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June 27, 2013

AMA House of Delegates Calls for Limits to Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

MedPage Today reported that the AMA "made its disapproval of board and licensure recertification programs heard loud and clear Monday at its annual meeting." The article notes that AMA's House of Delegates (HOD) "approved a spate of resolutions aimed squarely at the American Board of Medical Specialties' (ABMS) controversial Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Additionally, delegates approved the commissioning of a study that will evaluate the impact of MOC and Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) requirements on physicians."

The article reports that the anti-MOC resolutions adopted by the HOD included:

  • Opposition to mandatory specialty board recertification programs and discrimination by hospitals and other entities against physicians who don't recertify
  • Support of lifelong continuing medical education and lifelong specialty board certification
  • A call for increased transparency by the ABMS and its component specialty boards through published reports on revenue, expenses, and compensation of board members and senior staff
  • A request that the AMA work with ABMS and component boards to integrate existing data-reporting programs with certain recertification programs

But those changes in AMA policy didn't go far enough for New York delegation chair Robert Goldberg, DO. "Goldberg offered an amendment to the Council on Medical Education report regarding MOCs and MOLs that would have the AMA commission a study to evaluate the recertification program's impact on physicians. To be examined would be the impact on physician workforce, practice costs, patient outcomes, patient safety, and patient access."

The amendment passed with the support of roughly 60% of the delegates on Monday. The complete report is due to the House of Delegates at the 2015 annual meeting. The New York delegation chair said there is little evidence to show MOC programs improve patient outcomes, safety, or access. "Where is the evidence? Show us," Goldberg said to MedPage.

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