With that goal in mind, at our Annual Meeting in Boston this year, the ACR is piloting a series of three sessions designed to refresh your knowledge in key areas of the MOC blueprint and allow you to claim MOC, as well as CME credits. The CARE: MOC Sessions module will be free to all Annual Meeting attendees. More details on the program and how it will work will be provided closer to the meeting date.
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Explore This IssueJuly 2014
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Although not all of the ACR MOC modules are free, the ACR is sensitive to the cost of recertification and sets rates at the lowest possible margin to help offset the development costs. In addition to developing rheumatology-specific, MOC-approved products, the ACR actively advocates for members.5 In April, the ACR collaborated with other medical specialty societies on a letter submitted to the ABIM that voiced concerns from our members, leadership and staff regarding the MOC process. This effort was led by the American College of Physicians, which recently published its position in Annals of Internal Medicine. Although the ACR and the other societies believe in lifelong learning, practice improvement and the purpose of MOC, we do not agree with all of the ways the program is implemented. Some of the issues the concerned societies asked the ABIM to address are:
- Rising costs: MOC is expensive and overly burdensome—not only in terms of the fees to enroll, which increased almost twofold for specialty certifications this year—but also in terms of the cost to purchase modules, and enroll in review and study courses, and in the time it takes to complete all of these programs in an already time-taxed profession.
- Secure exam—Pass rates: First-attempt pass rates for rheumatology have been up and down over the past several years, and in 2013 the rate dropped to 85%. Internal medicine pass rates have been on a steady decline over the past five years, dropping from 90% in 2009 to 78% in 2013.6 This is an alarming statistic when we consider that many specialties are already experiencing workforce shortage issues.
- Secure exam—Format: Physicians are required to use high-security testing facilities for an exam that seems to lack relevance to everyday practice, including the inability to use open information resources relevant to specific clinical scenarios.
- Lack of products available to cover the wide variety of professional activities and roles of physicians: Many researchers, educators and administrators who are minimally clinically active find it difficult, if not impossible, to complete parts of the requirements, such as patient safety and patient feedback requirements.
As this column is being written, the ACR has not received a response from the ABIM.