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The Board Certification Process is Under Review to Lessen Burden and Expense

January 18, 2018

Providers staying current on Board Certification is important to health care consumers and health care organizations. Certifications are proof of proficiency, and continuing education. Verisys Corporation helps manage the tracking of certification status so employers know they have the most qualified caregivers.

With the many requirements to practice medicine, Verisys Corporation’s CheckMedic platform streamlines the process of re-certification with one secure, digital repository of peer reviews, education certificates as well as status of license, privileging and enrollment.

A recent FierceHealthcare article by Joanne Finnegan, states that fewer physicians practicing family medicine are renewing their Family Medicine board certification. The article references a study published by the Annals of Family Medicine where some 5.6% of family physicians are not re-certifying after original certification.

The demographic most engaged with this behavior is, according to the study are male, international medical graduates who originally certified at or over the age of 30. While the percentage seems high, the actual numbers are not excessive based on a sample of 51,678 family physicians. The study was conducted by a collaboration of researchers that included the American Board of Family Medicine, Robert Graham Center in the District of Columbia and the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

Because of the increase in attrition numbers from 1995 to 2000, the American Board of Family Medicine began offering a maintenance of certification (MOC) program in 2003 that allows the extension of the original seven-year board certification by an additional three years.

While the numbers derived from the research may be attributed to retirement, burnout, or change in area of practice, there is still resistance among practitioners to renew board certification claiming it is excessively time consuming, costly and unnecessary.

However, maintenance of certification is tied to hospital credentialing, privileging and enrollment. The time-honored criteria and consistent standards offer a statement of integrity, skill and knowledge for providers.

Board certification was originally founded in 1933 with the purpose as described on the American Board of Medical Specialties website: The primary function of each ABMS Member Board is to certify physicians in their primary specialty and subspecialty areas and to support the professional development of those Board Certified physicians throughout their career. This is accomplished through a comprehensive process involving educational requirements, professional peer evaluation, examination, and professional development.

The governing body of each individual specialty board comprises specialists qualified in the particular field represented by that board. Members of the governing bodies include representatives from among the national specialty organizations in related fields.

Since 1933, specialty boards have been approved jointly by action of ABMS and the American Medical Association Council on Medical Education (AMA/CME). This determination begins with a review by the Liaison Committee for Specialty Boards (LCSB), an organization sponsored by ABMS and AMA/CME. The function of LCSB is to receive and evaluate applications for approval of new specialty boards according to standards and procedures agreed upon by both ABMS and AMA.”

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