Academy Question & Answer
The AAHIVM Credentialing Process: Exploring a Certificate of Added Qualification
Now that the AAHIVM HIV Specialist credentialing process has been successfully implemented, will the Academy pursue another type of recognition for HIV health care providers?
Maybe. The Academy is exploring additional methods of professional recognition. Now that we have created the AAHIVM HIV Specialist credentialing process, another level of professional recognition would be a Certificate of Added Qualification, or CAQ. We will continue discussions with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Academy of Family Practice to assess the requirements needed for a CAQ. However, we have not decided whether we should pursue a CAQ in HIV medicine. Before making that decision, the Academy will gather feedback from its members as to the need in HIV medicine for the more stringent qualifications required for a CAQ.
Question: How long before a CAQ may be available?
Answer: It is clear from our initial discussions with the ABIM that CAQs require a training program (at least one year) and an exam. If we do decide to pursue a CAQ, it will likely take several years to establish enough training programs and the exam process.
Question: If a CAQ were offered, how would it affect the current AAHIVM HIV Specialist credentialing process?
Answer: Currently, the Academy has no plans to discontinue the HIV Specialist credentialing process. In fact, more states are discussing adding the credentialing process into existing state requirements. If the Academypursues a CAQ in HIV medicine, it could take a few years to establish, during which time the Academy would continue to offer the HIV Specialist credential.
Question: How does your activity match up with the IDSA's HIVMA announcement to pursue a CAQ in HIV medicine?
Answer: In the April/May 2002 issue of HIV Quality Care News, IDSA's HIV Medicine Association stated, "As a means of bringing formal acknowledgment and validation to the many physicians not certified in infectious diseases ... HIVMA is working with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and other medical specialty and subspecialty boards ... to develop a certificate of added qualification."
The Academy is excited that IDSA's HIVMA has changed its position to support credentialing, and the Academy fully supports IDSA's efforts to increase recognition of HIV health care providers. However, there are some important differences between the Academy's position and that of HIVMA. The Academy believes that there should be one standard of excellence for all health care providers in HIV medicine. So our efforts are not directed only at a particular ID or non-ID segment of HIV care providers. Instead, we are working to bring a single standard of up-to-date knowledge to the field that applies to all medical backgrounds, not just a few.
The Academy continues to hope that the two organizations can work together.
This article was provided by American Academy of HIV Medicine. It is a part of the publication The Nexus. Visit AAHIVM's website to find out more about their activities and publications.