Working in close concert with leadership at the Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS successfully rallied its partners in the Truth in Advertising Coalition to stop the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME) from advancing a draft regulation that would have allowed substandard certifying bodies – most notably the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) – to be deemed equivalent to American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certifying boards.
The LSBME was set to move the regulation forward at its monthly meeting on September 21, but decided to pull the rule from consideration after receiving widespread opposition from national specialty societies and in-person testimony from a number of physician providers, including plastic surgeons.
ASPS engaged in direct advocacy with staff at the LSBME in advance of the board’s meeting and submitted comments on the rule that reflected the general position of opponents, specifically that a physician’s ability to advertise as “board certified” should be limited to only those physicians who undergo ACGME-accredited training in the specific specialty or subspecialty that is being certified. As the rule was written, it was likely that it could be interpreted to deem substandard, non-ACGME-accredited training, such as that offered by ABCS, to be on par with the widely-accepted gold standard of training required for ABMS certification.
The LSBME will reconsider the rule at its October board meeting, and ASPS and its coalition partners will participate again in full force. In the meantime, ASPS is developing a change to the rule language that it will offer to the LSBME as a means of maintaining the high standards associated with board certification.