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NBPAS Provides New Recertification Alternative

Mon, 2015-01-26 10:03

According to a report by MedPage Today, the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) has been established to provide physicians with an alternative path to board recertification. Founded by vocal critics of maintenance of certification, such as Paul Teirstein, MD of the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, CA, the NBPAS presents new competition for the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in the board recertification process.

From the NBPAS website:

"The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) is committed to providing certification that ensures physician compliance with national standards and promotes lifelong learning. We require fulfillment of the following criteria for board certification:

  •  Candidates must have been previously certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties member board. Initially, NBPAS will only certify physicians in selected specialties.  Other specialties and other boards will follow.
  • Candidates must have a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one US state.
  • Candidates must have completed a minimum of 50 hours of continuing medical education (CME) within the past 24 months, provided by a recognized provider of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). CME must be related to one or more of the specialties in which the candidate is applying. Re-entry for physicians with lapsed certification requires 100 hours of CME with the past 24 months.
  • For some specialties (ie interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, critical care), candidates must have active privileges to practice that specialty in at least one  US hospital licensed by a nationally recognized credentialing organization with deeming authority from CMS (ie JCHAO, HFAP, DNV).
  • A candidate who has had their medical staff appointment/membership or clinical privileges in the specialty for which they are seeking certification involuntarily revoked and not reinstated, must have subsequently maintained medical staff appointment/membership or clinical privileges for at least 24 months in another US hospital licensed by a nationally recognized credentialing organization with deeming authority from CMS (ie JCHAO, HFAP, DNV)."

For the full report from MedPage Today, please click here.

Final Post from Your NAMSS Blog Subject Matter Expert (SME) - Thank You for the Opportunity to Serve You

Wed, 2014-12-31 13:32
Dear Medical Staff Professionals,

This will be my final post as your NAMSS Blog Subject Matter Expert. The NAMSS board made a decision recently to bring this function back in house for NAMSS social media staff to perform. I have served NAMSS in many capacities over the years but this has been the most interesting to me and I feel it has been beneficial to our members. I could not let it go by without thanking each of our members for the opportunity to serve each of you. Happy New Year!

Respectfully, Bonnie Conley

ECFMG to use World Directory of Medical Schools

Mon, 2014-12-29 08:35
Beginning in 2015, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) will replace the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) with the World Directory of Medical Schools to determine an applicant's eligibility for ECFMG certification. Please visit the ECFMG website here for more information.

New Surgeon General Confirmed by the U.S. Senate

Mon, 2014-12-29 08:31
According to a report by the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Senate voted 51-43 to confirm the appointment of Vivek Hallegere Murthy, MD, as the new Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Murthy is "a hospitalist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School." For more information, visit the AHA's news site here.

The Changing Demographics of Medical School Student Enrollment

Tue, 2014-12-09 14:44
Students are enrolling in American medical schools in increasing numbers and come from more diverse cultural and academic/volunteer/professional backgrounds than ever before. Greater numbers of African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native American students are enrolling according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Additionally, "Three-quarters of this year’s crop of applicants have research experience, and more than three-quarters reported volunteer community service in some kind of health care setting," according to a release by the AMA Wire.

Read more here.

Enrollment at Osteopathic Medical Colleges Continues to Rise

Wed, 2014-12-03 09:33
According to data from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), enrollment for new students at osteopathic medical colleges rose 5.2 percent for the fall of 2014.

"Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO of AACOM, believes the expanding number of DO students and graduates underscores the relevance of osteopathic physicians to the needs of a changing healthcare landscape.

'As interest in osteopathic medicine continues to grow and transform the future of healthcare, osteopathic physicians will play an increasingly critical role in ensuring the delivery of quality patient care at a time of significant change in the U.S. health system,' said Dr. Shannon."

Read more here.

