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ACP Letter on MOC

Dear ACP members,  
As ACP has been advocating for a variety of changes in the ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process, one of the important areas of concern that we have brought to ABIM's attention is the way it reports whether a diplomate is participating in the MOC program. The current wording is: Meeting Maintenance of Certification Requirements: Yes/No. This statement is often confusing, particularly when referring to diplomates with time-unlimited certificates (the so-called "grandfathers"). Such a physician could be listed as "Certified" but "not meeting requirements." Use of the word "requirements" is problematic, as participating in MOC for the physician with a time-unlimited certificate is voluntary.
We are pleased to report that ABIM has just released a statement indicating that its leadership "agreed that the current language used for reporting whether or not ABIM Board Certified physicians are meeting requirements in ABIM's new MOC program is causing legitimate confusion. These physicians are encouraged but not required to participate in MOC for those certifications." As a result, ABIM "is exploring what changes to the reporting language can be made, working closely with ABMS [the American Board of Medical Specialties, the umbrella organization over all the medical specialty boards]."
We will continue to advocate with ABIM for a change in the way that participation in MOC is reported on its websites. We believe that the word "requirement" should be removed for all diplomates, and that the website should prominently state that participation in MOC is voluntary for physicians with time-unlimited certificates. We are also working through the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), the specialty society liaison to ABMS, to address the wording of ABMS’ website reporting, which is the same as ABIM’s. The CMSS Board has approved ACP’s request for CMSS to advocate for change in reporting on the ABMS website.
ACP leadership is encouraged by ABIM’s willingness to explore changing the language on their website, which has been an area of concern for many of our members. We will continue to work to achieve the best outcome for our members and their patients, around this issue and others, and to address the concerns expressed by our members and the internal medicine community.

Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, Executive Vice President and CEO