MOC reform: One year later
This article reports the latest developments in the process of reform for the American Board of Pediatrics’ Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, what transformations already have occurred, and what changes still lie ahead.
There are many physicians opposed to the MOC certification.
Cardiologist Paul Teirstein, MD, has started an alternative board of medical specialties called the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) and is encouraging interested physicians to promote this alternative board to hospitals and insurance companies as well as to other physicians. The NBPAS requires previous board certification and participation in yearly continuing medical education, and membership costs only $169 every 2 years. As of this writing, the NBPAS has enrolled over 3000 members and is accepted by 26 hospitals nationwide.
Many pediatricians continue to express their opposition to MOC. Interested pediatricians should view the many anti-MOC blogs available on the Rebel.MD website. Last year, several pediatricians developed the Peds4MOCreform.org website to express their opposition to MOC. So far their site has garnered more than 6500 signatures supporting MOC reform.
The first anti-MOC laws
The state legislature of Oklahoma unanimously passed a law that went into effect on April 12, 2016, making it illegal for medical facilities to make MOC a requirement for medical practice.
The law states: "Nothing in the Oklahoma Allopathic Medical and Surgical Licensure and Supervision Act shall be construed to require a physician to secure a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) as a condition of licensure, reimbursement, employment, or admitting privileges at a hospital in this state."
Other states such as Michigan and Missouri have similar laws currently under consideration. In addition, in early April, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin signed SB17 into law. This bill is the first state law to be passed and signed that makes it illegal to require specialty medical board certification or MOC as a requirement for practicing medicine in the state.
There are also 19 state medical societies that have officially expressed opposition to MOC. These are California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
To be continued
This concludes my brief reportorial update on MOC reform and opposition. Just because I have not expressed my opinion does not mean that you should not express yours. Has the ABP done enough, or should it do more? Please contact the editors of Contemporary Pediatrics to tell them what you think of these ABP MOC changes.