About the Portfolio Program

Program Mission and Vision

Program Mission
The Multi-Specialty Portfolio Approval Program Organization supports the ABMS Member Board community by setting standards for, identifying, creating opportunities for, and evaluating meaningful physician participation in organizational quality, safety, improvement, and CPD activities for continuous certification. Our work contributes to the improvement and evolution of continuous certification, facilitating physician performance in the healthcare system, and enables individuals to actively and willingly engage in assessing and improving the quality of their efforts to improve patient outcomes and the patient care experience.

Program Vision
The Multi-Specialty Portfolio Approval Program Organization will exemplify collaboration, shared learning, innovation and improvement among the ABMS, ABMS Member Boards, healthcare organizations and medical professionals in pursuit of continuous certification and improved health of the public.

What is it?

The ABMS Multi-Specialty Portfolio Approval Program (Portfolio Program) affords healthcare organizations the opportunity to support and encourage physician involvement in internal quality improvement (QI) projects and initiatives while simultaneously supporting Maintenance of Certification (MOC) for physicians across multiple ABMS specialties. As part of the Portfolio Program, healthcare organizations approve well-designed, internal QI projects that may or may not cross specialties, that align with internal priorities, and that meet Portfolio Program Standards. Physicians who then meaningfully participate in those projects will be granted MOC Part IV credit as sponsors report physician participation to the Portfolio Program, and thus, participating ABMS Member Boards. Sponsor organizations therefore develop a “portfolio” of approved QI initiatives for MOC Part IV credit that align physician involvement in quality improvement with organizational improvement goals.
The Portfolio Program is designed for organizations that develop and oversee the implementation of multiple physician-related quality improvement (QI) efforts. Organizations that are approved as a Portfolio Sponsors are committed to supporting physician involvement in quality improvement, improving patient care, and supporting physician participation in MOC. Sponsorship involves an investment of time and resources, including application and participation fees, establishing and maintaining an internal review body, adjudicating disputes, tracking and reporting physician completion data, and submitting progress reports on approved quality improvement efforts. These costs are offset by a single streamlined internal approval process and the avoidance of application fees to individual Boards.

What isn’t it?

Importantly, participation in the Portfolio Program is not a measure or an endorsement of the overall quality of care of an organization or the overall quality of their improvement work. An organization may deliver high-quality care and conduct high-quality improvement work and choose not to participate or for some reason not be eligible to participate in the Portfolio Program.

Program Benefits

Benefits to sponsors include:

  • Physicians can earn MOC Part IV credit for participating in health care QI efforts within their local organization; this is an added incentive to improve patient care in the workplace while aligning with the organization’s mission, vision, and goals
  • The program provides a single process for approval by multiple ABMS Member Boards
  • Costs associated with multiple applications are reduced
  • Portfolio Sponsors use the standards and guidelines of the program to approve their own QI efforts for MOC Part IV credit from participating ABMS Member Boards
  • Portfolio Sponsors can learn from each other and share successful QI practices

Conflict of Interest

The Portfolio Program standards and guidelines for approving QI efforts prohibit the use of commercial pharmaceutical or medical device funding for topic selection, content development or selection of interventions.

Program History

Beginning in 2003 several ABMS Member Boards began awarding MOC Part IV credit to physicians involved in valid, local quality improvement efforts. These Boards developed similar but separate standards and processes that enabled organizations to submit individual quality improvement efforts for approval, leading to MOC Part IV credit. Over time, organizations began to seek approval from multiple ABMS Member Boards for quality improvement efforts they sponsored. Mayo Clinic was the first organization to approach the three Primary Care Boards (ABFM, ABIM and ABP) asking for a single application process stimulating the three Boards to adopt a common set of standards and a common application and approval process. The “Primary Care Board QI Approval Pilot” was launched in May of 2009 with Mayo Clinic as the first “Pilot Portfolio Sponsor.”
Since then, the Portfolio Program has evolved to include additional sponsor organizations and ABMS Member Boards (20 of 24), and has become one of several ways in which physicians can obtain MOC Part IV credit. In 2014, the Portfolio Program became part of the ABMS.