The beginning of the year saw us again receive approval from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as an approved Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Registry. This allows us to report data on diabetes quality measures directly to CMS for those Diplomates who wish to receive the PQRS reporting bonus. Hundreds of Diplomates have participated in this activity to date and have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for their effort. For those of you who wish to participate again this year, it is still not too late; however, you must have all of your data to us by January 10, 2012. Please see the article inside this issue with details on how to take advantage of this process for 2011. More...  

    The Winter 2011 edition of The Phoenix is now available.


    ABFM Launches SAM Commenting Feature

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011  The ABFM recently launched a new feature to its Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs). Diplomates can now comment on the SAM they have just completed, bearing in mind that the commenting system is intended to foster dialogue regarding the substantive medical content, correct and incorrect answers to questions, and the critiques encountered in the SAMs. The commenting system is not to be used for submitting questions regarding technical issues, the examination, MC-FP, PPMs, the Clinical Simulation, or any other administrative matter. Please direct all such questions to the ABFM Support Center at help@theabfm.org. A few questions and answers about the process follow:

    Q. What is your site’s commenting policy?

    A. Readers are reminded to post comments that are germane to the SAM question and write in a common language that steers clear of personal attacks and/or vulgarities. We reserve the right to remove any user or user’s comments that are identified as inappropriate. Examples of these types of infractions are comments that include:

    • Abusive, off-topic or foul language;
    • Racist, sexist, homophobic or other offensive terminology;
    • Solicitations and/or advertising spam;
    • Attacks that celebrate the death, injury or illness of any person, public figure or otherwise.

    Comments are filtered for language. Once a comment has been flagged, an ABFM staff member will investigate. Note: Comments on SAM questions are moderated before publication and will not appear until they have been reviewed by ABFM staff.

    Q. What does the Editor’s Pick designation mean?

    A. These are comments that an editor has identified as insightful and thought-provoking that help further the dialogue.

    Q. Why does my peer not see the comment that I just posted to the site?

    A. All comments are moderated, meaning they must be approved before they can appear on the site. This process takes time. We appreciate your patience and ask that you do not try to resubmit your comment repeatedly.

    Please refer to the full list of FAQs found within the SAMs for more details.



    Tuesday, September 20, 2011  Beginning in 2012, the ABFM MC-FP examination will be held in April instead of July. Residents who are in good standing and expected to complete training on or about June 30, 2012 are eligible to take the April 2012 examination. A currently valid, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the US or Canada is not required for residents to apply for and take the April examination. Certification will be awarded when all of the criteria are met:

    1. Successful performance on the ABFM MC-FP Examination
    2. The Program Director verifies that the resident has successfully met all of the ACGME program requirements
    3. The candidate obtains a currently valid, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the US or Canada

    These conditions must be met no later than December 31, 2012. Registration for the examination is expected to open December 8, 2011.

    The dates for the April 2012 MC-FP Examination are:
    April 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21

    The MC-FP Examination will also be offered in November for candidates who fail the spring administration of the examination, or for those residents in good standing who are off-cycle and are expected to complete training on or about December 31, 2012.

    The dates for the November 2012 MC-FP Examination are:
    November 7, 8, 9, 10

    A currently valid, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the US or Canada is not necessary for residents to apply for and take the exam, but in order to be awarded certification, the same three criteria listed above must be met by July 1 of the following year.

    For questions regarding the MC-FP examination, please contact the Support Center at 877-223-7437 or help@theabfm.org.


    American Board of Family Medicine Elects New Officers and Board Members

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011  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: Warren P. Newton, MD of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, elected as Chair; Samuel Jones, MD of Fairfax, Virginia as Chair Elect; Arlene Brown, MD of Ruidoso, New Mexico as Treasurer; and Michael Workings, MD of Detroit, Michigan as Member-at-Large, Executive Committee. In addition, the ABFM welcomes this year’s new members to the Board of Directors: Laura M. Brooks, MD of Lynchburg, Virginia; James Kennedy, MD of Winter Park, Colorado; and Jimmy H. Hara, MD of Los Angeles, California.

    The ABFM Board of Directors 


    American Board of Family Medicine Accepting PCMH 2011 for Maintenance of Certification Requirements

    Thursday, May 26, 2011  Family Medicine Physicians who are interested in receiving MC-FP Part IV credit for NCQA’s Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition must meet the following terms:

    • Recognition must be awarded using the 2011 PCMH tool 

    • NCQA PCMH Level 3 Recognition (individual physician attestation of participation is required) 

    • NCQA PCMH Level 1 or 2 Recognition AND earn 20 points in scoring category 6 (individual physician attestation of participation is required)

    • NCQA PCMH Level 1 or 2 Recognition AND earn the “must pass” points in scoring category 6 AND earn additional points in scoring category 6 (individual physician attestation of participation is required, and will be reviewed by the ABFM with credit granted on a case-by-case basis)

    For physicians participating in an ABFM approved NCQA Recognition Program, NCQA reports newly recognized physicians to the ABFM on a monthly basis. If you need to expedite receiving Part IV credit for your recognition, please contact Debbie Medley at 888-995-5700, ext. 1292, or dmedley@theabfm.org.

    Staff members from the ABFM Support Center are also available to answer your questions at 877-223-7437 or help@theabfm.org.

    Please note: NCQA Recognition Programs approved by the ABFM for MC-FP Part IV credit include BPRP, DRP, HSRP, and PCMHRP.


    Preventive Care Module Now Available

    Friday, March 4, 2011  The ABFM is pleased to announce the launch of a new Self-Assessment Module (SAM) in Preventive Care, now available online. A SAM consists of the 60-question Knowledge Assessment and the Clinical Simulation (ClinSim). To view available SAM health topics, log in to the Track Your Progress page and select Begin a Part II Module.


    Sleep Medicine (CAQ) Information

    Thursday, February 3, 2011  2011 will be the final year that board certified family physicians can qualify via either one of two practice eligibility pathways for the Sleep Medicine Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) Examination. These pathways currently allow physicians to apply for this exam based on previous experience and clinical care of sleep disorders (Pathway A) or prior certification by the American Board of Sleep Medicine (Pathway B); they will no longer be in effect after 2011. The exam is scheduled this year for November 10, 2011. Physicians who have not attempted the exam by November 10, 2011 will be required to complete a 1 year, ACGME accredited Sleep Medicine fellowship program in order to sit for the exam in the future.

    Physicians who have qualified to sit for the exam using either Pathway A or B criteria between 2007–2011, but who were not successful in certifying will be allowed to continue to qualify under that same Practice Pathway for all future exam attempts. For more information about the American Board of Family Medicine’s Sleep Medicine CAQ exam, please click here.