NEW YORK (Reuters Health)—The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) maintenance-of-certification (MOC) program could cost $5.7 billion in physicians’ time and fees over the next decade, according to a new model study.
“We estimate that physicians will spend 33 million hours over 10 years to fulfill MOC requirements,” Dr. Dhruv S. Kazi from the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters Health by email.
“This is approximately equivalent to the total clinical work load of 1785 physicians over 10 years,” Dr. Kazi said. “This demand on physician time comes during a period of expanding insurance coverage and anticipated physician workforce shortfalls; it may therefore adversely affect access to care, particularly elective care.”
The ABIM’s substantial expansion in 2014 of its MOC requirements for the more than 250,000 board-certified internists, hospitalists and internal medicine subspecialists ignited an intense debate about the societal value of the program, resulting in temporary suspension of some of the new requirements.