U.S. Justice Department Supports More Board Certification Options for Physicians

U.S. Justice Department Supports More Board Certification Options for PhysiciansOn September 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a landmark opinion about physician board certification that bodes well for the medical industry and patient care in general. In a letter responding to a pending Maryland bill promoting competition in physician certification, the DOJ stated that the maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) may result in decreased competition that increases the cost of healthcare services to consumers.

At the crux of the DOJ’s opinion is the monopoly on physician certification that the ABMS wields in Maryland. When a certifying body holds a monopoly, the DOJ argues, it “may have incentives to adopt certification requirements more stringent than those necessary to verify that providers have the knowledge and skills required of specialty practice and the ability to deliver quality care.” By imposing “unnecessary requirements,” the DOJ says, the ABMS, “can raise the costs of specialty practice and constrain the supply of specialized practitioners.”

In recent years, MOC requirements have come under increased scrutiny. Many physicians familiar with MOC question whether current ABMS MOC programs correlate with better patient care. As the DOJ wrote in its opinion, “critics have pointed to literature suggesting MOC’s purported benefits are unsupported by evidence.” Yet MOC continues to place severe demands on physicians’ time in addition to the burden of financial costs resulting from fees. According to the DOJ, Maryland should consider ways to promote competition “by legitimate certifying bodies, consistent with patient health and safety.”

Competition is one of the core principles of the American economy, and vigorous competition among certification boards can give patients the benefits of better healthcare, more innovation, and lower prices. As one of the three primary, multispecialty certifying organizations in the United States and one that is a recognized competitive choice, the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) welcomes the DOJ’s opinion.

The ABPS believes that, by offering qualified practitioners more certification options, they will also have the flexibility to choose the board that is most consistent with their values and best fosters their career development. At the ABPS, our testing requirements are stringent. Only the most skilled and dedicated physicians become Diplomates. Any physician who has earned certification through one of our Member Boards has demonstrated mastery of the core competencies required to deliver exceptional patient care in an evolving and increasingly competitive healthcare marketplace.

For more information about the ABPS, or our eligibility requirements, contact us today.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

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

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine