ABQAURP and PlanetHospital: Strategic partnership on healthcare quality


American medical tourism agency PlanetHospital and ABQAURP are both interested in healthcare quality on a worldwide basis. They have partnered to offer international physicians looking for quality approval and enhanced credentials.

Established in 1977, ABQAURP, the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians (ABQAURP) is the US’s largest organization of interdisciplinary health care professionals. It has a Health Care Quality and Management (HCQM) examination for individuals. The certification process promotes professionalism in all health care professionals and ABQAURP is the only organization with an international certification developed, administered, and evaluated through the consultation of the National Board of Medical Examiners.

International physician candidates will need to be credentialed through PlanetHospital. Once credentials are certified and the candidate has passed the HCQM examination, the ABQAURP Diplomate will have the opportunity to participate in the PlanetHospital network of hospitals and clinics. Those health care professionals already affiliated with the network will have the opportunity to be certified through ABQAURP’s HCQM certification.

As an ABQAURP's corporate partner providing products or services to the health care industry, individuals get greatly reduced prices for ABQAURP certification and continuing education programs, while the company gets exhibit space at live seminars, complimentary advertising in the Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare magazine as well as numerous other benefits.

To be eligible to sit for the exam, international candidates must meet the same high eligibility and credentialing standards as US candidates, including a working knowledge of English. The ABQAURP Certification Exam is given in the English language at testing sites throughout the world.

Non-US physicians and other health care professionals must meet eligibility and credentialing standards. Once eligibility requirements are met, candidates may proceed with the credentialing process. Sitting for the HCQM examination is permitted while the credentialing process is pending. Credentialing is provided through PlanetHospital using its own knowledge of the sector.

There is a proliferation of accreditors, certificators and credentiallers offering, for a fee, to help individuals and organisations improve healthcare and medical tourism quality. There is confusion as some use the terms interchangeably, to confuse customers who do not know the ins and outs of the various processes.

According to the 2009 edition of Mosby's Medical Dictionary,

credentialing means:

  • Examination and review of the credentials of individuals meeting a set of educational or occupational criteria and therefore being licensed in their field.”

Accreditation means:

  • A process whereby a professional association or nongovernmental agency grants recognition to a health care institution for demonstrated ability to meet predetermined criteria for established standards.

Certication means:

  • A process where an individual or an institution is evaluated and recognized as meeting certain predetermined standards. Certification is usually made by a nongovernmental agency. The purpose of certification is to ensure that the standards met are those necessary for safe and ethical practice of the profession or service.


  • Individuals can be credentialed, but not accredited.

  • Organisations can be accredited but not credentialed.

  • Either can be certificated

The new partnership does offer non-US professionals an acceptable examination based standard, a class above self-approved, non-examination, fee-based alternatives. 



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