The American Board of Preventive Medicine Announces the Approval of its Longitudinal Assessment Pilot for Clinical Informatics

Chicago, IL, November 25, 2019 – The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) announced today that the American Board of Medical Specialties’ (ABMS) has formally approved the ABPM’s proposed Longitudinal Assessment Pilot (LAP). The LAP pilot will include all current Diplomates Certified by the ABPM in the Subspecialty of Clinical Informatics.  The LAP pilot is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2021 and will run for a consecutive 24-month period.

The LAP pilot is designed as an alternative to the ABPM’s current high-stakes MOC examination which every Diplomate is required to take and pass every ten-years in order to maintain Certification.  In lieu of taking the required MOC examination, all Diplomates Certified by the ABPM in Clinical Informatics will be enrolled in the LAP pilot and, beginning in 2021, LAP participants will answer a total of twenty-four Subspecialty-specific questions, twelve in the first six-months and an additional twelve in the second-six months of each year of the pilot.  The LAP will be offered electronically where Diplomates will be able to answer each question from their own computer at a time and place that is convenient for the Diplomate.  Questions will be open-book and open-resource providing Diplomates with the flexibility to participate in the LAP in a way that is consistent with how Diplomates practice medicine in today’s environment. After each question is answered, the LAP platform will provide the correct answer, references, and a critique so as to provide the Diplomate with a complete learning experience. LAP participants will be able to access their individual performance and their performance as compared to their peers on an on-going basis through ABPM’s physician portal.

“ABPM is committed to moving from its current high-takes MOC examination to a more innovative and simplified assessment methodology. Consistent with the recommendations of the ABMS’ Vision Commission, we’re excited to begin that process with the announcement of the LAP pilot for our Clinical Informaticists,” said Hernando “Joe” Ortega, MD, MPH, ABPM Board Chair. “ABPM Diplomates have made it clear that they desire greater flexibility and more meaningful activities that are designed to confirm their knowledge, judgment and skill, especially when it comes to the high-stakes examination. As a first step toward a complete transition from its current MOC program to a more flexible Continuing Certification Program (CCP), the ABPM actively decided to invest the time and resources required to create a meaningful and relevant LAP experience for our Diplomates.”

Dr. Ortega went on to say “Our current MOC program will have to remain in place for the next 2-3 years but during that period we will continue to evaluate the LAP in order to confirm that, when launched across all of our Specialties and Subspecialties it will not only evaluate knowledge and practice, but provide objective feedback to our Diplomates that they may not receive otherwise. Instead of a periodic high-stakes examination where your Certification status is decided, the LAP will highlight knowledge gaps and will provide resources for Diplomates to seek out educational opportunities that will address those identified areas to maintain a well-rounded specialist.  In this way, the ABPM’s LAP should be assisting Diplomates in maintaining the knowledge, skills and abilities of their chosen specialty.”

Diplomates Certified by the ABPM in Clinical Informatics and participating in the LAP pilot will not be required to take the high-stakes MOC examination but instead, will be deemed to have met this requirement via participation in the LAP pilot.

Upon the conclusion of the LAP pilot, and beginning in the first quarter of 2023, it is anticipated that the ABPM will complete its transition and launch its CCP across all of its Specialties and Subspecialties and which transition will include, but not be limited to implementation of a LAP.

The ABPM is a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Founded in 1948, ABPM works with the ABMS in the development of standards for the ongoing assessment and certification of over 12,000 physicians certified by the ABPM in the Specialties of Aerospace Medicine, Occupational Medicine, and Public Health and General Preventive Medicine, and in the Subspecialties of Addiction Medicine, Clinical Informatics, Medical Toxicology and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.

ABPM Increases Flexibility for Diplomates by Combining Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Requirement into a Single Continuing Medical Education Requirement

Chicago, IL, August 30, 2019 – The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) announced today that, as a first-step toward a comprehensive overhaul of its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, the ABPM Board of Directors has approved a revision to its current MOC Part II requirement by combining MOC Part IIA, Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (LLSA) and MOC Part IIB, Continuing Medical Education (CME) into a single, comprehensive MOC Part II requirement.

