Position Statements, ABMS Insights

ABMS Statement Regarding State of Texas SB 1148 and Similar State Legislative Efforts

ABMS Statement Regarding State of Texas SB 1148 and Similar State Legislative Efforts

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is disappointed by the passage of Texas Senate Bill (SB) 1148. This legislation establishes dangerous precedent by allowing the state to interfere with physician professional self-regulation, as well as dictating to independent organizations—such as insurers and hospitals—which quality standards they may use. Fortunately, the exemptions included in the law will allow hospitals and health systems in Texas to continue to have the right to use Board Certification as a quality indicator.

Specialty and subspecialty certification are important quality indicators, and ABMS continues to support the right of hospitals, health systems, and insurers to determine the criteria they use when making independent decisions regarding medical staff, practice, or network privileges. Patients have a right to know whether their physicians are up to date with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver 2017 specialty care. Maintenance of Certification (MOC) provides this assurance through a process of independent assessment.

As originally drafted, SB 1148 would have sent a chilling message to Texas citizens that maintaining high standards for medical specialty care is not important. Physicians are accountable for holding themselves to the highest possible standards for continuing certification, for the benefit of their patients, their colleagues, and themselves. As a Boards Community, ABMS and its 24 Member Boards are committed to soliciting input from physicians across the country in order to improve the continuing certification process so that it is more relevant and offers value to Board Certified physicians, while remaining a trusted credential for patients and their families.

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