ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard Will Be Used for Recertification of Orthopaedic Surgeons

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Announcement

In an article posted October 13, 2015, ProPublica announced that the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS ) will use ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard to help assess the competency of its surgeons.

According to ABOS Director Shepard Hurwitz, MD, “The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery will incorporate (ProPublica) Scorecard’s ratings into its recertification process, in which surgeons are formally re-evaluated every 10 years.” He said, ‘Surgeons may also be put on a watch list based on their Scorecard rating.”

Dr. Hurwitz said the ABOS board of directors approved the decision on Oct. 5.

The ABOS is the first surgical board to formally use ProPublica’s Scorecard in it’s recertification process.

About 11,500 orthopedic surgeons are rated on the Surgeon Scorecard for complications following hip and knee replacements, two types of lumbar spinal fusion, and cervical fusion.

The Surgeon Scorecard has been controversial since it’s introduction in July, but publishing physician performance has been long overdue.  It’s a good first step in helping patients find surgeons based on the physician’s outcomes.

Dr. Hurwitz went on to say that the decision by the ABOS “… is controversial, but the fact that we’re doing it is in the spirit of transparency and holding people accountable for what’s already in the public domain.”

Like this story? Read my previous post, Surgeon Complication Rates Now Posted on the Internet where I share how I used this information when my sister underwent a knee replacement.