Maintenance of Certification (MOC), the program through which ongoing physician competence is demonstrated through American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) boards, has been controversial since its launch. As NAMSS members have heard, the ABMS has recently launched an initiative to reexamine MOC and provide recommendations for the future state of physician certification. NAMSS has engaged with this Vision Commission, with several NAMSS leaders participating in past meetings, and with other organizations to contribute the MSP perspective on this issue. As the issue has continued to affect MSPs directly and indirectly, NAMSS has released the following organizational statement on Maintenance of Certification.
The National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) supports efforts by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and stakeholders across the health care industry to re-envision the process of continuing board certification and the Maintenance of Certification programs. Demonstrating ongoing physician competence is an essential piece of maintaining patient safety, and is an important part of evaluating practitioners for credentialing and privileging decisions. Concerns around the existing continuing certification programs have led some states to propose or enact laws restricting their use in making these decisions, which infringes on the ability of Medical Services Professionals and Organized Medical Staffs to fulfill their duty in evaluating providers. However, physician burnout is an increasingly difficult issue as additional burdens are being placed on providers across the continuum of care.
Increased standardization, clarity of requirements, and reduced physician burden will all be integral parts of a modern, effective board certification program. NAMSS looks forward to the outcomes of the ABMS’ Vision for the Future Commission and to aiding in the evolution of board certification to best support our ultimate goal of patient safety.
NAMSS will continue to monitor the work of the ABMS Commission and other progress in the area of continuing physician education, and work to inform our MSPs about important developments. Find our position statement and others at the NAMSS website, and be on the lookout for further communications on this issue.