The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) revised its requirements for maintenance of certification (MOC) earlier this year. The new requirements ease the burden of compliance in a year of looming professional deadlines.

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Jane E. Onken, MD, MHS

To help board-certified clinicians and candidates navigate the revised requirements, AGA is sponsoring a special session on Tuesday titled How to Meet the New MOC Requirements. Jane E. Onken, MD, MHS, chair of the AGA Institute Education and Training Committee and a member of a new AGA task force on MOC, will co-chair the session with Arthur J. DeCross, MD, who heads the AGA subcommittee on MOC. All of the session’s presentations have been updated to reflect the latest information from ABIM and the newest AGA programs to help gastroenterologists meet those new requirements.

“This is an important deadline year for maintenance of certification,” said Dr. Onken, associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. “Each of us must accumulate a set number of points for MOC by Dec. 31, 2015. It’s also the year we are all grappling with EMRs, PQRS reporting and the implementation of ICD-10. There has been understandable concern over the burden of meeting MOC requirements.”

In February, after pressure from AGA and all of organized medicine, ABIM announced a two-year delay in the requirement to complete a self-directed practice improvement module, or PIM.

Also new is a series of AGA-sponsored self-assessment modules designed to help candidates meet the MOC requirements for medical knowledge in gastroenterology and hepatology. AGA is introducing four new specialty-specific modules this year to allow members to accumulate enough points to meet the Part 2 medical knowledge requirements.

Another change is ABIM’s decision to accept additional educational activities for MOC credit. Under the old system, all educational activities eligible for MOC had to be reviewed and approved by ABIM. The practical effect was that most continuing medical education (CME) activities that met Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) requirements did not count toward the MOC point tally.

“We are cautiously optimistic that by the end of this year, ABIM will recognize many forms of CME as eligible for MOC credit, allowing new and more flexible ways for diplomates to demonstrate self-assessment of medical knowledge for MOC,” Dr. Onken said.

ABIM is not planning to accept every CME event for MOC credit, however. Attendees must have some active role in order to obtain credit.

“For example, you won’t be able simply to sit in on a grand rounds talk and get credit for MOC. You will have to take an active role and demonstrate knowledge by answering questions,” Dr. Onken said. “AGA is moving to incorporate this change into many of its existing ACCME-accredited
programs to help diplomates meet their MOC requirements more efficiently.”

Another important change is cosmetic. ABIM originally classified diplomates as either “meeting” or “not meeting” MOC requirements in the physician information it made available to the public. New wording describes diplomates as either “participating” or “not participating” in MOC. The new wording is more reflective of MOC as an ongoing, career-long learning process.

“These changes affect everyone who is board certified in gastroenterology,” Dr. Onken said. “It applies whether you have a time-limited certificate or a time-unlimited certificate. For our DDW® session, we have tried to distill the new requirements for the busy practitioner who needs a checklist of what to do to meet the current MOC requirements.”

Please refer to the schedule-at-a-glance in Tuesday’s issue for the time and location of this and other DDW events.