Today, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced significant and far-reaching changes to Maintenance of Certification (MOC) policies. Subspecialists will no longer need to maintain certification in a foundational discipline to remain certified in a subspecialty, a change for which SCAI has lobbied ABIM over the past 2 years. This means that interventional cardiologists will not need to take general cardiology boards to recertify in interventional cardiology.
SCAI has aggressively advocated for MOC improvements, and today’s announcement is an important achievement for our members. ABIM has now accepted all four points SCAI said were essential to changing MOC requirements that were unnecessarily burdensome and costly, including:
- Streamlining recertification for tertiary subspecialists, which previously required interventional cardiologists and other subspecialists to re-take and pass multiple examinations.
- Eliminating punitive labels from the ABIM website, such as “not meeting MOC requirements.”
- Changing Part IV MOC requirements. (ABIM has suspended Part IV for 2 years and plans to revamp the requirements.)
- Accepting different types of traditional CME as counting for MOC points.
These most recent changes will be fully implemented by January 1, 2016. The Society recognizes that additional changes are needed, but is encouraged by the overall course of recent developments at the ABIM. SCAI will continue to work with ABIM while continuing to explore multiple pathways to recertification options, to ensure our members have appropriate and suitable options for maintaining certification.
Congratulations and thank you to our members for your commitment to this issue and ongoing support, especially to SCAI’s MOC Working Group, led by Alan Yeung and Past-President Charlie Chambers, for leading this successful effort. It is a testament to the spirit of our profession – seeing a needed change and making it happen – for the benefit of the patients we serve and our commitment to quality improvement.
As MOC evolves, SCAI’s Quality Improvement Committee is working to develop MOC-compatible tools to help members continuously improve practices while earning MOC credits. Stay tuned for further details on these tools.
I value your feedback. Please contact me anytime with your thoughts at: president@SCAI.org.
James C. Blankenship, MD, MHCM, FSCAI
SCAI President, 2015-16