Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Am I already certified if I have already completed an MTM certificate training program from PowerPak, APhA or UF?
No. You would not be considered nationally certified as MTM certificate training programs only indicates attendance or completion of a course or series of courses with a specific focus. They are open to newcomers and experienced professionals alike. While either option can benefit your career, board certification is by far the more valuable and recognized achievement. It allows a practitioner to put letters after his or her name (BCMTMS™ for Board Certified Medication Therapy Management Specialist). In addition, certification requires recertification, which ensures that practitioners stay current in their field through continuing education.
Should holding a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree be sufficient in exhibiting competency in Medication Therapy Management? Why do I need an additional certification?
Being an MTM pharmacist requires more than simply reviewing drug interactions and determining proper drug dosing. It requires patient counseling that factors in patient’s emotional state, patient’s financial state, and patient’s cultural state.
Pharmacists with the designated title BCMTMS™ (Board Certified Medication Therapy Management Specialist) demonstrate superior skills in handling complex patient care scenarios that can only be learned through experience and not from pharmacy school or a manual. Indeed, there are other unique skills that MTM pharmacist must master, such as medical billing codes (ICD9 and ICD10) and URAC accreditation standards. These skills are actively sought out by MTM programs.
What is the difference between a pharmacist license and Board Certification?
A pharmacist license is generally a requirement to practice pharmacy in the US. A Board certification is not required to practice pharmacy. Pharmacists generally obtain certification by choice, or if required to by insurance or employer.
What initials may I place after my name, and when am I allowed to do so?
If you pass the BCMTMS™ Exam, you become board certified in medication therapy management and you can use the initials “BCMTMS” after your name on documents, websites, signatures, etc.
What is the difference between Board Certification and Certificate Programs?
Most certificate programs are designed to bring pharmacists “up to speed” on a specific skill or therapeutic area. Examples include diabetes management, asthma management, drug interaction detection, pharmacoeconomic and outcomes assessment, and management of disorders in lipid metabolism. A certificate is generally provided at the completion of the program.
Board certification is not linked to completion of a specific educational program, is generally broader in scope than material covered in a certificate program, and implies a specified level of education, practice experience, knowledge, and skills. Board certification exams are psychometrically sound and validated using the expertise of outside testing consultants.
What is the Mission of NBMTM?
The National Board of Medication Therapy Management (NBMTM) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that was founded to protect the public by assessing and certifying pharmacists who meet specific educational, training, professional requirements, and demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skill, and understanding of medication therapy management (MTM) to the benefit of patients.
The NBMTM has established a thorough evaluation process and implemented new initiatives that continually improve the standards of its certification.
How do I maintain certification?
Your board certification in Medication Therapy Management must be renewed every 5 years from the date in which the NBMTM certification was granted. Within those three years, you must complete 50 hours of Continuing Education that are NBMTM approved. Please see the list of NBMTM approved Continuing Education courses. No more than 15 hours may be earned prior to the end of the 1st year of the 5-year recertification cycle.
After completing the required hours of CEs, members must complete a recertification application at nbmtm.org. Members must submit their updated licensure standing and employment status. The recertification application must not be submitted earlier than 6 months prior to the date of renewal.
How do I know if a provider is certified?
Anyone can find out whether their provider is NBMTM certified and participating in activities to maintain their certification by using the verify certification feature online.
Board certified practitioners participate in a rigorous and continuous process to maintain their certification. Concerned for the well-being of their patients, NBMTM certified practitioners are dedicated to self-improvement and continuous learning.
What is the value of board certification?
Board certification is an important initial step in professional development.
As pharmacists’ practices change over time, anticipating future workforce needs requires an understanding of practice change and overlapping scope of practice among different specialties.
The NBMTM Program for MOC plays a vital role in making sure pharmacists critically evaluate their practices, acquire new skills, and adapt their practices to changing patient health needs.
Importance to Patients
Patients benefit from a pharmacist’s board certification by,
- Assurance that the pharmacist demonstrates adequate practical knowledge in pharmacological therapy
- Better communicative relationships build on listening and sharing which is emphasized in NBMTM’s focus on Motivational Interviewing®
- More Accessibility due to the efficiency of board certified MTM specialists (BCMTMS™) who possess superior knowledge of MTM administration and billing.
Relevance to Pharmacy Practice
The NBMTM board certification is recognized as an important quality marker by quality and credentialing organizations. Through the NBMTM certification program, board certified pharmacists advance the standard of medication therapy management for improved outcomes and better patient experiences.
How is this certification useful to me as a healthcare professional?
Being a Board-Certified Medication Therapy Management Specialist can greatly broaden your opportunities to serve patients. As dispensing is increasingly automated and as traditional pharmacists job duties such as drug utilization reviews, third party billing, and order entry reviews are becoming more efficient through technology, pharmacists have much more time for patient counseling and patient care. Employers have recognized this trend and are now factoring medication therapy management skills into their hiring requirements. According to the results of a survey given to top employers by NBMTM, most employers prefer new graduates over existing pharmacists because of the emphasize of MTM in the current curriculum of pharmacy schools. However, employers have mentioned in the survey that they would much rather have an experienced pharmacist who possesses skills in MTM. Obtaining a board certification in MTM can demonstrate that you do indeed have the knowledge and skills that can serve not only patients but employers as well.
What is the difference between Board Certified in Ambulatory Care Pharmacist provided by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties and Board-Certified Medication Therapy Management Specialist provided by the National Board of Medication Therapy Management?
