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Maintenance of Certification
ABIM to Grant MOC Credit for QI Activities
In a December 27 letter, the ABIM Internal Medicine Board indicated that under a measure approved by the ABIM Council, program directors will automatically receive credit for faculty participation in quality improvement (QI) activities; the ABIM FasTrack system will be modified (later in 2017) to allow once-annual attestation of faculty involvement in QI. The system will be prepopulated, further reducing program directors reporting obligations, and carryover of as much information as possible from year to year. No additional fees will be required to receive these points.
AAIM was one of almost 50 internal medicine and subpecialty societies that the ABIM Council queried about this proposal last spring; over 80% of responders supported recognizing program directors and faculty for their training program related QI activities with practice assessment MOC credit.
AAIM Comments on ABIM Proposal to Grant MOC Credit for QI Efforts
In a letter May 26, the ABIM Council asked for feedback about a proposal to expand the ABIM Approved Quality Improvement program to grant practice assessment maintenance of certification (MOC) credit to the program directors of accredited internal medicine residency and fellowship programs. The council was also considering delegating to these program directors the authority to attest that other faculty also receive credit for their involvement in quality improvement and patient safety activities that occur in the context of the training program.
Using a quick turnaround online survey, AAIM collected reactions and responses from the five association councils to provide a unified response to the ABIM Council. Via an email sent June 16, the Alliance noted that it supported both aspects of the proposal but cautioned that ABIM will need to carefully consider how an attestation would be implemented. Clear expectations need to be established about the type of work allowed and training should also be provided for faculty attesting. AAIM also recommended empowering other departmental leaders, such as department chairs, division directors, and clerkship directors, with the same authority to attest and receive MOC credit.
AAIM supports efforts to expand the number of opportunities for MOC credit for all physicians engaged in continuous quality improvement activities and other duties performed as part of the existing system.
AAIM Responds to ABMS Report on Physician-Scientists and Certification
In a letter March 23, AAIM responded to a recent report from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Special Committee on Physician Scientists and Continuing Certification. AAIM was pleased to review the report, which acknowledges the current challenges faced by physician scientists in launching and maintaining their careers, and recommends specific avenues by which physician scientists can better achieve certification and recertification. In particular, AAIM strongly agrees with recommendations to the ABMS member boards to further implement alternative training pathways across all medical disciplines, and to tailor parts II, III, and IV of the recertification Maintenance of Certification requirements to the careers of physician scientists, including:
- Creating CME materials attuned to the life-long learning and self-assessment needs of physician scientists
- Developing modular exams and practice profiles that are specific to the generally narrower clinical foci of physician scientists and more appropriately assess their clinical competence
- Recognizing (with part IV credits for improvement in medical practice) the contributions of physician scientists whose scholarship has a meaningful impact on the quality of patient care
Your Voice in MOC
Since ABIM's February 3, 2015, announcement that they would pause MOC to allow further input and deliberation on what the system should be going forward, AAIM has been a key part of the this dialogue at many levels, including leader to leader conversations, ABIM-convened discussion forums, and intra-specialty consensus summits as well internal consensus building at the Alliance.
In June 2015, AAIM issued a brief survey to its physician members seeking input about key questions related to MOC. Despite a low response rate, the survey generated important information about the broad range of opinion within academic internal medicine as well as the key components that are necessary for a successful and rigourous system. The results of the survey were shared with ACP and ABIM leadership.
However, to refine and synthesize AAIM's opinion--particularly in the wake of ABIM's request for opinion about its Assessment 2020 report--at the July 2015 AAIM Leadership Summit, leaders (AAIM Board members, constituent council members, and AAIM committee chairs) received the survey results and then broke into six focus groups to discuss questions about MOC. The results of those discussions are presented as AAIM's collective opinion; it constitutes the Alliance response to the ABIM Assessment 2020 report. The Alliance will continue to be key stakeholder in these discussions and remains the voice of academic internal medicine on your behalf.