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ABIM Suspends Controversial MOC Requirements Through 2018

Tuesday, December 29, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Source: Medscape Medical News, Robert Lowes, December 16, 2015

In a policy retreat longer than Napoleon's march from Moscow, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) once again has relaxed its controversial requirements for maintenance of certification (MOC).

ABIM announced today that it is lifting the requirement that physicians earn MOC credits for improving patient care and safety and incorporating their preferences in medical decision-making for an additional 2 years. The three MOC activities in question go by the name of Practice Assessment, Patient Safety, and Patient Voice. The organization told diplomates in February that they won't have to complete these requirements, widely lambasted as busywork, for at least the next 2 years. The latest decision extends the suspension through the end of 2018.

In a news release, ABIM stated that it based its decision on feedback from internists and internal medicine subspecialists and the organization's commitment to "recognizing meaningful activities physicians are already doing in practice." To make its requirements less burdensome to diplomates, ABIM has been approving more continuing medical education activities undertaken apart from recertification as counting toward MOC credit.

Today's announcement follows a string of ABIM concessions to opponents over the past year. In June it said that it would update its recertification exam. A month later, ABIM said that physicians certified in nine IM subspecialties would no longer have to maintain underlying board certifications. In perhaps the biggest bombshell of the year, ABIM said in September that it would consider replacing its 10-year MOC exam with shorter, more frequent testing that physicians could take at home or in the office.

Read the entire article online.

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