Alternative board certification group advances

NBPAS added to Joint Commission’s list of accepted organizations for verifying provider credentials

The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) has taken another step forward in its quest to become a universally accepted path for doctors to maintain their board certification.

In July, The Joint Commission named the NBPAS a Designated Equivalent Source Agency in its accreditation manuals. Health care institutions can use Designated Equivalent Source Agencies to verify certain provider credentials in place of the original provider of the credential, such as medical, nursing or graduate schools. That makes it easier for hospitals to verify the credentials of doctors who have recertified through NBPAS, and thus grant them admitting privileges.

In a written statement, NBPAS founder and president Paul Teirstein, M.D., called The Joint Commission’s announcement an “important milestone” for NBPAS. “Hospitals and health systems look to The Joint Commission standards as important benchmarks for accreditation. We are very proud to be added and look forward to welcoming many hospitals, health systems, and physicians nationwide.”

“Having NBPAS listed in Joint Commission standards provides peace of mind and confidence that NBPAS can be used as an equivalent source agency,” Karen Schatten, NBPAS associate director said in an email.

NBPAS was founded in 2015 to provide physicians an alternate way to maintain certification in their specialty, following changes to the maintenance of certification process instituted by the American Board of Internal Medicine and its parent organization, the American Board of Medical Specialties. To-date NBPAS has re-certified more than 10,000 board-certified physicians, according to the statement.

At least 200 health care institutions accept NBPAS recertification when granting admitting privileges, and the number is likely higher, since “we are not always notified when a hospital or other entity adds NBPAS to its bylaws,” Schatten said, She added that “we are aware of many health insurers that readily accept NBPAS, but with nearly 6,000 registered health insurance companies in the United States, it takes time to confirm.”

Along with The Joint Commission, NBPAS meets national accreditation standards for hospitals and health plans set by Det Norske Veritas, The National Committee on Quality Assurance, and the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission.