American Board of Internal Medicine Extends Practice Assessment Decision through 2018
December 16, 2015 (PRLEAP.COM) Health NewsPhiladelphia, PA, December 16, 2015 - The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced today that the ABIM Board of Directors has unanimously voted to extend their decision, announced in February of this year, and will not require Practice Assessment, Patient Voice and Patient Safety in its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program through December 31, 2018.
Based upon feedback from the internal medicine and subspecialty community, as well as ABIM's commitment to ensuring the MOC program does a better job recognizing meaningful activities physicians are already doing in practice, the ABIM Board of Directors determined at its December 2015 meeting that it would continue the current practice whereby no internist will have his or her certification status changed for not having completed activities in Practice Assessment, Patient Voice or Patient Safety through December 31, 2018. Diplomates still need to take and pass an examination every 10 years and earn 100 MOC points every five years as well as complete some MOC activity every two years to participate in the program.
"We have heard from many stakeholders that it is good for patients when physicians regularly evaluate and improve the quality of their care, but we have learned there are a myriad of ways physicians do this today, and that our MOC program should credit clinically meaningful activities," said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of ABIM. "ABIM will continue to provide MOC credit for quality improvement activities physicians choose to do and expand the list of activities we recognize for MOC credit while we partner with others to increase clinically relevant opportunities for doctors to engage in this important work. But we are not prepared, at this point, to reinstate the Practice Assessment, Patient Voice and Patient Safety requirements."
ABIM will work to expand pathways to complete meaningful quality improvement activities with the continued commitment that all decisions about these and other MOC requirements will be informed by community input. In addition, ABIM is also participating in the American Board of Medical Specialty (ABMS)'s Improvement in Medical Practice Task Force as part of ongoing MOC program quality improvement initiatives and continues to participate in the ABMS Multi-Specialty Portfolio Approval Program in which physicians can receive MOC credit for quality improvement activities occurring in their practice environments.
ABIM continues to engage physicians in discussing approaches to assessing knowledge and potentially replacing the secure examination, currently required every 10 years, with more frequent, lower stakes assessments. At this time, however, the 10-year exam remains our best approach for assessing physicians' knowledge. Accordingly, it remains an essential part of the MOC program. Physicians who have certifications expiring in 2016 who wish to remain certified must take and pass the examination and earn 100 MOC points next year. Also, in August, ABIM announced a partnership with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to expand options for physicians to earn MOC points.
"As we have continued to increase the types of CME activities that attest to knowledge assessment, we have made it easier for physicians to get MOC credit for a broader range of CME activities," said Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, Chair of the ABIM Board of Directors. "Our focus is now on involving physicians in various efforts to ensure that our exams reflect what they see in daily practice. We are also engaging societies and physicians to help us explore the feasibility and potential implementation of more frequent, lower stakes assessments."
PHYSICIANS DRIVE CHANGES TO ABIM'S MOC PROGRAM
Input from diplomates and specialty societies informed today's announcement and led to several significant programmatic changes over the last two years:
FEES & ENROLLMENT
GOVERNANCE AND FINANCES
For more than 75 years, certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 20 subspecialties and has meant that internists have demonstrated – to their peers and to the public – that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care. ABIM is not a membership society, but a non-profit, independent evaluation organization. Our accountability is both to the profession of medicine and to the public. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties. For additional updates, follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter.