ACC Impacts on MOC Process: Success But Still a Partial Victory

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC, president of the ACC; Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC; Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, vice president of the ACC; and Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC, immediate-past president of the ACC.

Over the past year, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has made substantial changes to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process in response to concerns raised by physicians and specialty organizations like the ACC. Among the changes: reversal of the double jeopardy provision (need to maintain certification in cardiovascular medicine in order to maintain certification in a cardiovascular subspecialty); decoupling of the initial board exam from MOC participation; streamlined ability for practitioners to get both CME and MOC Part II credit; a delay in MOC Part IV; and more. (Check out ACC’s online MOC hub, as well as the ACC in Touch Blog, for complete information on all of the changes, as well as information on frequently asked questions on recertification). Continue reading

Advocating for Cardiology in the Nation’s Capital

The ACC’s 2015 Legislative Conference is in full swing in Washington, DC. The conference kicked off on Sunday night with a special ACC Political Action Committee-sponsored reception and dinner featuring remarks from Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator and psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer, MD. In the midst of a unique congressional climate, Krauthammer shared an insider’s perspective into the state of politics in Washington and the 2016 presidential election.

Today, a full lineup of sessions armed more than 400 attendees with the information needed to effect change in their states and on Capitol Hill. While it’s important for attendees to understand the health policy landscape every year, it’s more important than ever in 2015. Recent developments, including repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) by enactment of the Medicare Access and CHIP Authorization Act of 2015, release of new Meaningful Use regulations and ICD-10 implementation, have significantly shifted how health care is delivered, resulting in novel challenges and opportunities. Continue reading

ACC Response to ABIM Report on Vision For Certification and MOC Programs in 2020

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) today released a report entitled “A Vision for Certification in Internal Medicine in 2020,” that was drafted to inform the reshaping of ABIM’s Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs. The report, developed by the Assessment 2020 Task Force which assembled in 2013, aims to “develop a vision for the future of assessment in internal medicine and associated subspecialties”  and to “stimulate discussion” around the future of certification.

According to Task Force Chair Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC, “the group sought to envision what the future could be and considered that what is possible tomorrow may be very different from what can be done today.” With that in mind, the report includes three key recommendations that are similar to those being proposed by the ACC on behalf of its members, as well as the rest of the internal medicine community. Specifically, the report proposes to: 1) replace the 10-year MOC exam with more frequent, less burdensome assessments; 2) focus assessments on cognitive and technical skills; and 3) recognize specialization. Read the full report here. Continue reading

MOC Update: ABIM Provides Further Details on MOC Part II/CME Collaboration

Oetgen,WilliamThis post was authored by William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, executive vice president for ACC’s Science, Education and Quality.

In April, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced plans to provide more opportunities for physicians to earn Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part II points for activities with a self-assessment component that have traditionally been designated as CME credits only. Specifically, ABIM indicated it would develop ways to recognize most forms of CME approved by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), thus “allowing new and more flexible ways” for physicians to demonstrate self-assessment of medical knowledge. Continue reading

ACC Board Issues Guidance on Next Steps in MOC Effort

This post was authored by ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC.

Each August the ACC’s Board of Trustees comes together for a mid-year check-in on College activities and progress towards strategic goals. This meeting is also an important time for College leaders to make decisions relating to hot issues that have emerged since the last meeting in March.

This year’s meeting was no different, with ACC leaders and staff presenting on efforts to date around the College’s four strategic themes of population health, transformation of care, purposeful education, and member value and engagement. However, one of the hottest topics at this year’s meeting was the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) controversial Maintenance of Certification (MOC) policies and how to move forward in a manner that best meets the needs of internal medicine physicians and the patients they serve. Continue reading

MOC Update: ACC Seeking Urgent Resolution to Early Career MOC Requirements

Williams HeadshotShor HeadshotThis post was authored by ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC, and Board of Governors Chair Robert Shor, MD, FACC.

The complex situation presented by the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) changes in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements continues to be a top priority for ACC leadership.

Most recently, the College was made aware of an email from ABIM to early career cardiovascular professionals who passed the Cardiovascular Disease Certification Exam in 2014. That email informed them of the need to enroll in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) by March 31, 2015, in order to be publicly reported as certified in Cardiovascular Disease. It also stated their certification would remain valid as long as they are participating in MOC. Continue reading

From Mission to Daily Practice, Empowering Members to Transform CV Care and Improve Heart Health

IMG_9388_GUYTON-2015-HEADSHOTThis post was authored by Robert A. Guyton, MD, FACC, treasurer of the ACC.

