June 17, 2015
The concern over recent changes to the ABIM’s Maintenance of Certification program has become a high priority for our Board of Trustees, partner organizations and most importantly, our members.
We believe there is an urgent need for significant change and want to take this opportunity to share the Heart Rhythm Society’s strategy. HRS is currently pursuing dual pathways to possible solutions.
First, we are forming a task force to begin exploring viable alternatives to ABIM for EP certification. We have a sense of urgency to discover the benefits and potential challenges with all alternative solutions. Taking advantage of an existing certification structure within HRS is one potential option. We will share our findings as they develop.
Secondly, in the interest of protecting our members in the interim, HRS leadership is simultaneously working with the ABIM to reform the MOC program to meet the needs and expectations of our members and their patients. We are pressing for changes such as EP-specific CME being accepted within the MOC process to reduce the excessive financial burden placed on our members; and the elimination of mandatory general cardiology recertification and the Practice Improvement Module (PIM), and the mandatory 10 year EP board recertification examination. For those members who still want to recertify in general cardiology or take the EP recertification examination every 10 years, we want to continue to keep that option available at a reasonable cost.
There has been some evidence of ABIM’s willingness to accept change. HRS recently received a letter from ABIM responding to our suggestion that “the requirement to hold underlying certification in Cardiovascular Disease in order to remain certified in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology” is dropped.
In our response to the letter, we agreed to this token adjustment, but noted significant reform was still needed. HRS also will push ABIM for full financial transparency. HRS will actively challenge any individual, company or organization that seeks to unfairly profit at our expense.
Our mission at the Heart Rhythm Society is to end death and suffering from heart rhythm disorders. We want to allow our members to get back to taking care of their patients rather than trying to navigate the complexities of the MOC process or spending countless hours away from their practices.
As we move forward it is very important that we continue to hear from you on this subject. We will maintain communication with you and ask for specific input in the near future.
John D. Day, MD, FHRS
President, Heart Rhythm Society
James H. Youngblood