MOC acknowledges launching programs that weren’t ready; didn't deliver meaningful programs. Changes to come.
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced in early February that it has made mistakes and, as a result, is making substantial changes to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.
“ABIM clearly got it wrong. We launched programs that weren’t ready, and we didn't deliver an MOC program that physicians found meaningful. We want to change that,” ABIM president and CEO Richard J. Baron, M.D., writes in the announcement.
The letter references a criticized change ABIM made about a year ago, from a once-every-10-years MOC program to one that’s more continuous one. ABIM acknowledges the criticisms by internists and medical specialty societies were legitimate and promises to respond. So far, Dr. Baron has begun communicating about how to improve MOC via email with ABIM diplomates.
The letter of apology also goes into specific steps ABIM is taking, including: Suspending the Practice Assessment, Patient Voice and Patient Safety requirements for at least two years. That’s effective now.
In the next six months, ABIM “will change the language used to publicly report a diplomate’s MOC status on its website from ‘meeting MOC requirements’ to ‘participating in MOC,’” according to the letter. Beginning in the fall of 2015, ABIM will begin updating the internal medicine MOC exam to more accurately reflect what physicians are doing. Subspecialty changes will follow.
Other changes include that MOC enrollment fees will remain at or below the 2014 levels through 2017 and possibly longer. And, by the end of 2015, “ABIM will assure new and more flexible ways for internists to demonstrate self-assessment of medical knowledge by recognizing most forms of ACCME-approved Continuing Medical Education,” according to the document.
Dermatology board responds
American Board of Dermatology (ABD) Executive Director Thomas D. Horn, M.D., M.B.A., writes in an email to Dermatology Times that, since its introduction, ABD has regularly evaluated and refined its program. Most recently, it reduced the required Component 4 activities.
“We at the American Board of Dermatology strongly endorse the concept of maintenance of certification - that patients deserve the assurance that their doctors are keeping up-to-date and practicing good medicine. But the program must be flexible to ensure dermatologists find it meaningful without being burdensome,” Dr. Horn writes. “ABD’s MOC program differs considerably from that of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s. ABD directors are all practicing dermatologists.