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    ABFM News

    Newsletter Winter 2014

    Monday, December 15, 2014  A Message from the President

    As you probably know, our Board Chair sends out email messages each year advising you of important issues and keeping you abreast of the work of the ABFM. We typically receive several hundred responses to each email, and we carefully review and respond to each of you that have taken time to write in response. At each meeting of our Board of Directors, each director also reviews every response. More...

    The Winter 2014 edition of The Phoenix is now available.


    Support Center Holiday Hours

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014  (All Times Eastern)

    December 24: Closed

    December 25: Closed

    December 26: 8:00am – 9:00pm

    December 27: 9:00am – 5:00pm

    December 28: 12:00pm – 5:00pm

    December 29, 30: 8:00am – 9:00pm

    December 31: 8:00am – 5:00pm

    Thursday, January 1: Closed


    ABFM Launches New Website for Patients on the Value of Family Medicine and Certification

    Monday, November 3, 2014  The ABFM is pleased to announce the launch of a new extension of our website geared towards reaching the patient, as well as providing Family Physicians with additional means of communicating to their patients the value of board certification.

    At findadoctor.theabfm.org, potential patients are guided to both online and app features to help them find a board-certified Family Physician. The page’s content explains to the average patient in a clear, concise manner what board certification is and why it’s so important.

    In addition to this key message, the new public page has a short, friendly video stressing the importance of Family Physicians and Primary Care. The video was produced by the same creative team that is promoting the Health is Primary campaign. This video is also available on YouTube for physicians to use as best suits—whether for promotional purposes or simply better communicating with current and potential patients.

    An office table card has also been created and is available for download at the Find a Doctor page. The file for this two-sided card can be sent to a local printer, and then set up in an office waiting room as a takeaway for patients. Again, the brief but well-defined message to patients is the inherent value of a board-certified physician.

    The ABFM is one of the organizations involved with the Health is Primary campaign. This campaign is a three-year communications effort to advocate for the values of family medicine, demonstrate the benefits of primary care, and engage patients in our health care system. The campaign was developed as a part of the Family Medicine for America’s Health collaborative effort.

    Family Medicine for America’s Health is a partnership between the eight leading family medicine organizations in the United States to drive continued improvement of the U.S. health care system and demonstrate the value of true primary care. The eight organizations are:

    • American Academy of Family Physicians;
    • American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation;
    • American Board of Family Medicine;
    • American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians;
    • Association of Departments of Family Medicine;
    • Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors;
    • North American Primary Care Research Group; and
    • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

    To learn more about this effort, visit fmahealth.org

    The ABFM believes these new resources help family physicians in communicating to patients that board-certified family doctors are committed to lifelong learning, which is necessary to provide the high-quality care that every patient deserves.


    ABFM Enhances Security Measures for Diplomates

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014  In recent years, personal information security and data protection have become a challenge for every organization that collects personal data. We are proud that a top priority at the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is making certain our Diplomates' information is secure. In order to protect the information of all family physicians who interact with us, we are pleased to announce additional steps that we will be taking to enhance our efforts in this regard.

    We have dedicated staff expertly trained in the area of information security to protect Diplomates' information and monitor and defend against the latest cybersecurity threats. Our Information Security team has recently implemented new safeguards to protect Diplomates' information, and we would like to share this critical information and explain why it is important.

    We have upgraded the systems that store Diplomates' passwords and password security questions to meet the latest security standards for protecting personal information. As a result, the ABFM staff will no longer be able to access and retrieve passwords or password security questions. All password retrievals will be done directly online by the Diplomate to electronically reset his/her password. This protects personal information in the unlikely event of a data breach at the ABFM. If any sensitive data were extracted during such a breach, it would only appear as a random string of characters.

    We have also made improvements to our online password retrieval process. So, if a Diplomate forgets his/her password and needs to reset it, this can easily be accomplished at the ABFM website. We encourage Diplomates to keep their password security questions current and maintain the answers in their physician portfolios in order to efficiently reset their password. If for any reason a Diplomate is unable to retrieve his/her password online, our support staff can be of assistance at 877-223-7437 or via live chat.