Specifically, diplomates will no longer be required to complete a minimum number of ABPM-approved LLSA credits in order to complete MOC Part II. Instead, beginning on February 1, 2020 and during each ten-year Certification Cycle, a Diplomate’s total of 250 MOC Part II credits can include any combination of LLSA and AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits (or their equivalent). 

In announcing this new policy, the ABPM’s Board Chair Hernando “Joe” Ortega, Jr., MD, MPH, said “The ABPM is pleased to offer our Diplomates a simplified and less burdensome MOC Part II requirement.”  Dr. Ortega went on to say that “Since there will be no required minimums for either type of credit, Diplomates will have the flexibility to choose between and amongst the various LLSA and AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits that best fits their practice.  Our doctors can select the CME offerings that will be most effective and impactful in achieving their individual learning goals.  This is a small, but important step on the ABPM’s journey toward a Continuing Certification program that incorporates the recommendations of the ABMS Vision Commission and, more importantly, is responsive to feedback from our Diplomates.”

The process by which Diplomates will be able to obtain MOC Part II credit from the ABPM will remain unchanged.  Diplomates must forward certificates/transcripts for completed LLSA and/or CME credits to the ABPM office at moc@theabpm.org

Any questions about this updated policy can be directed to the ABPM Staff at abpm@theabpm.org

The ABPM is a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Founded in 1948, ABPM works with the ABMS in the development of standards for the ongoing assessment and certification of over 12,000 physicians certified by the ABPM in the Specialties of Aerospace Medicine, Occupational Medicine, and Public Health and General Preventive Medicine, and in the Subspecialties of Addiction Medicine, Clinical Informatics, Medical Toxicology and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.

UHM Journal publishes second special edition on traumatic brain injury

UHM Journal publishes second special edition on traumatic brain injury

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society has published a supplemental issue of its member publication, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal, to summarize results in studies on traumatic brain injury (TBI). The issue, consisting of 11 papers plus an executive summary, reports new data from two interventional studies sponsored by the United States Army, as well as from a companion study of normal volunteers, and includes a pooled data analysis of all military-sponsored investigations of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms to date.

This special issue of the UHM Journal is available to the public at www.uhms.org. Cost for the electronic copy is $25. UHMS members have free access to the PDF files. As with all papers that appear in the UHM Journal, these TBI-related texts received peer review.

Drawing on the robust data set from the completed studies, in particular BIMA (Brain injury and mechanisms of action of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury) and the normative study, the authors of the papers in this second special issue present new analyses that complement the primary publications and add to the general knowledge about tools for diagnosing and measuring deficits after mild TBI, the safety of hyperbaric oxygen in this population, and the possible role of hyperbaric oxygen in ameliorating post-concussive symptoms and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Over the last several years, the scientific community has learned that the long-term consequences of mild TBI occur much more often than previously thought. We’re learning more about how mild TBI disrupts the brain. But we haven’t made huge strides in learning how to help patients who have those long-term consequences become healthy again,” notes Dr. Lindell K. Weaver, study director and lead principal investigator of the BIMA and healthy volunteer studies. “One limiting factor in conducting studies in mild TBI is that we haven’t really known what tools to use to measure improvement. With BIMA and the companion normal study, we hoped to gather good data about outcome measures that are sensitive to change in mild TBI and differentiate from ‘normal’ brain function.”

The studies reported in this special issue are of particular importance to the hyperbaric medicine community. Hyperbaric oxygen has been proposed as a treatment for brain injury, and the studies sponsored by the United States military help to establish a safety profile for hyperbaric oxygen in the mild TBI population. In addition, the information in these papers can guide future research in this area. “While we found significant improvement in post-concussive symptoms with 40 hyperbaric oxygen sessions in BIMA, the effect was not durable to one year and beyond. This might mean that more than 40 sessions are required for long-term improvement, but other research studies will have to answer that question,” says Dr. Weaver.

