Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Do ABIM and ACP differ regarding P4P?

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has supported P4P. An organization,the American Board of Internal Medicine,frequently sees eye to eye with ACP. Apparently this is not the case in regard to P4P according to a recent letter to the editor published in the November 2006 issue of "ACP Observer". Dr. Christine Cassel is president and CEO of ABIM and says the following in her letter:

"ABIM does not 'support' pay for performance."

"... pay for performance is a strategy that has yet to prove itself as a mechanism to improve quality of care"

The apparent link from ABIM to P4P may lie in the fact that physicians who are taking part in the ABIM's " Maintenance of Certification" program can receive credit from many health plans and that credit could be linked to a P4P arrangement. So it seems like ABIM is sort of working with insurance plans on activities tied to "incentive" programs but do not support P4P and consider it a unproven way to improve quality. I can see why Dr. Cassel saw fit to write a letter to explain the situation because some would consider their arrangement with health plans "support".

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