Since my last message regarding the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, SCAI has continued to aggressively advocate for needed changes. While we note that SCAI members are committed to lifelong learning, we also recognize the real need to impact change in the current MOC process, which is unnecessarily burdensome and costly. SCAI’s MOC Working Group, led by Alan Yeung, has focused on four key issues, and I am pleased to report that we are seeing progress with each of them.
At the ABIM’s Liaison Committee for Certification and Recertification (LCCR) meeting on Sept. 15, SCAI President-Elect and MOC Working Group Member Jim Blankenship discussed these and other issues with ABIM leaders. Subsequently, Jim authored SCAI’s comments on changes that the ABIM is considering making to its Part II requirements. These comments were submitted on Friday, Sept. 26.
(1) Streamlining Recertification for Tertiary Subspecialist
SCAI is continuing to lobby the ABIM to eliminate requirements that would require interventional cardiologists and other subspecialists to re-take and pass multiple examinations. ABIM leaders have reassured SCAI that this concern will be addressed by the Boards that oversee the exams in each specialty area. The Cardiology Board, which the ABIM is currently assembling, will be chaired by Mariell Jessup (Professor of Medicine, Heart and Vascular Center, University of Pennsylvania). SCAI has shared its concerns on multiple occasions about the triple Board requirements currently imposed on SCAI members and reiterated these concerns in the recently submitted comments.
(2) Eliminating Punitive Labels from the ABIM Website
SCAI has clearly stated to the ABIM leadership that its current approach to indicating physicians’ MOC status is unacceptable. In August, not long after Alan Yeung and I voiced SCAI’s concerns about the punitive language (i.e., “not meeting MOC requirements), the ABIM indicated that its leadership will re-examine the descriptors used on ABIM.org. You will note that we underscore this issue again in our comments delivered to ABIM on Friday.
(3) Improving Part II and Part IV Products and (4) Aligning Part II and Part IV MOC Requirements with CME Initiatives
At the LCCR meeting, we learned that the ABIM is giving serious consideration to the concerns expressed by the physician community about the value and cost of Part II and Part IV products. Working with SCAI’s MOC Working Group, Jim Blankenship has provided detailed feedback to ABIM, emphasizing that CME credits earned by physicians from ACCME-accredited organizations should qualify for MOC credits. This would recognize the physician’s commitment to lifelong learning but create an efficient and less costly process for MOC through CME. Additionally, we stressed that individual physicians should be able to decide each year if they would like to opt-in or opt-out of using the ABIM’s products, with annual fees appropriately modified.
SCAI’s MOC Working Group is pleased with these steps toward changing Part II and is hopeful that we will have a similar impact on Part IV. While we are optimistic that ABIM will enact these changes, SCAI will continue to be diligent in representing you, our members, in this process of re-examination and revision of MOC. We will continue advocating for you, both on our own and in partnership with like-minded partners, to meet your expectations.
Finally, I would like to share an update from the ABIM. The two-year procedural requirements for physicians who are maintaining an Interventional Cardiology certification that expires on or beyond December 31, 2016, will be decreased from 150 to 100 cases, consistent with the ACCF/AHA/SCAI 2013 Clinical Competence Statement Coronary Artery on interventional Procedures. The ABIM’s alternate pathway of completing 25 consecutive PCI procedures has been eliminated as a means of fulfilling the procedural requirement. Please note that this change does not apply to physicians whose certifications will expire in 2014 or 2015.
In closing, I want to emphasize yet again that SCAI is committed to representing the Interventional Cardiologist in instituting substantive reforms to the MOC process. Our Society is grateful for the tireless efforts of Alan, Jim, and all of the members of SCAI’s MOC Working Group. I also thank all of you who have contacted me about this SCAI priority. Please reach me anytime at president@SCAI.org.
Charles Chambers, MD, FSCAI
SCAI President, 2014-15