AMA Expresses Support for the FSMB Interstate Licensure Compact

Mon, 2014-11-17 08:41
At its 2014 Interim Meeting, the American Medical Association (AMA) expressed support for the FSMB Interstate Licensure Compact. AMA President Elect Steven J. Stack, MD, stated, “At least 10 state medical boards have adopted the compact, which streamlines the licensing process for physicians seeking licenses in multiple states and increases patient access to telemedicine services. We encourage more states to sign on to the compact so that we can ensure standards of care are maintained, whether treatment is provided in-person or via telemedicine.” Read the full press release from the AMA at the link below.

Video From the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)

Mon, 2014-11-17 08:36
The link below will take you to an excellent video from the FSMB regarding their interstate licensure compact.


Mon, 2014-11-03 08:20
In 1992, President George Bush issued a proclamation designating the first week of November as “National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week,” to acknowledge and thank medical services professionals (MSPs) for playing “an important role in our nation’s healthcare system.”

The American Medical Association-Organized Medical Staff Section also recognizes the medical services profession in a resolution that formally acknowledges “the importance and value of medical services professionals to the healthcare organization and its physician members, and recognizes their contribution and dedication in preserving quality patient care.”

When you visit a hospital, you see the doctors, the nurses, and other medical personnel. What you don’t see are the people behind the scenes who make certain the credentials of all practitioners who are caring for you are correct and have been verified.

MSPs are experts in provider credentialing and privileging, medical staff organization, accreditation and regulatory compliance, and provider relations in the diverse healthcare industry. They credential and monitor ongoing competence of the physicians and other practitioners who provide patient care services in hospitals, managed care organizations, and other healthcare settings.

MSPs are a vital part of the community’s healthcare team. They are dedicated to making certain that all patients receive care from practitioners who are properly educated, licensed, and trained in their specialty.

For more information about MSPs and the National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS), visit


The National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) is celebrating more than 30 years of enhancing the professional development of and recognition for professionals in the medical staff and credentialing services field. NAMSS’ vision is to advance a healthcare environment that maximizes the patient experience through the delivery of quality services. The NAMSS membership includes medical staff and credentialing services professionals from medical group practices, hospitals, managed care organizations, and CVOs. Additional information is available at

Changes to U.S. Medical Licensing Examination

Wed, 2014-10-29 10:29
The U.S. Medical Licensing Examination is changing for 2014-2016. Click Here to learn more.

Maintenance of Certification for Licensure and Credentialing

Mon, 2014-10-27 07:04
From the American College of Physicians:

"As the national organization for internal medicine specialists and subspecialists, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has a stated mission “to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.” In supporting this mission, ACP recognizes the importance of certification and the professional responsibility of physicians for maintaining competence and for continuous professional development throughout their career.
Although ACP therefore encourages participation in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, it also understands the limitations of applying the current MOC process as the sole criterion to identify and recognize competence and quality of care provided by internal medicine specialists and subspecialists in their highly diverse professional roles and activities. As a result, ACP does not support using participation in MOC as an absolute prerequisite for state licensure, hospital credentialing, or insurer credentialing. Instead, decisions about licensure and credentialing should be based on the physician’s performance in his or her practice setting and a broader set of criteria for assessing competence, professionalism, commitment to continuous professional development, and quality of care provided. By understanding that a wide variety of attributes contribute to a physician’s competence and quality of care, ACP stresses that the physician’s demonstrated performance for providing high quality, compassionate care and his or her commitment to continuous professional development should be the primary determinants for licensure and credentialing. Participation in MOC can be one factor providing evidence of quality and commitment to continuous professional development, but it is not the only one."

