AMA Takes Closer Look at Maintenance of Certification, PAMED Board to Consider MOC Policy in July

Many Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) members have said that while they support life-long learning and continuing medical education, Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements are burdensome and lack of evidence on its effectiveness is concerning.

While PAMED supports the concept of practice assessment and improvement, in May 2014 the PAMED Board of Trustees recognized that physicians should retain latitude in determining the best way to achieve that goal, and that the goal could be achieved by a means less cumbersome than those imposed by the MOC Part 4 self-assessment requirement.

PAMED’s AMA delegation took this message to the AMA annual meeting earlier this month, and AMA delegates voted to continue investigating MOC, osteopathic continuous certification (OCC), and maintenance of licensure (MOL), including assessing the impact of MOC on physician practices.

The AMA House of Delegates adopted policy on MOC, OCC and, MOL that directs the AMA to:

  • Explore the feasibility of conducting a study to evaluate the impact MOC requirements and MOL principles have on workforce, practice costs, patient outcomes, patient safety, and patient access
  • Work with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its member boards to collect data on why physicians choose to maintain or discontinue their board certification
  •  Work with the ABMS and the Federation of State Medical Boards to study whether MOC and the principles of MOL are important factors to physicians when deciding whether to retire and whether they have a direct impact on workforce
  • Oppose making MOC mandatory as a condition of licensure

Earlier in June, the AMA and ABMS convened a meeting of physician assessment experts and academic medicine representatives to discuss the value of MOC Part III and innovative concepts that could potentially enhance or replace the current thinking around the secure exam requirement of MOC.

At its July meeting, the PAMED Board of Trustees will be discussing Pennsylvania specific policy on MOC and working to craft a policy position on MOC to guide staff work on the issue. Working with medical specialty organizations, PAMED hopes to consider a balanced approach to opposing the burdensome process and requirements of MOC while assuring PA physicians’ commitment to lifelong learn and continuing education, quality and patient safety.