The American Heart Association's TGA Program Joins ABMS Multi-Specialty Portfolio Program

Monday, August 8, 2016 Heart Disease News
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Physicians to Obtain Maintenance of Certification Credit for Engaging in Quality Improvement Initiatives

CHICAGO, Aug. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has announced that

the American Heart Association - The Guideline Advantage program (AHA-TGA) is now participating in the ABMS Multi-Specialty Portfolio Program (Portfolio Program). Physicians at AHA-TGA participating practices nationwide who are Board Certified by one of 21 of the 24 ABMS Member Boards participating in the Portfolio Program may now receive Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Improvement in Medical Practice (Part IV) credit for their engagement in quality improvement (QI) work at their practice or clinic.

"The ABMS MOC program is designed to be relevant and meaningful," said Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, ABMS President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Improvement in Medical Practice component of the ABMS MOC program offers physicians the opportunity to ensure the profession's voice in quality improvement, practice improvement, and patient safety initiatives. The AHA-TGA program's commitment to improving patient care throughout its collaborating clinics is in line with our ultimate goal at ABMS, and participating in the Portfolio Program will help them to engage even more of their physicians in these important efforts."

The AHA-TGA Portfolio Program was originally piloted this spring at HealthLinc, a federally qualified health center in northern Indiana. The pilot project focused on improving the rate of colorectal screenings and involved 32 physicians and related nursing staff in five clinics. The project's end goal was for an 80 percent increase by 2018, with a 50 percent increase by the end of the performance improvement project. To-date, the pilot has increased colorectal screening rates by 30 percent to 35 percent, and its success encouraged the national rollout of the AHA-TGA Portfolio Program.

"We are pleased to be working with ABMS and its Portfolio Program to provide an extra incentive for physicians to participate in quality improvement projects," said James Langabeer, MD, The Guideline Advantage™ Steering Committee Chair and a Professor of Informatics and Emergency Medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston. "The Guideline Advantage MOC Program will work with participating clinics to help coordinate and elevate the practice's quality improvement efforts. TGA staff work together, with the program's technology provider and clients, to identify common high priority performance improvement interventions and believe that participation in the ABMS Portfolio Program will encourage physician teams to participate. Providing MOC-eligible credits for improving the quality of care for every patient is a win/win for everyone."

Two additional projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. As the AHA-TGA is a tri-agency program composed of the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and AHA, the additional topics will focus on heart disease and diabetes. All told, the AHA-TGA Portfolio Program will engage 52 practices nationwide, involving approximately 249 physicians and impact the care of more than 550,000 patients.

"The AHA-TGA program is one of more than 70 bellwether hospitals and health systems across the country participating in the ABMS Portfolio Program," explained David W. Price, MD, FAAFP, FACEHP, Executive Director of the Portfolio Program. "This program actively involves physicians in multi-discipline, team-based quality improvement, performance improvement, and patient safety programs that help improve patient care – while at the same time allowing them to obtain continuing certification credit. It offers a multi-dimensional solution by encouraging and rewarding important physician involvement in systemic quality improvement and patient safety activities."

To date, the Portfolio Program has helped engage more than 9,000 physicians in practice improvement initiatives at hospitals and health systems across the country, many showing improvement in care outcomes, and has recognized their participation with MOC-eligible credit. Since its inception, more than 1,700 improvement efforts have been completed by Portfolio Program participants. For more information about participation in the Portfolio Program, visit the program website at

About ABMS Established in 1933, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) continues to be the leading not-for-profit organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. ABMS establishes the standards its 24 Member Boards use to develop and implement educational and professional evaluation, assessment, and certification of physician specialists. More than 840,000 physicians are certified in one or more of the approved 37 specialties and 85 subspecialties offered by the ABMS Member Boards.  For more information about ABMS, visit or call (312) 436-2600.

About the American Heart Association – TGA ProgramThe Guideline Advantage™ combines the expertise of the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association to advance prevention and disease management in the outpatient setting. The program promotes the use of evidence based treatment guidelines, performance measurement tools and quality improvement strategies with the goal of helping practitioners offer patients every advantage for a healthy life.


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SOURCE American Board of Medical Specialties

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