Today the ABIM announced major changes to its maintenance of certification (MOC) program and apologized for launching programs that “weren’t ready” and that “didn't deliver an MOC program that physicians found meaningful.” SCAI recognizes its members for their voice and support of SCAI in these efforts to initiate necessary changes. The ABIM should also be recognized for listening and making positive changes. Over the next few days we will be in contact with the ABIM to learn more about their plans and to reiterate concerns we have raised that do not appear to be addressed in today’s message.
The following is a preliminary analysis of the changes the ABIM summarized today, provided by SCAI MOC Working Group Chair Dr. Alan Yeung.
Based on today’s statement, it appears that ABIM is addressing three of SCAI’s four main concerns:
- Punitive labels: We asked that the label “not meeting MOC requirements” be eliminated from ABIM.org. Today, the ABIM stated: “Within 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.’”
- More value and less cost for Parts II and IV: SCAI raised concerns about the quality and expense associated with the ABIM’s learning modules. Today, the ABIM said, “Effective immediately, ABIM is suspending the Practice Assessment, Patient Voice and Patient Safety requirements for at least two years. ... MOC enrollment fees will remain at or below the 2014 levels through at least 2017.”
- Alignment of MOC with CME: SCAI urged the ABIM to eliminate cumbersome, redundant and expensive burdens on physicians by allowing us to earn MOC credit for completed CME work. Today, the ABIM announced, “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.”
These significant steps forward represent clear progress in the effort to improve the MOC process. Though today’s news is encouraging, SCAI recognizes there is still work to be done. Our fourth request, to require one recertification exam in the physician’s primary (sub)-specialty, still needs to be addressed. Previously the ABIM suggested that requirements to pass multiple boards may be set aside by individual ABIM councils. If so, we hope that the ABIM Cardiology Council will require interventionalists to stay current only with the interventional cardiology board exams.
This past year we have seen an excellent example of physicians and their medical societies working together to ensure quality in education and improve lifelong learning. This is SCAI’s mission. Please watch for updates from me as we learn more about the ABIM’s plans. Finally, I extend my thanks to Alan Yeung and the members of SCAI’s MOC Working Group as well as all of SCAI’s members.
Contact me at president@SCAI.org.
Charles Chambers, MD, FSCAI
SCAI President, 2014-15