Is ABMS's proposal a threat to CME?
The American Board of Medical Specialties' white paper examining how CME can support its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirement raised hackles among some who foresaw new credit systems, among other harsh consequences.
MOC is the four-part process that board-certified physicians use to re-certify. The white paper was an early effort by the ABMS to determine whether CME can be of sufficient quality to help its members improve practice and maintain certification.
While that's a laudable goal, the ABMS “is considering recommending to their 24 member boards to set up additional accreditation systems” for CME to meet MOC requirements, wrote Tom Sullivan, on his blog Policy and Medicine. If adopted, such systems could require additional paperwork.
Sullivan also voiced concern that physicians would be forced to choose between getting CME from annual meetings and attending “MOC only” events, a potential drag on attendance.
Dr. Murray Kopelow, chief executive of the ACCME, whose organization contributed to discussions, countered, “There is no such intention by the ABMS or the ACCME to put the AMA PRA or the AAFP credits or the osteopathic credits—all created by groups of physician organizations for their members—to put all of that out of business.”
The ABMS white paper actually recommends the same kinds of attributes that CME has had since the ACCME revamped its accreditation criteria in 2006.
As to Sullivan's contention that the paper calls for exclusion of commercial support from MOC CME, the ABMS proposes removing commercial influence.
During discussions, the message was “loud and clear” that CME needs to be of high quality, performance- and evidence-based, and free of commercial bias, said Dr. Nancy Davis, an MOC CME expert who also participated in talks. The challenge, she said, is how can the board be sure that's actually what's being delivered?