Certification status tied to physician performance measures

(HealthDay)—Maintenance of certification (MOC) among physicians is associated with performance on selected Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) process measures, according to a study published online June 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Bradley Gray, Ph.D., from the American Board of Internal Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined whether physician American Board of Internal Medicine’s MOC status is associated with performance on selected HEDIS process measures in annual comparisons conducted among physicians. Data were included for 1,260 general internists who were initially certified in 1991 and provided care for 85,931 Medicare patients between 2009 and 2012.

The researchers found that 786 physicians maintained their certification from 1991 to 2012 and 474 physicians did not. The mean annual percentage of HEDIS-eligible patients with diabetes who completed semiannual hemoglobin A1c testing was 58.4 and 54.4 percent among physicians who did and did not maintain certification. The annual standard for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol measurement and all three diabetic standpoints were met more frequently by diabetes patients of physicians who maintained certification (83.1 versus 80.5 percent and 46.0 versus 41.6 percent, respectively). In patients with coronary heart disease, measures of LDL testing were more frequent, and biennial mammography was also more frequent among physicians who maintained certification (79.4 versus 77.4 percent and 72.0 versus 67.8 percent, respectively).

“Maintaining certification was positively associated with physician performance scores on a set of HEDIS process measures,” the authors write.

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