by Robert Phillips, MD, MSPH
For many physicians, maintaining certification is but 1 of a number of nonclinical activities that require additional time and energy. The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is working to balance the importance of providing a mechanism for family physicians to demonstrate their ongoing competency and improvement with the additional burden and expense that federal efforts to move toward value-based payment will add to physicians’ work. For this reason, the ABFM is investing heavily to align continuous certification with value-based payment requirements in a manner that both reduces burden and bends value-based payments to primary care’s value. A description of these multifaceted efforts is described below.
The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) launches the start of a family medicine registry with a study called the Trial of Aggregate Data Exchange for Maintenance of Certification and Raising Quality (TRADEMaRQ). This study is supported by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and is the first phase of a nearly $7 million investment by the ABFM to make maintenance of certification (MOC) easier and more meaningful, to help physicians turn their electronic health record (EHR) data into useful information, and to support the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), meaningful use, and other reporting needs. The ABFM is the first board to sponsor a registry, and this is the first clinical registry to support MOC.