Patient Safety at the Heart of the Joint Commission's New Hospital Accreditation Chapter

Tue, 2014-10-21 07:57
The Joint Commission announces publication of the new “Patient Safety Systems” chapter in the 2015 Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals. The purpose of the chapter is to inform and educate hospital leaders about the importance and structure of an integrated patient-centered system that aims to improve quality of care and patient safety. There are no new requirements in the Patient Safety Systems chapter. Instead, the standards are culled from existing chapters including Leadership, Rights and Responsibilities of the Patient, Performance Improvement, Medication Management and Environment of Care. The standards will continue to be published in their respective chapters as well as in the Patient Safety Systems chapter. During on-site surveys, the standards will be scored in their originating chapter.
To underscore the importance of a patient-centered safety system, The Joint Commission will make this new chapter available online indefinitely for customers and non-customers alike.
“For the first time, The Joint Commission is providing a standards chapter on our website because this information is so important that we want everyone to have access to it. A solid foundation for patient safety is a safety culture. For leaders, our hope is they will study this chapter and use it as a tool to build or improve their safety culture program,” says Ana Pujols McKee, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer, The Joint Commission. “Developing a culture of safety starts at the top of the chain of command, and then works its way through the layers of management and employees to build trust which is an essential ingredient for improvement. In order for improvement to take root and spread, leaders need to be engaged and know the current state of the culture in their organization.”
The chapter is oriented to leadership because leader engagement is imperative to the trust-report-improve cycle of establishing a safety culture. The standards are intended to assist leaders in creating a culture of safety that equates to an environment where staff and leaders work together to eliminate complacency, promote collective mindfulness, treat one another with respect and learn from patient safety events.
The chapter has three guiding principles:
  • Aligning existing Joint Commission standards with daily work in order to engage patients and staff throughout the health care system, at all times, on reducing harm.
  • Assisting health care organizations with advancing knowledge, skills and competence of staff and patients by recommending methods that will improve quality and safety processes.
  • Encouraging and recommending proactive methods and models of quality and patient safety that will increase accountability, trust and knowledge while reducing the impact of fear and blame.
The chapter is included only in the hospital accreditation manual; however, other health care settings may benefit from applying the patient safety strategies discussed in the chapter. Read the new chapter
Elizabeth Eaken ZhaniMedia Relations Manager, The Joint Commission

"Medical Training Gets a Second Life"

Wed, 2014-10-15 08:56
A report by Health Leaders Media details how instructors at the University of Michigan School of Nursing are using an online virtual world called Second Life to help students develop communication and leadership skills. Students can log in from anywhere with an internet connection and train in scenarios they may otherwise never see in a traditional training setting. For more information, view the article HERE.

Social Media and Medicine: The New "Instagram for Doctors"

Tue, 2014-10-14 11:06
According to the BBC, a new social media app has been developed which allows doctors to share pictures of their patients for medical and educational purposes. The app, called Figure 1, is already available in North America, Ireland and the United Kingdom and joins services like UpToDate and DynaMed in the emerging market of social media for physicians and healthcare professionals. In the article from the BBC, Dr. Josh Landy, the founder of Figure 1, is quoted as responding to patient privacy concerns by stating, "We do not possess any personal medical data at all... We are not an organization that delivers healthcare." While anyone can download the app, only physicians and other healthcare practitioners whose credentials have been verified can post photos or provide commentary on other posted photos. For a full discussion of this new app, please read the BBC article HERE.

Hospital Leaders Brief Congress on Importance of CME

Fri, 2014-10-10 07:20
From AHA and AAMC:

"At an AHA- and Association of American Medical Colleges-sponsored briefing on Tuesday, October 7, on Capitol Hill, hospital leaders shared with congressional staff the important role that Medicare funding for graduate medical education plays in helping teaching hospitals train the next generation of health care providers. “We need to train a workforce today that will meet the needs of the population of our country,” said Thomas Burke, M.D., executive vice president for the MD Anderson Cancer Network®, which is part of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Burke also is a member of the AHA Board of Trustees. Hospital leaders from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic and Oregon Health & Science University also described how direct and indirect GME payments are critical to supporting their efforts to provide highly-specialized services to patients in rural and urban communities. For more on GME and teaching hospitals, including why the AHA supports the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2013 (S. 577), read today’s AHAStat blog post."