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ABMS Portfolio Program and NCCPA Enter Into Joint Agreement

ABMS Portfolio Program and NCCPA Enter Into Joint Agreement

Collaborative arrangement will allow PAs to obtain certification maintenance credit for working with physicians on quality and practice improvement in hospitals and health systems across the country

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Multi-Specialty Portfolio Program™ (Portfolio Program) and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) have announced the establishment of an inter-professional collaborative arrangement whereby NCCPA-certified Physician Assistants (PAs) can obtain performance improvement continuing medical education (PI-CME) credit for participating with physicians in patient safety and PI activities aimed at improving the quality of care delivered to patients at their institutions.

This new collaboration is a first for the Portfolio Program, which was created to offer physicians who are Board Certified by one of the 21 of 24 ABMS Member Boards participating in the Portfolio Program the opportunity to earn Maintenance of Certification Improvement in Medical Practice (Part IV) credit for their involvement in institutional quality improvement (QI) and PI activities. As many of these activities are system-wide and inter-professional by design, this collaborative effort will further encourage PAs to participate in these efforts. NCCPA-certified PAs can begin obtaining CME credit through Portfolio Program activities effective immediately.

“Many of the approved Portfolio Program activities currently underway address systemic and complex QI, PI, and patient safety issues that require participation from different members of the care team,” explained David W. Price, MD, FAAFP, FACEHP, Executive Director of the Portfolio Program. “It seemed like a natural extension of our program to work with NCCPA and embrace the PA community to encourage and reward greater participation in these collaborative inter-professional efforts.”

NCCPA will award PI-CME credit to PAs for Portfolio Program activities. This is especially significant since NCCPA weights PI-CME activities more heavily than traditional Category 1 activities. Further reflecting the high value of PI-CME, the first 20 PI-CME credits earned during a PA’s two-year CME cycle will be doubled by NCCPA. Most Portfolio Program activities are equivalent to 30 CME credits before the weighting. The effect of this program could eventually reach more than 35,000 PAs whose primary clinical practice setting is hospital-based.

“We have pursued this partnership with the ABMS Portfolio Program because we truly believe in the value of practice-based, improvement-focused activities as a way to support the continuous professional development of PAs while also making a direct, positive impact on patient care and outcomes,” said Dawn Morton-Rias, EdD, PA-C, NCCPA President/CEO. “We want to encourage PAs to participate in these activities and ensure they are getting credit for them in their certification maintenance program. The Portfolio Program facilitates both of those aims.”

To date, the Portfolio Program has helped engage physicians in QI and PI initiatives at hospitals and health systems across the country, with many showing improvement in care outcomes. Since its inception, more than 2,000 improvement efforts have been completed by Portfolio Program participants.

View a list of hospitals and institutions that are participating in the Portfolio Program; PAs whose employers are not on that list but that are interested in participating should encourage administrators to learn more at the Portfolio Program website.

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