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    Physicians take MOC fight to state level

    Physicians who decide not to continue with maintenance of certification (MOC) can face consequences such as loss of hospital privileges and payer contracts.


    Further reading: Man behind MOC defends program against critics


    But that’s about to change in one state, where a law passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor essentially makes MOC optional for doctors who would otherwise be concerned about hospital and insurance consequences. The Oklahoma bill, which takes effect November 1, allows MOC to be used as one possible path to retaining hospital privileges or insurance coverage, but it cannot be the only one. 


    Opinion: MOC is crazy and unfair


    And given the rising frustration among physicians over MOC, it could become the spark for a national movement. Kentucky, Missouri and Michigan are considering or have passed similar legislation, not all of which goes quite as far. Michigan’s law would be identical to Oklahoma’s, but legislation in Kentucky and Missouri only prohibits MOC from being a requirement for state licensure.

    “MOC is essentially a CME program, and it should not be used as a requirement for staff privileges, payment, licensure, or membership on an insurance panel,” says David Siegler, MD a pediatric neurologist and board member of the Tulsa County Medical Society and author of the Oklahoma State Medical Association resolution that helped lead to the law. “Why are we jumping through other people’s hoops? It’s not a government requirement. This is a private corporation.”

    Kentucky State Sen. Ralph Alvarado, MD, an internist and sponsor of his state’s legislation, hopes the momentum is building to empower physicians. “It’s fun for me to see [this for] our colleagues in the private sector, who have been feeling pretty down and feeling like they’re not able to make an impact on things that are important for their practice,” he says. “I hope that becomes a contagious thing, that doctors feel in control.”

    Next: "When people are at a tipping point...people will respond negatively"


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