MOC changes aim to lessen burden on physicians, but debate continues
Despite new standards designed to address time and cost pressures associated with participation in maintenance of certification (MOC), some physicians believe the program represents one more expensive and redundant obstacle as they attempt to climb a mountain of other bureaucratic and compliance mandates associated with the Affordable Care Act, International Classification of Diseases—10th revision (ICD-10), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, use of electronic health records, billing and reimbursement challenges, and much more.
In February the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announced new standards for maintenance of certification (MOC) programs that were designed to address objections about the time and cost required by the process.
The updated guidelines, which were developed over two years, are a framework for ABMS’ 24 member boards to use when implementing their MOC program. Set to take effect in 2015, they are designed to reduce redundancy between physicians’ MOC work and improvement projects in their practices.
The new standards also allow more innovation, have a more patient-centered perspective, and emphasize professionalism, patient safety, and performance improvement, says Mira Irons, MD, senior vice president of academic affairs at ABMS.