The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) apparently received another boost toward wider acceptance of its recertification program when The Joint Commission added the organization to its list of “designated equivalent source agencies” in its accreditation manuals.
The NBPAS was founded in 2015 in reaction to what its founders saw as the expensive and onerous maintenance of certification requirements of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association. The NBPAS process is designed to provide “physicians with a choice in board recertification that is clinically rigorous, evidence-based, less burdensome, and nationally accepted,” according to its website.
“This is another important milestone for the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons,” said NBPAS Founder and President Paul Teirstein, MD, who is chief of cardiology at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego. “Hospitals and health systems look to the The Joint Commission standards as important benchmarks for accreditation.”
However, ABMS immediately objected to any assertion of “certifying body equivalency” by NBPAS. NBPAS does not provide original board certification, only what it terms “recertification” of physicians board-certified by ABMS, and only in their original specialties. NBPAS recertification is based on submission of continuing medical education credits, with no testing requirements.
“ABMS strongly disagrees with the persistent and misleading assertions that the NBPAS recertification process provides a means of continuing ABMS board certification or is equivalent to ABMS board certification,” ABMS responded to the news in a statement on its website. “Claims of equivalence to ABMS certification or that NBPAS is a means to maintain ABMS member board certification are misleading to the profession, and most importantly, to the public who depend upon the strength of ABMS board certification.”