Welcome to the MOC Information Hub, which contains details about the American Board of Internal Medicine’s current Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements.
On May 5, 2016 the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced plans to offer a new Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assessment option beginning in January 2018. Under the new option, physicians who “engage in and perform well” on shorter assessments would have the option to test out of the current 10-year exam. The 10-year exam, however, will also remain available as a second option. According to ABIM, this new option will be available for physicians maintaining certification in internal medicine, and, possibly, one or two subspecialties starting in January 2018. Based on feedback from these early adopters, ABIM expects to make this option available to additional subspecialties as quickly as possible over subsequent program cycles. The ABIM expects to provide more specific details about the alternative assessment option no later than Dec. 31, 2016. In the meantime, physicians with certifications that expire before the new assessment option is offered in their specialty will still need to take and pass the 10-year exam in order to maintain their certification.
This complex situation continues to be top-of-mind for ACC leadership, staff and most importantly for the ACC members affected by the changes. One of the ACC’s six strategic priorities is to act as a provider of processes to maintain professional competence. As part of this effort, the College is committed to finding a solution or solutions to the ABIM’s MOC process that best meet the professional needs of clinicians, while also giving patients, the public and other stakeholders confidence that the care provided by their physicians is of the highest quality.
The College continues to work with ABIM to produce meaningful changes to the MOC process. Alternative options, including initiating a new certification (or recertification) process, have been investigated and remain an option, depending on the outcomes of current MOC modification efforts, but they are not currently felt to be the ideal pathway. Over the past year, the ABIM has made substantial changes to its MOC process in response to concerns raised by physicians and specialty organizations including ACC. Nonetheless, further progress is needed.
The ACC is seeking the following from ABIM:
- Model the shorter, focused assessments slated for January 2018 after the “SAP” model and use the 2016 ACC Lifelong learning Clinical Competencies as the basis of these assessments. Additionally, consider adopting an open-book format for those diplomates choosing the 10-year exam option.
- Allow the ACC, other professional societies and qualified entities to put forth standards-based processes that would be certified by the ABIM.
- Enable diplomates to seamlessly receive credit for activities in which they lead and participate in on behalf of hospitals, health care systems, payers and state medical boards.
- Permanently eliminate practice improvement (“Part-IV”) activities as a requirement for MOC. Practice improvement activities are important and will soon be required of all providers by Federal law. Appropriate practice improvement activities should be acceptable for fulfillment of MOC participation, but a specific minimum level of Practice Improvement activities should not be returned to the list of MOC requirements.
- Undertake research to test the outcome of MOC activities on the actual improvement in patient care and outcomes in order to provide an evidence-base for the value of MOC.
ACC leadership continues to explore all options regarding the MOC process but hopes that ABIM will tailor their final plan to be consistent with ultimate goal of finding a solution or solutions that best allow clinicians to maintain and demonstrate competence as it relates to patient outcomes, quality care and cost-effectiveness.
As always, the ACC's commitment to its members and their patients remains steadfast. Advocating for our members to assist them in the provision of professional, knowledgeable and compassionate care, coupled with demonstration of ongoing competence, will continue to guide our actions and move us forward.
Additional details of MOC changes can be read about on the ACC in Touch Blog.
Check out the links below to learn more about the current ABIM MOC requirements. We will continue to make updates to this information as specific details about the MOC changes become available. For information about your personal MOC status please login to ABIM's website and check your MOC Status Report.