'Meaningful use' to be part of MOC program

August 26, 2010

The American Board of Medical Specialties plans to incorporate the ?meaningful use? of health information technology into its maintenance of certification program.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) plans to incorporate the "meaningful use" of health information technology (HIT) into its maintenance of certification (MOC) program.

"Aligning MOC and meaningful use of HIT will help to facilitate physicians' knowledge, skill, and use of HIT and in turn can improve physician performance and patient outcomes," says Kevin B. Weiss, MD, ABMS president and CEO.

Under a new federal program, physicians will receive incentives for "meaningful use" of electronic health records (EHRs) and other technology to guide improvements in public health, quality and safety, engagement of patients and families, and coordination of care while preserving privacy and security. These dimensions, according to the ABMS, overlap with the six core competencies measured through the MOC program: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communications skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice.

The American Board of Family Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Pediatrics will work with the ABMS to develop new measurement tools or enhance existing activities to promote meaningful use of HIT.

Examples of such efforts might include: New knowledge self-assessment modules, including modules with simulation creating patient scenarios demonstrating EHR functionality; the expansion and enhancement of Web-based practice improvement modules; and the development of data interchange utilities to enable physician submission of Physician Reporting Quality Initiative (PQRI) and HIT meaningful use measures to the boards in the same format used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The latter capability would enable certified physicians to satisfy PQRI and MOC requirements as well as qualify for the PQRI bonus and possibly the meaningful use bonus without redundant data submissions, according to the ABMS.