ABIM Maintenance of Certification Requirements Changes in 2014

ABIM Maintenance of Certification Requirements Changes 2014

Sample Screenshot – Physician’s ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Requirements


The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has implemented changes to the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements. Like the 24 other specialty boards, ABIM will have a 4 Part Process:
  • Part I: Professional standing (licensure)
  • Part II: Lifelong learning and self-assessment
  • Part III: Cognitive expertise (examination)
  • Part IV: Practice performance assessment (performance improvement project)


Parts I and III are essentially unchanged. However Parts II and IV are new additions. Part II is the lifelong learning and self-assessment component. It includes continuing medical education (CME) and online modules for most boards.


Starting in 2014, the ABIM now maintains a report indicating if ABIM Board Certified physicians are “meeting MOC requirements”.


The ABIM has detailed the changes in the MOC requirements. It’s a bit of a maze to try and follow all the details so we’ll give you the high level bullets here.


What has changed?

Previous: You were required to maintain your Internal Medicine Board Certification by “simply” passing the ABIM Board Exam every 10 years.


ABIM MOC Changes: In order to be “meeting MOC requirements”, you will still need to pass the ABIM Board Exam every ten years. In addition, you will need to:
  • Complete at least one ABIM-approved MOC activity every two years
  • Earn at least 100 ABIM MOC points every five years with:
    • At least 20 points in medical knowledge
    • At least 20 points in practice assessment
  • Fill out a patient safety and a patient experience survey requirement every five years


Why the changes?

We are certainly no experts in this area. The ABIM argues that “There is growing recognition and agreement from the public, consumer groups and medical organizations that assessing knowledge and performance every 10 years is not sufficient.” Others could certainly argue this is all about money and power (after all, ABIM isn’t implementing these changes without a financial benefit).


There are certainly those that think the MOC changes are helpful and for the better. Then there are those that take a more cynical, yet  popular – and perhaps accurate – view of the changes. Regardless, these are the rules, at least for now, that you have to play by if you want to maintain your Internal Medicine Board Certification.


What’s the cost of this?

Fees (currently) for the Internal Medicine MOC are $194 annually or $1,940 on a 10-year basis. You can choose to pay annually or pre-pay for 10 years. If you maintain certification for other specialties, the fees are different.


What if I just got certified? What if I need to certify in 2014? What about 2015? What if I’ve been “Grandfathered” in?

Almost universally, regardless of when you need to certify, you will be impacted by the changes. Even for those grandfathered in and not having to meet any requirements previously, you will now be listed as “not meeting MOC requirements” (If you are grandfathered in, you will still maintain your certification but you will be listed as “not meeting requirements”)


In order to understand your specific situation, you should review the MOC requirements website where it details the actions you will need to take depending on when you need to recertify.


Does the ABIM know my contact information?

Make sure you update it if you have not provided them with the most current information. You can update your contact information online.


What medical knowledge modules / products can I complete to earn points?

You can earn medical knowledge points through the ABIM directly or from other professional organizations. A list of ABIM’s medical knowledge modules can be found on their website.


You can see a list of medical knowledge modules products developed by professional organizations at the ABIM website.


How can I earn practice assessment points?

You can earn practice assessment points by completing ABIM PIMs Practice Improvement modules or through the Approved Quality Improvement (AQI) pathway.


What if I need help?

With all the rules and requirements that are needed to make this transition, it can get confusing. If you do need help, you can contact the ABIM at 1-800-441-ABIM or email them at MOC2014@abim.org


The bottom line

The ABIM Maintenance of Certification requirements have changed. To maintain Board Certification, you have to play by their rules. It can be confusing and it will cause problems, especially in the first few years of this transition, but the change is here to stay.


To learn more about the ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, visit the ABIM MOC website.

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