The special issue also highlights other exciting directions for research. “The improvements we saw after chamber sessions in eye tracking and the possible relationship between oxygen dosing and improved PTSD symptoms are particularly intriguing,” adds Dr. Weaver.

Here’s a listing of papers and authors in this issue:

  • Executive summary: Secondary analyses of DoD-sponsored studies examining hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury
    BB Hart, LK Weaver, SH Wilson, AS Lindblad, S Churchill, K Deru
  • Reference ranges and stability of auditory and vestibular measures in a comprehensive assessment battery for traumatic brain injury
    A Meehan, A Lewandowski, K Deru , D Hebert, LK Weaver
  • Quantitative analysis tool for clinical functional MRI in mild traumatic brain injury
    PE Cartwright, TG Perkins, P Santhanam, LK Weaver, K Deru, WW Orrison
  • Hidden hearing deficits in military service members with persistent post concussive symptoms
    A Meehan, D Hebert, K Deru, LK Weaver
  • Central auditory processing disorders after mild traumatic brain injury
    P Santhanam, A Meehan, WW Orrison, SH Wilson, TR Oakes, LK Weaver
  • Prospective study of anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression on postural control, gait, otolith and visuospatial function in military service members with persistent post-concussive symptoms
    A Meehan, A Lewandowski, LK Weaver, D Hebert, K Deru
  • Analysis of magnetic resonance spectroscopy relative metabolite ratios in mild traumatic brain injury and normative controls
    PE Cartwright, TG Perkins, SH Wilson, LK Weaver, WW Orrison
  • Eye tracker outcomes in a randomized trial of 40 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen or sham in participants with persistent post concussive symptoms
    PA Wetzel, AS Lindblad, C Mulatya, MA Kannan, Z Villamar, GT Gitchel, LK Weaver
  • Extended follow-up in a randomized trial of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms
    BB Hart, SH Wilson, S Churchill, K Deru, LK Weaver, M Minnakanti, AS Lindblad
  • Adverse events and blinding in two randomized trials of hyperbaric oxygen for persistent post-concussive symptoms
    S Churchill, K Deru, LK Weaver, SH Wilson, D Hebert, RS Miller, AS Lindblad
  • A composite outcome for mild traumatic brain injury in trials of hyperbaric oxygen
    LK Weaver, S Churchill, SH Wilson, D Hebert, K Deru, AS Lindblad
  • Hyperbaric oxygen for mTBI-associated PCS and PTSD: Pooled analysis of results from Department of Defense and other published studies
    BB Hart, LK Weaver, A Gupta, SH Wilson, A Vijayarangan, K Deru, D Hebert

For more information, email uhms@uhms.org.

~ Kayla Deru, LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah

UHMS member alerts the Society on problems with CMS coverage of radiation proctitis

The Case of the Disappearing Indication

Thomas M. Bozzuto, DO, FACEP, FFACHM, UHM

            On May 15, 2018, Palmetto GBA conducted an “Ask the Contractor Teleconference” (ACT) with Dr. Leland Garrett, Medical Director of Palmetto GBA of Columbia, South Carolina. On a side note, several times it appeared that Dr. Garrett did not know the difference between transcutaneous oxygen measurements and topical oxygen therapy – commenting several times that TCOM was not covered under the national coverage determination (NCD). A clarification update had to be issued on July 6, 2018, stating that Dr. Garrett “misunderstood the question” and that TCOM is covered.

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ABEM Subspecialists No Longer Required to Maintain EM Certification

ABEM Subspecialists No Longer Required to Maintain EM Certification

Physicians certified in EM by ABEM who also hold an ABEM-issued subspecialty certificate are no longer required to maintain their Primary Emergency Medicine (EM) certification as long as they are participating in ABEM-accepted MOC programs.

