ABPS Acknowledges Contributions of MSPs to Healthcare Leadership in America

ABPS Acknowledges Contributions of MSPs to Healthcare Leadership in AmericaFor many of us here in the United States, a hospital visit comes with the expectation that we’ll receive appropriate medical care from qualified professionals. While some aspects of the American health care system continue to be debated – drug and insurance costs, for example – the high quality of our medical care is generally beyond dispute. Excellence doesn’t reveal itself through happenstance, however. To deliver consistently outstanding care, medical professionals must undergo years of education and rigorous training and then expand their knowledge and skills through comprehensive experience. And their credentials, of course, must be verified. In hospitals and other medical facilities across the country, the people who perform this necessary work are medical service professionals.

MSPs maintain databanks to track physician training, experience, and licensure, in addition to managing accredited continuing medical education programs that help doctors maintain clinical competency. In effect, MSPs work behind the scenes as a medical facility’s gatekeepers.

In 1992, President George Bush proclaimed the first week in November as National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week. Since then, government agencies and medical facilities across the country have all promoted awareness of medical services professionals.

Of course, health care has evolved since 1992, and MSPs are performing more diverse roles within organizations. Argelis White, a medical staff director at South Bay Hospital in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area of Florida, has seen the changes firsthand.

“Before, the medical staff professional was more clerical and administrative in their everyday duties, but their role has changed in recent years to meet the demands of the industry,” she said. “Our role now involves more responsibilities. For instance, we now collaborate with more departments, including HR, and, consequently, we play an important part in maintaining hospital quality.”

For Eileen Pagano, a medical staff affairs manager at Saint Clare’s Health System in Denville, NJ, additional responsibilities make the MSP role more challenging. “We have been given additional responsibilities with no additional resources,” she said. “We are constantly under pressure to get people credentialed faster and share information with other sister sites. Every facility has a slightly different process, and we are not always able to accept primary source verifications form our sister sites, which is not always acceptable to the Administration.”

White traces the deepening complexity of the MSP role to the medical industry’s switch from paper to electronic record keeping. One conventional belief is that this evolution made the job of MSPs easier, but in White’s view, it also led to the current state of affairs. “For example,” White said, since electronic systems came to the fore “some hospitals have reduced the number of personnel who work in a managed services organization office. As a result, MSPs must now coordinate the onboarding of medical staff, oversee credentialing, act as a liaison between the hospital and medical staff, and perform a number of other duties.”

With increasing job complexity comes a rising demand for higher levels of training and education among MSPs. “We are seeing more job descriptions requesting a bachelor’s or master’s degree for a director position as well as CPCS (Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist) and CPMSM (Certified Professional Medical Services Management) certification,” White said. “For coordinator positions, organizations are also now requesting an associate degree and certification. It’s more competitive now compared to years ago when only experience was required or hospitals were willing to train you.”

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) joins the rest of the American healthcare community in recognizing the vital role MSPs play in monitoring the competence of physicians and other medical practitioners. As a nationally recognized choice for physician certification, the ABPS contributes to exceptional medical care by offering licensed allopathic and osteopathic physicians board certification in a range of specialties.

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine