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MOC enrollment increases with new physician requirements

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Though almost 15,000 physicians have signed a petition rallying against new Maintenance of Certification rules, the American Board of Internal Medicine says that MOC enrollment is growing.

Though almost 15,000 physicians have signed a petition rallying against new Maintenance of Certification (MOC) rules, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) says that MOC enrollment is growing.

ABIM reports that 150,000 are enrolled in MOC programs since May 1-an increase of more than 50,000 since new standards were released in January. Physicians were required by ABIM to adhere to more frequent training and testing by May 1, or be publically reported as not meeting MOC requirements.

More than 20% of physicians who have lifetime certifications, also known as “grandfathers,” have enrolled in MOC programs though it isn’t required, according to ABIM.

The online petition, which was started on March 10, states that the new MOC requirements are unreasonable, expensive and that additional certification activities are too complex, considering that physicians have to meet other certification standards. ABIM told the American Board of Physicians in May that it had $53.3 million in expenses in 2013, with 24% of its revenue being spent on exam delivery and scoring, while 15% is spent on physician support and outreach and 15% is spent on administration.

“Board certification is intended to serve both the public and our diplomates. Physicians rightly have expectations for a credential that recognizes their ongoing efforts to keep up in the specialty, but they also want it to be relevant and reflect what they do in practice,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, ABIM president and CEO. “We are listening to the feedback we have received from the community about changes to our program, but at the same time the public is seeking a way to know that their doctor is ‘keeping up in their field'. Maintaining one's certification is one means by which that need can be fulfilled.”

ABIM says that the organization is looking into adding more programs that serve as MOC credit for physicians. Currently, there are 270 programs offered by medical societies and health systems that count toward MOC requirements.

“We recognize that the MOC program is not perfect, and we are committed to constant assessment of it. We are pleased that so many of our colleagues have stepped up and engaged in our program of self-regulation, as well as demonstrated their desire for personal recognition as a board-certified specialist by signing up for MOC, and we are gratified that patients, hospitals, medical groups and others see enough value in the credential to rely on it as a marker for knowing that physicians are keeping up,” Baron says.

 

 

 

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