It’s easier to add American Board of Medical Specialties Program for Maintenance of Certification (ABMS MOC) Part II lifelong learning credit to your certified continuing medical education activities than you may think. Before we talk about the particulars, though, let’s first outline what MOC is.
Once they are board-certified, physicians—called “diplomates”—maintain their medical specialty expertise by participating in the ABMS MOC, a robust continuous professional development program. The MOC program provides physicians a structured approach for enhancing patient care and improving patient outcomes through lifelong learning–focused assessment and performance-improvement activities.
The ABMS program for MOC involves ongoing measurement of the six core competencies defined by ABMS and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME):
• Practice-based Learning and Improvement
• Patient Care and Procedural Skills
• Systems-based Practice
• Medical Knowledge
• Interpersonal and Communication Skills
These competencies, which are the same as those used in the next ACGME accreditation system, are measured in the ABMS program for MOC within a four-part framework:
Part I: Professionalism and Professional Standing
Part III: Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills
Part IV: Improvement in Medical Practice
All of the member boards measure the same six competencies within the same four-part framework. While these elements are consistent across all member boards, what may vary, according to the specialty, are the required specific number and type of activities.
CME providers can help their learners earn specialty board MOC credit for certified CME activities by two pathway options:
Pathway 1—for learners certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), or American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA)
Pathway 2—for learners who are board-certified with other specialty boards that are listed on this chart.
How to Follow Pathway 1
To support the role of accredited CME as a strategic resource to Maintenance of Certification, the Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME) has collaborated with ABMS member boards to simplify and align the MOC process to better meet the needs of diplomates and to facilitate the integration of MOC with CME. These efforts have facilitated participation in the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) initiative with the ABIM, ABA, and ABP. This in turn allows accredited providers to register CME activities for one or more of the ABMS member boards’ MOC recognition programs and enter learner completion data directly through PARS, and MOC credit goes directly to diplomates’ specialty board records.
How do you know if your activities qualify?
First, there are no additional ACCME requirements to participate in this initiative, and there are no special fees to providers, but participation does require demonstration and documentation of the following elements (criteria):
How do I use PARS to add MOC credit?
These collaborations require registration and submission of activity and participant completion data through PARS, which is then provided directly to the certifying boards. The registration process is available for all CME providers in the ACCME PARS, including state-accredited providers, providers directly accredited by the ACCME, and providers that have received Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education.
Specifics are as follows:
• After (or as part of) entering the activity(s) in the ACCME PARS, register the activity by clicking “yes” for the MOC initiative, selecting one or more of the three boards (see example below):
As part of this registration process in PARS, providers attest to compliance with chosen certifying board requirements, as shown below:
It is important that providers be sure to:
• Inform learners prior to or at the activity their information will shared with the boards.
• Collect learner name, board ID#, and date of birth (in mmdd format).
• Submit participant MOC data to the board(s) within 30 days of the activity.
• Find your PARS-submitted activities in the searchable CMEfinder database
• Be prepared for an audit by the ACCME on any MOC/PARS activity.
See more detailed information at CME in support of MOC.
How do I submit learner MOC data?
After registering your activity for MOC in PARS, you will be able to access the participant manual data entry field for MOC (same for all three boards), and the information will flow directly to the learners’ board records for the specialties you selected, as shown below:
How to Follow Pathway 2
CME providers can submit certified CME activities for review by the participating ABMS member boards, and obtain pre-approved MOC Part II from one or more participating boards selecting your activity.
ABMS facilitates the review and approval process of CME activities through its member boards, and completed submission forms are presented to the targeted ABMS member boards for review. Once approved, ABMS will contact the provider with information about which member boards approved the activity and the type of approval granted. The activity review and approval process takes approximately six to eight weeks.
• MOC activities are listed in the ABMS MOC Directory that diplomates nationally can easily access.
• An ABMS MOC statement of credit is required to be included on your learner’s certificate of credit.
• Learners submit their own MOC Part II records to their boards.
Karen Kaminskas is a professional associate with Steve Passin & Associates. Kaminskas, who is based in Auburndale, Fla., and may be reached at [email protected]