The American Board Of Medical Specialties And Blue Cross And Blue Shield Association Announce New Collaboration To Improve Healthcare Quality And Patient Safety.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced today that they have created a formal collaboration to work together toward mutual goals of improving healthcare quality, patient safety and affordability.  The unique collaboration between ABMS and BCBSA will explore strategies to improve healthcare delivery, optimize professional development and enhance consumer understanding of the value of this healthcare information.

ABMS is a medical organization made up of 24 Member Boards that oversee physician certification in the U.S.  It assists the Member Boards in their efforts to develop and implement educational and professional standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists with the public’s interest as their primary concern.

Initially, the focus of the relationship between ABMS and BCBSA will be promoting the value of both board certification and Maintenance of Certification, a process designed to document that physician specialists, certified by ABMS Member Boards, maintain the necessary competencies to provide quality patient care.  Over time, the collaboration will expand to include other ways of ensuring patient safety.

“I am confident that this collaboration will help us bring greater value to doctors who are involved in ABMS Maintenance of Certification® as well as value to patients and the public at large,” said Kevin B. Weiss, MD, president and CEO of ABMS.  “This supports ABMS’ efforts to continue to create alignments with the major stakeholders and influencers on healthcare, such as BCBSA, whose 39 independent licensees cover more than 100 million lives.”

BCBSA to help increase public knowledge of board certification

BCBSA will explore ways to support ABMS in communicating the value of certification to the public and educate consumers and key stakeholders of ABMS’ commitment to career-long professional development and quality within the physician community.  Concurrently, ABMS will also lead an effort to increase public knowledge and understanding of board certification, Maintenance of Certification and how it differs from state licensing requirements, and to make its certification process more transparent.

“We look forward to working with ABMS, a national leader in physician certification, on this unique opportunity to enhance the value of board certification and effectively communicate to physicians and patients the importance of professional development and how it can lead to increased healthcare quality,” said Allan Korn, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, BCBSA.  “This relationship emphasizes Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ commitment to delivering quality, affordable healthcare to all Americans.”

About American Board of Medical Specialties
For over 75 years, American Board of Medical Specialties is the medical organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. It assists its 24 Member Boards in their efforts to develop and implement educational and professional standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists. ABMS Member Boards provide physician certification information to ABMS for its certification verification service programs. ABMS is recognized by the key healthcare credentialing accreditation entities as a primary equivalent source of board certification data for medical specialists. Patients can visit www.abms.org or call toll-free 1-866-ASK-ABMS to see if their physician is board certified by an ABMS Member Board. For more information about ABMS visit www.abms.org or call 312.436.2600.

The 24 Member Boards that make up the ABMS Board Enterprise, cover over 145 medical specialties and subspecialties, and include: American Board of Allergy and Immunology, American Board of Anesthesiology, American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Emergency Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Medical Genetics, American Board of Neurological Surgery, American Board of Nuclear Medicine, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Ophthalmology, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Pathology, American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Preventive Medicine, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Radiology, American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and American Board of Urology.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for 100 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.

Source: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

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