This week’s release of a special JAMA issue focused on professionalism couldn’t have been more timely. Your ACC leadership is in the midst of a major effort to develop new tools and explore new certification processes aimed at ensuring that members are best equipped to handle the rapid changes in health care delivery and education. Just recently I shared with my fellow Executive Committee members that I believe it is time to make a critical change in our thinking and our messaging.

Our stated and noble mission is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. But, as Board of Governors (BOG) Immediate Past-Chair Michael Mansour, MD, FACC, in a recent address to the BOG asked: “Where is the member in our mission?”  I emphatically agree with this question – our efforts to realize the mission only float around in the iCloud without the daily actions of our members. Rather than a mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health, we should have a mission of empowering our almost 50,000 members to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. This is where the rubber meets the road – one provider-patient interaction at a time. This is the intended site of implementation of the new discoveries from research, experience from registries, and assimilation of knowledge in guidelines and appropriate use criteria (AUC). Everything that’s in the iCloud comes to life when a provider and a patient come together to explore the new opportunities that arise from the explosion of knowledge in cardiovascular medicine. Continue reading

Urgent Message from ACC Leadership Regarding MOC

All of us continue to be troubled by the complex situation presented by the changes in re-certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) over the past year. We have heard clearly that our members are unhappy, and many are dissatisfied with ACC actions to date. Our approach to the issue has been careful and deliberate, perhaps leading to the assumption that the ACC is not adequately addressing the problem.

The current ACC approach is as follows:

  • We respect the intelligence of our members in analyzing the best path for continuing education/certification individually and realize that it may not be the same for each of us; we are not wedded to one solution for all.
  • An ACC Task Force led by ACC Immediate Past President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC, is focused on continuing to provide input to ABIM to see if proposed temporary changes become permanent and to see if their processes can further improve to the extent that they are helpful and acceptable to members.
  • A second ACC Task Force led by ACC President-Elect Richard Chazal, MD, FACC, is aggressively exploring whether an alternative board should/could be developed by ACC for our members. Potential possibilities could include: new board(s); working with already established alternate boards and/or other organizations; working within or without ABMS framework; and other solutions. While working as rapidly as possible, we want to be cautious, realizing the great complexity of the situation.

Continue reading

MOC Update: Greater Flexibility Available for Part II; New ACC Task Forces Formed

Patrick_OGara_130x130 richard_a_chazal_130x130_12_31_2014This post was authored by Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC, and Richard Chazal, MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC.

Following on the heels of its Internal Medicine Summit in Philadelphia, PA, last week, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has released an updated “Application for ABIM MOC Recognition” that provides more opportunities for physicians to earn Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part II points for activities with a self-assessment component that have traditionally been designated as CME credits only.

In its February 2015 announcement regarding changes to the MOC process, which resulted from sustained, constructive input from organizations like the ACC, ABIM indicated it would develop ways to recognize most forms of ACCME-approved Continuing Medical Education, thus “allowing new and more flexible ways” for physicians to demonstrate self-assessment of medical knowledge. The updated ABIM MOC application, if managed correctly, provides an opportunity for physicians to apply earned CME credits towards meeting their five-year MOC requirements. Continue reading

An Important Message From the ACC President on ABIM MOC and SGR Legislation

Dear ACC Members,

As you know, we are on the brink of a historic Senate vote that would permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that has created well over a decade of instability for our patients and our practices. The bill to be considered, H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, is a well-vetted piece of legislation that was developed in a bipartisan, bicameral manner and enjoys the support of ACC and virtually all of organized medicine. This consensus legislation passed the House two weeks ago with an overwhelming level of support- 392 members from across the political spectrum. We now must push the Senate to act.

We have issued multiple calls to action for you to contact your legislators. With over 6,000 messages to the Hill from members of the ACC alone, the response has been unprecedented and impressive. In recent days, we have seen speculation and misinformation that is a potentially damaging distraction from this critical effort.

The facts are clear. H.R. 2, supported by the ACC, does not require participation in maintenance of certification (MOC), nor does it establish ABMS, ABIM, or any specific entity to administer MOC. No one would be forced to participate in MOC. Continue reading