A Board Certified Ambulatory care pharmacist demonstrates knowledge in Ambulatory care pharmacy, which involves medication management in a primary care institution. Ambulatory care pharmacists work along with other healthcare providers and provide pharmaceutical care which may or may not include MTM. Ambulatory care pharmacist positions are found in universities and large healthcare institution and are quite rare. There are currently 3,250 Board Certified Ambulatory care pharmacists (BCACP), however, only a handful of those are employed as ambulatory care pharmacists.
A Board-Certified Medication Therapy Management Specialist demonstrates superior knowledge in Medication Therapy Management and knowledge of handling complex patient care scenarios with practical and billable solutions. A Board-Certified Medication Therapy Management Specialist (BCMTMS™) demonstrates extensive knowledge of pharmacological therapies associated mainly with chronic diseases seen in outpatient settings as well as certain unique skills such as medical billing codes (ICD9 and ICD10) and URAC accreditation standards. These skills are actively sought out by MTM programs, community pharmacies, pharmacy benefit management companies, patient benefit management companies, hospitals, and insurers. As new Medicare mandates are increasingly requiring more MTM reviews, the field of medication therapy management is growing exponentially. There are approximately 150,000 pharmacists who conduct MTM reviews periodically.
How do I remove my information from NBMTM database?
NBMTM displays certification information to provide patients and employers with transparent certification information. We receive this information from public records of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and NBMTM records. Our mission is to empower patients with information and tools to make wise decisions about their health care. For this reason, we do not remove provider pages from NBMTM.
If your page displays erroneous certification information or public record data, please contact us here.
How long is the exam and how is it structured?
The BCMTMS™ examination is 200 computer-based, multiple-choice questions, given over a period of four hours. 180 questions are used to compute the candidate’s score, and 20 questions are non-scored pre-test items.
May I have my score verified?
Yes, you will need to contact NBMTM directly at (202) 489-0506. There is a $25 fee for score verification, which will be collected directly by NBMTM.
Where can I find review textbooks, courses or seminars to prepare for my exam?
In compliance with national accreditation standards, the NBMTM does not promote or endorse any particular review materials or courses for the BCMTMS™ examination. However, we do offer exam Content Outline for the BCMTMS™ exam. We also offer Practice Exams for the BCMTMS™ compiled from past examination questions. There are many review materials, courses, and seminars that have been independently developed, which could serve as supplementary preparation for our examination.
When are the examinations offered?
You may schedule your exam as soon as your application has been submitted and verified. Once the board accepts your application, you will receive an email with instructions on scheduling your exam. Our exams are administered through our remote proctoring vendor, Mettl®. Exams may be scheduled any time according to your convenience.
How are the exams developed?
The examination is based on a job analysis study that is conducted periodically to determine the job content elements that are related to effective job performance. The survey tool used in the job analysis study is developed by a panel of subject matter experts. The survey is distributed to a large number of professionals to gather data representative of the field of practice. The results of the job analysis study are used to develop the content outline for each examination. The examination corresponds to the requirements of the content outline.
An interdisciplinary team constructs the items included in the examination. The Examination Committee meets two to three times a year to review the items and the examination itself for validation. All examination materials are under the control of the NBMTM and Examination Committee members do not have copies or notes from these committee meetings. The NBMTM also runs statistical analysis on each examination and examination items to validate their effectiveness as examination questions.
The NBMTM oversees a continual process of job analysis studies, content outline development, question writing and review, and analysis and evaluation of the exam to ensure that the content of each exam remains up-to-date and accurate.
What is the best way to study for a certification examination?
NBMTM board certification examination will test your knowledge and experience with medication therapy management. The exam will consist of MTM implementation, pharmacology, patient care advocacy, and MTM documentation/billing. It is strongly recommended to review the NBMTM board certification exam outline.
There is no is not a “one-size fits all” preparation strategy for NBMTM board certification exam. The time spent for preparation may take from 2 to 6 months, depending on your experience as a MTM pharmacist. It is also strongly recommended to take the NBMTM practice assessment. The practice assessment will be the best predictor for success and will give an estimation on how much studying is needed.
The National Board of Medication Therapy Management has several recommended publications that would help in examination preparation.
Medication Therapy Management, Second Edition, by Karen Lynn Whalen PharmD, BCPS, CDE
How is the passing point determined?
The passing point for the examination is established using a criterion-referenced technique (Angoff Method). Qualified and trained Subject Matter Experts on the Cut Score Committee will participate in recommending the passing point under the guidance of a qualified psychometrician. The passing point recommendation will be considered by the Board. The Board is responsible for final approval of the passing point for each examination.
The process used to determine the passing point will be documented as part of a qualified psychometrician’s technical report. Any dialogue with regard to the recommended passing point from the Board must be consistent with generally accepted psychometric principles and will be documented in the technical report along with the rationale for any adjustments to the recommended passing point.
Specific methodologies for establishing the passing score for exams, and ensuring test forms are equivalent, will be selected by a qualified psychometrician based on compliance with national accreditation standards.
How can I register for an exam?
The BCMTMS examination is administered by our testing partner, Mettl. Mettl provides online proctoring throughout the world for your convenience.
You will receive instruction on scheduling your examination once you receive your authorization to test.
After completing the exam, when will I receive my results?
After you have finished the exam and completed the evaluation of your testing experience, you will receive your score report notification by email within 2-3 weeks. Final scoring audits will be conducted, the passing score will be set, and the score reports will be posted to your myNBMTM account.