ABIM Ramps Up MOC Requirements


Many hospitalists are anxious about looming changes to the American Board of Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process, but hospital medicine leaders say the effect will be positive.

In January, ABIM and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) will begin reporting on whether hospitalists and other physicians are meeting MOC requirements. To do so, physicians need to complete 20 ABIM MOC points by December 2015, and every two years after that. Physicians also need to earn 100 ABIM MOC points by December 2018, and every five years after that.

Previously, physicians had to amass a total of 100 points every 10 years between secure exams. The new rules are aimed at keeping “pace with the changes in the science of medicine and assessment,” ABIM says on its website.

“I think the anxiety is coming out of it being misunderstood,” says Jeff Wiese, MD, MHM, professor of medicine and associate dean for graduate medical education at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. “It’s not that big of a deal when you put it in the context of what you do for CME now.”

Dr. Wiese emphasizes the secure exam will still be taken every 10 years, but increasing the frequency of learning via practice-improvement modules (PIMs) and other vehicles should serve to improve hospitalists’ efficiency and care delivery.

Ethan Cumbler, MD, FACP, of the University of Colorado at Denver, an annual faculty member for the ABIM’s MOC pre-course at SHM’s annual meetings, says that codifying additional learning is a good thing for the specialty. “If the point of this is to actually improve how we’re practicing as doctors, then we do want to be practicing this in an ongoing fashion,” Dr. Cumbler says.

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