AGA Advocates ABIM Improve Maintenance of Certification

ABIM Announces MOC Program Changes

After a groundswell of criticism from the medical community, on Feb. 3, 2015, ABIM announced much-needed changes to the maintenance of certification (MOC) program and apologized to the physician community for "getting it wrong" on MOC.

This is a victory won by individual physicians and a broad coalition of specialty societies. You told us that the MOC program was untenable and AGA and ASGE supported GIs in coalition with other specialties, including cardiologists, infectious disease specialists and endocrinologists. Together, we ensured that the message was heard.

While some are claiming outright victory, AGA and ASGE are cautiously optimistic. The changes announced yesterday are progress, but we need more specifics. While we have insisted that the exam has to be relevant to GIs practices, it is not yet clear what changes will be made to the exam.

“We have to focus on what’s next. ABIM says it wants to engage in an open conversation about how to improve MOC. AGA is uniquely positioned to contribute. Our board has convened a task force to identify the ideal pathway to recertification and assessment of physician competency and we’re ready to rethink the process”, said John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF, president, AGA Institute.

“ASGE is well-positioned to help our members meet requirements for assessment of physician competency, and will continue to effectively communicate the needs and concerns of our members to ABIM”, said Colleen M. Schmitt, MD, MHS, FASGE, president, ASGE.

Summary of the changes ABIM announced yesterday:

  • Effective immediately, ABIM is suspending the practice assessment, patient voice and patient safety requirements for at least two years. Diplomates are still required to participate in some MOC activity every two years and earn a total of 100 MOC points every five years.
  • MOC enrollment fees will remain at or below the 2014 levels through at least 2017.
  • By the end of 2015, ABIM will assure new and more flexible ways for internists to demonstrate self-assessment of medical knowledge by recognizing most forms of CME.

AGA and ASGE will continue to push for a process that is truly educational and relates to our personal subspecialty practice.

As always, we welcome your feedback and invite comments at MOC@gastro.org.

AGA remarks at ABIM Internal Medicine Summit (transcript)