The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announced today that it has begun reporting publicly whether physicians who are board-certified by one or more of the 24 ABMS member boards are meeting the ABMS Maintenance of Certification® (ABMS MOC®) program requirements established by their certifying board(s).

The public reporting initiative is being rolled out during the next year beginning with seven Member Boards, including the American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Nuclear Medicine, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Surgery. The remaining 17 member boards will make the MOC status of their board-certified physicians available in August 2012 or sooner.

Some member boards have already been reporting the MOC status of their board-certified physicians in alternate formats. For the first time, however, ABMS will serve as the central repository for the MOC status of physicians from all 24 ABMS member boards, which will be reported publicly in the same format. The MOC status of physicians board-certified by an ABMS member board(s) will also be displayed by ABMS licensees and official display agents.

“We’re honoring our pledge of increased transparency to the public by providing easy access to important information about individual physicians,” says Kevin B. Weiss, MD, ABMS President and CEO. “This is a significant milestone in ABMS history. The public can be confident that physicians who are meeting the requirements of the ABMS MOC program are committed to lifelong learning and ongoing self-evaluation.”

Board certification is a voluntary process that assesses a physician’s competence in his or her specialty. To maintain their certification, physicians may participate in an ABMS MOC program, a rigorous process that continually assesses and enhances their medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism, clinical techniques and communications skills. For some ABMS Member Boards, physicians who were board-certified before those member boards established their MOC programs are not required to participate in the ABMS MOC program created by their member board(s).

To obtain information regarding whether a specific physician is required to participate in the MOC program of his or her certifying Board(s), please contact that ABMS Member Board(s) directly.

“The ABMS MOC program is being incorporated into the credentialing process and is recognized as an important quality marker by insurers, hospitals, quality and credentialing organizations, the federal government and the public,” said Dr. Weiss. “We’re pleased to serve as the clearinghouse with the launch of the initial data from seven Member Boards, and look forward to full Member Board participation by this time next year.” 

For those seven Member Boards participating in the initial rollout, the results of researching a physician’s status will show the name of the physician, the name of the ABMS Member Board(s) that certifies the physician and include a “yes” or “no” response to the question of whether the physician is meeting the MOC requirements of that Member Board(s). It will also include a link to the website of the physician’s certifying Board(s).

The types of tools and programs that physicians can use to meet the requirements of an MOC program vary by specialty. ABMS Member Boards tailor their MOC programs to the needs of their specific medical specialties. 

[Source: ABMS]