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Summary: 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program Final Rule

On Nov. 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rule, which will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 23, 2018. This is the first year CMS combined the Medicare PFS and QPP rules. CMS published several fact sheets on the final rule including a fact sheet on the QPP changes and a fact sheet on the PFS changes for 2019.

One week later, CMS released a snapshot of physician performance during the first year of the QPP, 2017. These data indicate that 93% of clinicians who were MIPS-eligible in 2017 will get a positive MIPS incentive payment in 2019.

AMA is continuing to review the rule and will work with its colleagues in the Federation to further analyze these policies in the coming weeks. Below is a summary of the key policies included in the final regulation and the QPP performance results.

Read the full summary here:

pdfPFS_QPP_final_rule_summary_11-8_003.pdf

Unique Specialty Code for Physicians who specialize in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

Physicians who specialize in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine have been assigned a unique specialty code by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services.

That specialty code is D4.

The code goes into effect on January 1, 2019.

TBI PROGRESS REPORT A NEW PAPER ON HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY FOR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED

The Department of Defense-sponsored clinical trial on hyperbaric oxygen for mild traumatic brain injury has yielded promising findings for future research.

The Emmes Corporation of Rockville, Maryland, recently announced that scientists and health professionals from Emmes; LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah; Lovelace Biomedical Environmental Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and the U.S. Army Medical and Materiel Development Activity at Fort Detrick, Maryland, have completed a multiyear clinical trial testing hyperbaric oxygen as an intervention for U.S. military service members who have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries with persistent symptoms.

Eleven researchers, as well as members of the study team, collaborated to write a paper that summarized these most recent comprehensive findings in the series of studies. ‘Hyperbaric oxygen for post-concussive symptoms in United States military service members: a randomized clinical trial’ was published in March-April 2018 issue of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, the bimonthly member publication of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society

The Department of Defense-sponsored study included both active-duty soldiers and veterans in the military who suffered from mild traumatic brain injuries.

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UHMS welcomes Derall Garrett as new UHMS Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Director

Derall GarrettDerall Garrett has joined the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society as Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Director. His appointment became effective Monday, December 4, when he began work with retiring accreditation director Tom Workman and HFA coordinator Beth Hands.

Mr. Garrett has been working in the field of hyperbaric medicine for more than a decade. He is a graduate of the College of Oceaneering, certified as a commercial diver and a diver medic. He is a Certified Hyperbaric Technician through the National Board of Diving Hyperbaric Technologist since 2000.

Garrett has experience working with both Class A and B hyperbaric systems in a variety of settings. He is certified by two hyperbaric chamber manufacturers to provide service and maintenance to their Class B hyperbaric systems.

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AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Scholarship

NOGI LogoThe Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences (AUAS) Announces the
AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Scholarship


The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS) is pleased to announce, with matching funds from Divers Alert Network (DAN), the creation of the AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Research Scholarship.  This annual scholarship will encourage research on topics that expand the body of knowledge of human physiology in the marine environment. “The scholarship was created through a generous initial donation from a NOGI Fellow and with the matching funds from DAN, will support important diving medicine research into the future,” stated Dan Orr, President of the AUAS. This annual scholarship provides financial support of up to $10,000. Requests for information or an application for the AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Scholarship can be sent to info@auas-nogi.org

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Sechrist Industries is our First Diamond Level Corporate Partner

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sechrist small.jpg

Sechrist was founded over 35 years ago in 1973, by Ron Sechrist, a mechanical engineer with a passion for the research and development of new life-saving medical technologies.  

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Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee at Work

The UHMS CPG Oversight Committee, chaired by Dr. Enoch Huang, has completed work on the first clinical practice guideline for the UHMS: ‘A clinical practice guideline for the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.’ The paper is available here: https://www.uhms.org/cpg.

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