Credentialing & Privileging | 11.17.20
FSMB Closed Programs Repository
The closing of residency programs is becoming more and more common due in large part to changing fiscal dynamics in healthcare. These closings impact current residents and also potentially impact those who completed their training at the closed institution. Record retention and custody of training records often is a low priority during the closing of a program.
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has offered a Closed Programs Repository Service for several years. Historically, this service consisted of programs shipping boxes of records to FSMB, which then indexed the records and held them in storage to provide verifications when needed. This process, however, proved too cumbersome to support the growing number of closed programs. Recent innovations have allowed FSMB to revamp the service and provide a more sustainable model.
The first innovation is the creation of the standard VGMET (Verification of Graduate Medical Education Training) format. This standard was developed by The Joint Commission, NAMSS, ACGME, and the American Hospital Association. This system streamlines the collection of residency program documents and creates a standardized form that is accepted across the credentialing spectrum. Detailed information regarding the VGMET form is available on the NAMSS website.
Second, the use of verifiable digital signatures allows for the creation of documents that do not require recreation each time the document is needed. This process was discussed at length in the Q3 2020 edition of Synergy in our article “Digital Credentials: Pandemic and Beyond.”
By adding these innovations to our Closed Programs Repository Service, FSMB is committed to providing this service into the future. Closing postgraduate resident training programs can choose the FSMB to permanently store their education and training records as a primary source for residents who have attended their program. This ensures availability of the resident's records for future purposes of state licensure and hospital/healthcare privileging.
FSMB has consulted with The Joint Commission, NCQA, URAC, and state medical boards and has determined that verification of a physician's credentials by FSMB on behalf of a closed program meets the primary source verification requirements of each of these organizations. FSMB also has reviewed this program with ACGME, which has posted the following message on their website. You may read the message here.
Programs interested in storing their training and education records digitally with FSMB can email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the process and next steps. The Closed Programs Repository Service also is available to programs that are planning to close or perhaps are overburdened by the verification process. FSMB currently stores verifications for 55 closed ACGME or AOA accredited programs including over 280 specialties.
Physicians can request a secure, official verification of their graduate medical education (GME) training record for a closed program. The one-time fee includes submission of the document to designated state medical boards. Once their request has been processed, physicians can download and keep a digital copy of the GME certification document for future licensing and credentialing needs.
Credentialing organizations can request verifications by completing required information and uploading a physician authorization form. A digital copy of the primary source equivalent of the training credential can be used by third parties which require this information for licensure, employment, or other training verification needs. You can submit a request for a closed program verification here. View our FSMB list of closed programs that have submitted records to FSMB. You may also contact us at (888) ASK-FCVS or by emailing email@example.com.
Note: The FSMB receives information directly from state medical boards, the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), National Provider Identifier (NPI), the Social Security Death Master File, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, the American Board of Medical Specialties, and the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists. This information is maintained in a manner that is NCQA-certified for quality.
Jama Ball is the FSMB's Director Physician Services, responsible for the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS). Her team is charged with protecting the public by accurately verifying the medical education and training credentials for physicians applying for licensure to various state medical boards. Prior to joining the Federation of State Medical Boards in June 2014, she worked with several major hotel chains before transitioning to the nonprofit sector. Jama's extensive professional experience includes hotel distribution consulting, Strengthsfinder coaching, operations leadership, project management, data integrity, and quality control. Jama received her BA in organizational communication from California State University Sacramento.