    We value our relationship with our Diplomates and take the security of their personal information very seriously. Thank you for understanding the serious nature of this problem and our corresponding efforts to protect personal information with these enhancements to our systems.


    Newsletter Summer 2014

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014  A Message from the President

    Over the course of the past year, I have participated on the Steering Committees for two very important strategic planning processes. You are familiar with one of these efforts—Family Medicine for America's Health (FMAH)—as we have been sending you regular updates about the progress of this project, and more importantly, you have had the opportunity to provide input into this process via your participation in virtual town hall meetings and your written suggestions that we have received electronically. More... 

    The Summer 2014 edition of The Phoenix is now available.


    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 2014 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Now Available through ABFM

    Thursday, June 12, 2014  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) PQRS is a reporting program that uses a combination of incentive payments and payment adjustments to promote reporting of quality information by eligible professionals (EPs). EPs satisfactorily report data on quality measures for covered Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) services furnished to Medicare Part B Fee-for-Service (FFS) beneficiaries. By reporting PQRS quality measures, providers also can quantify how often they are meeting a particular quality metric. Using the feedback report provided by the CMS, providers can compare their performance on a given measure with their peers. Beginning in 2015, the program will begin applying a payment adjustment to eligible professionals who do not satisfactorily report data on quality measures for covered professional services.

    2014 PQRS

    • You are able to participate at no cost in the ABFM approved diabetes registry online from your Physician Portfolio.
    • Eligible professionals that do not satisfactorily report data on quality measures for the January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 reporting period will be subject to the 2.0% payment reduction in their fee schedule amount in 2016.
    • Physicians working for more than one organization need to meet the reporting criteria for each tax identification number (TIN) where you work during the 2014 PQRS program year to avoid the 2016 PQRS payment adjustment for each TIN.
    • The deadline for entering your data into the ABFM diabetes registry is January 10, 2015.

    2014 ABFM PQRS-specific requirements

    • You are only required to enter data for 20 diabetes patients, of which the majority (11) must be Medicare Part B beneficiaries.
    • If you submit the required data successfully, you will be eligible to earn an incentive payment of 0.5% of your total allowed charges for Physician Fee Schedule (PFS)-covered professional services furnished during the reporting period (January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014).

    MC-FP Benefit

    • Any Diplomate who successfully completes our 2014 PQRS module can continue the activity for MC-FP credit and CME credit by implementing a quality improvement plan along with a post quality improvement data collection to complete the activity as a Performance in Practice Module (PPM).


    • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also offers an additional PQRS:MOC incentive program that ABFM Diplomates may be eligible to earn an additional 0.5% incentive payment when Maintenance of Certification Program requirements have been met more frequently.
    • In order to be eligible for the PQRS:MOC incentive program, physicians working at more than one organization must meet the PQRS reporting requirement for each tax identification number (TIN) where he/she works.
    • For more information on this program, please refer to our MOC Incentive Guide.

    ABFM Elects New Officers and Board Members

    Monday, June 9, 2014  

    The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is pleased to announce the election of four new officers and four new board members. The new officers elected at the ABFM's spring board meeting in April are: Carlos Roberto Jaen, MD of San Antonio, TX elected as Chair; James Kennedy, MD of Winter Park, Colorado as Chair Elect; Alan K. David, MD of Milwaukee, Wisconsin as Treasurer; and Jimmy H. Hara, MD of Los Angeles, California as Member-at-Large, Executive Committee. In addition, the ABFM welcomes this year's new members to the Board of Directors: Joseph W. Gravel, MD of North Reading, Massachusetts; Jerry E. Kruse MD, MSPH of Springfield, Illinois; Lorna Anne Lynn, MD of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania; and David E. Soper, MD of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. For more information, click here.


    Support Center Exam Coverage

    Monday, March 24, 2014  The ABFM Support Center will be available to assist candidates during special hours throughout the duration of the exam period (April 13th – April 29th). Support Center hours during this period will be as follows:

    Monday–Friday: 6:00am-11:00pm
    Saturday: 6:00am–5:00pm
    Sunday: 12:00pm–9:00pm
    (with the exception of April 20th)

    All hours mentioned above are Eastern Daylight Time.