THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PATHOLOGY

A Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties

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TAMPA, Fla. (April 9, 2019)- The American Board of Pathology (ABPath) strives to meet the needs of our candidates and diplomates with certification and continuing certification programs that incorporate the highest standards for our profession. The ABPath is committed to continuous improvement and providing high quality programs and services to advance our profession.

We are pleased to report that the ABPath has made significant investments in infrastructure, capacity, and personnel over the past several years while maintaining the same fees since 2003. Despite these investments, ABPath has not increased fees by supplementing annual revenue with money from reserves that grew from wise investments. A careful analysis of ongoing expenses necessitates that the ABPath must increase fees to cover costs and avoid depleting our reserves to an unsafe level. 

The fee structure changes will be phased in beginning in 2020 and 2021.

In 2020- 

The primary and subspecialty exam fees, and single certification fee will increase by approximately 18%. The ABPath has been sensitive to keeping candidate and diplomate fees reasonable. Our new exam fees still compare favorably to other ABMS member boards’ fees. 

• The primary combined (APCP) exam fee will be $2,600. 
• The subspecialty and one-part (AP or CP) exam fees will be $2,100. 
• The single certification fee will be $1,200. 
• The CC exam fee will not change in 2020, however there are incentives for an exam rebate if a diplomate participates in ABPath CertLink.

In 2021-

• The CC fee will be $150 per year. 
• Current CC fees, including the exam, are $1200 over a 10-year CC cycle. The new fee will be $1500 over a 10-year cycle. This fee will include the cost of ABPath CertLink. We believe that ABPath CertLink will be an alternative to the once every 10-year exam beginning in 2021. Our CC fees remain the lowest of all 24 American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member boards.

ABPath has made many investments in program improvements based on feedback from diplomates and stakeholders to meet the needs of our physicians and add value to our programs. Many Board functions previously depended on outside vendors. Developing in-house expertise is improving our processes immensely.

Some recent ABPath enhancements that have required significant financial investments: 

The ABPath CertLink® pilot - the online longitudinal assessment pilot, a more effective assessment of knowledge for Continuing Certification (CC, formerly MOC). A new ABPath CertLink Coordinator is available to work with diplomates and manage this pilot.
ACCME PARS - the Program and Activity Reporting System, a partnership with ACCME for automated electronic reporting and tracking of CME events for diplomates. 
Offering a remote exam option for the 10-year CC Exam. This option allows diplomates to take the exam at a time and place that is convenient and eliminates travel expenses to the exam center in Tampa, FL. 
Use of an additional exam facility for spring primary certification in Tucson, AZ, providing easier travel and reduced costs for west coast candidates.
We added five new staff positions: a CIO, an IT specialist, a psychometrician, a communications specialist, and a medical editor. We anticipate major improvements in IT infrastructure including a new diplomate management and reporting system (PATHway) and an updated website. The dedicated psychometrician on the ABPath staff has improved the efficiency of the exam scoring process and reduced the turnaround time for exam results. Our communications specialist has improved and increased our communications to include the use of social media to share pertinent information. The addition of an in-house medical editor is improving the quality and clarity of exam questions.


ABPath strives to provide open and transparent communications with all stakeholders. To maintain the technology, programs, and administration required to demonstrate the competence of our physicians in an ever-changing healthcare landscape, our fees must cover our expenses. We are dedicated to high quality programs and assessments that demonstrate to patients, colleagues, and the public that our certified pathologists meet the highest standards of care in pathology. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at questions@abpath.org 

Sincerely,

American Board of Pathology Board of Trustees

 

About the American Board of Pathology
The mission of the American Board of Pathology, as a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties, is to serve the public and advance the profession of pathology by setting certification standards and promoting lifelong competency of pathologists. Founded in 1936, the ABPath accomplishes this mission by establishing certification and continuing certification standards and assessing the qualifications of those seeking to obtain voluntary certification in the specialty of pathology. For more information on ABPath, visit abpath.org or call (813) 286-2444.

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