AHA Throws Its Support Behind New, Independent Medical Board

AHA joins the “House of Cardiology” consortium’s push to leave ABIM’s certification process and create its own board.

AHA Throws Its Support Behind New, Independent Medical Board

The American Heart Association (AHA) is joining several other professional societies in the quest for a new, independent medical board for cardiovascular medicine.  

Last week, the AHA’s national board of directors voted to provide “full support” for the creation of the new American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine (ABCVM), joining the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions (SCAI).

The consortium, calling itself the “House of Cardiology”, wants to break from the maintenance of certification (MOC) process of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) over a myriad of long-standing issues, not the least of which is the amount of time and money required to regularly recertify. The testing, say cardiologists, can be irrelevant to their practice, as well as redundant, because it occurs on top of continuing medical education (CME) activities needed to maintain licensure and hospital privileges.

“The new ABCVM will be independent of the ABIM and focus on the specific competency-based trainings and appropriate ongoing certifications that align with and strengthen skills for cardiovascular physicians and enhance quality of care for people with cardiovascular disease,” said AHA President Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD (Stanford Medicine, CA), in a statement announcing the organization’s participation.

The consortium will be applying shortly to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to request the creation of the ABCVM, but a decision is not expected for many months yet. The ABCVM will remain under the umbrella of ABMS.

Earlier this month, leaders from the ACC, SCAI, HRS, and HFSA participated in a webinar to discuss what the new ABCVM would like when removed from the ABIM. As reported by TCTMD, many of the details are still being worked out, but the new board would aim to make it easier for physicians to recertify, would cut the costs of participation by an estimated 30% to 40%, would place a greater emphasis on identifying and addressing gaps in knowledge, and have greater input from cardiologists representing a range of specialties.

“The consortium’s robust proposal harnesses the knowledge, skills, and benchmarks appropriate for professional excellence and delivery of effective, high-quality cardiovascular care,” said Wu. “This collaboration builds upon the 40-plus-year relationship between the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology to produce the clinical practice guidelines for cardiovascular care.”

Michael O’Riordan is the Managing Editor for TCTMD. He completed his undergraduate degrees at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, and…

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