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From the 2023 3rd Quarter Pressure

Derall W. Garrett, CHT

Keeping oneself informed and up-to-date with information

UHMS is a valuable source of information for healthcare professionals.

One way this information is shared is through the UHMS website. An example of an important document that can be found on the website is the UHMS Guidelines for Credentialing, Privileging, and Supervision of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in the U.S.A. ( This document was first created in 2009 and has been updated regularly since then. However, it is surprising to find that many healthcare facilities are still unaware of this document. By following this guideline, facilities can provide the best possible care to their patients. While I will not be discussing the current updates, I will highlight some of the key items that are commonly found during a survey.

A common issue we observe is physicians failing to uphold their continuing medical education (CME) obligations. Despite the updated CME requirements from a few years ago, there are still some facilities that remain unaware of the revised guidelines. As an example, please refer to page 20 and 21 of the guidelines for a noteworthy observation.

Page 20
“Continuing Medical Education (CME) for Initial UHM Credentials or Reappointment MD/DO or APP applicants seeking either initial UHM credentialing, subsequent reappointment, or are transferring from an outside health care facility must demonstrate completion of a minimum of twelve (12) hours a year or a total of twenty-four (24) hours of Physician Category 1 AMA/AOA PRA CME in hyperbaric medicine-related topics within the preceding two (2) year period. Page 21 of 22 • If the health care facility credentialing requirements or the requirements of certification agencies exceed these standards, the CME requirements of the physician’s health care facility or certification and privileging agencies should be followed.”

Page 21
Minimum Proof of Continuing Education
“Minimum of twelve (12) credit hours of Physician Category 1 AMA/AOA PRA CME in hyperbaric medicine-related topics for each twelve (12) months of hyperbaric practice or twenty-four (24) credit hours in two (2) years.”
There has been a recent trend where some facilities have appointed DPMs as Medical Directors. However, it should be noted that according to the guidelines on page 14, only MDs/DOs should hold the position of Medical Director. It’s important to stay up to date with information to ensure all necessary elements are in place. This guideline has not changed, but the trend highlights the importance of being aware of current standards.

Page 14
“Medical Directors (MD/DO only) Must meet all the qualifications required of Independent Supervisors of HBO2 and the following:

  • Current ABMS/AOA board certification in UHM (preferred)
    • Board certification in UHM supersedes the UHMS PATH program. MD/DOs who hold UHM certification through the ABMS/AOA are not required to complete the UHMS PATH program.
  • Completion of the UHMS PATH program Completion of an ABMS/AOA board certification in UHM or the UHMS PATH is mandatory after December 31, 2027. Candidates should enroll in and begin the PATH program with modules currently available. The expectation of Medical Directors is that they have attained sufficient training, education, and experience to independently attend HBO2 sessions, supervise and mentor providers attending Page 15 of 22 HBO2, create policies and procedures, and a quality improvement process consistent with the standards of the UHMS Accreditation Program.”

According to the statement, it will be mandatory for the Medical Director to have completed an ABMS/AOA board certification in UHM or the UHMS PATH after December 31, 2027. This is because the field of hyperbaric medicine is continuously improving, and there is a constant push for more education and certification. To learn more about obtaining these qualifications, visit the Education tab on the UHMS website.

The UHMS distributes numerous documents containing valuable information. To stay updated, it’s recommended to regularly check the Position Statement on their website There are many sections on the website to explore, so don’t hesitate to ask one of the UHMS staff members for guidance. We are more than happy to assist you in enhancing your hyperbaric facility to meet quality standards.

- Derall Garrett