Maintenance of Certification: Quality Measure or Costly Burden?

May 27, 2013

What do you think of the maintenance of certification requirements? A common-sense effort to drive quality, or an unproven and costly burden?

Maintenance of Certification is a hot topic again.

The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is suing the American Board of Medical Specialties over their MOC program, saying it’s an infringement on trade and reduces access to patients.

Opponents of MOC claim that the requirements are burdensome, that there is no evidence that it improves quality of care and that it creates a cartel for the provision for educational material, sometimes in nice locations such as an Alaskan Cruise ship.

Many physicians are outraged, not only at the cost to maintain certification, but also by the fear that it could become a requirement for hospital privileges, Jane Orient, MD, the AAPS' executive director, told Physicians Practice.

On the other hand, proponents of MOC claim that this enhances patient care by creating a quality floor that all doctors must meet. In this way it spreads the net for incompetent physicians. The requirements measure six core competencies, some clinical, some interprofessional.

What do you think of the maintenance of certification requirements? A common-sense effort to drive quality, or an unproven and costly burden? Tell us in the comments below.