By Mark W. Russo, MD, MPH, FAASLD, Vice Chair, MOC Committee and
Oren K. Fix, MD, MSc, FAASLD, Chair, MOC Committee
Update on the ABIM 2-year Knowledge Check-In and new fee structure
In 2018, ABIM introduced an alternative assessment pathway to the traditional 10-year MOC exam called the Knowledge Check-In (KCI) in internal medicine and nephrology. KCIs will become available in eight additional specialties in 2019, including gastroenterology; and nine more will roll out in 2020, including transplant hepatology.
The KCI consists of a shorter assessment physicians take every 2 years and can be completed in their home, office or testing center. If not taken at the testing center, a physician’s computer will need to meet ABIM requirements, which are available on the ABIM website.
The first year the KCI is offered in a given specialty it is considered “no consequences,” meaning that if a physician is unsuccessful there will be no change to their certification status. The KCI is also a lower stakes exam in that a physician will never lose their certification as a result of not passing the assessment. Depending on when a physician is due to pass an assessment, they will either have to take the traditional 10-year MOC exam the following year, or have another chance to take the KCI two years later.
Starting in spring 2018, physicians can now access UpToDate® within both the traditional 10-year MOC exam and 2-year Knowledge Check-In as an external resource. Physicians will not need their own UpToDate subscription. ABIM has also reached out to the community for ideas on more external resources that could potentially be incorporated into assessments, and they are actively exploring those possibilities.
Costs for each MOC assessment pathway are available on the ABIM website and vary depending upon how many specialty certifications you choose to maintain. The cost for the 2-year KCI and 10-year traditional exam are the same over a 10-year period, and both pathways require an annual MOC program fee.
The decision to take the 2-year KCI or stay with the traditional 10-year exam is an individual one and there are pros and cons for each pathway. ABIM will allow you to switch between the pathways during the course of your 10-year certification period. See the ABIM website for more details on the Knowledge Check-In. The FAQ section for MOC is particularly informative. Physicians can sign into their personalized ABIM portal for more information on their MOC requirements.
ABMS MOC Commission
Late last year, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announced a new initiative called “Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future” (Commission) and selected 27 members in February 2018 from among hundreds of applicants. The purpose of the Commission is to assess the status of the MOC process across specialty boards and make recommendations to enable MOC “to become a system that demonstrates the profession’s commitment to professional self-regulation, offers a consistent and clear understanding of what continuing certification means, and establishes a meaningful, relevant and valuable program that meets the highest standard of quality patient care”. The Commission began with a survey of over 36,000 physicians and stakeholders and released the results in July 2018, including the following conclusion: “While a small percentage of physicians value MOC, a larger portion has either mixed views or do not value MOC. They currently see MOC as too costly and burdensome, not an accurate depiction of their abilities or relevant to their practice, and duplicative.” Recommendations from the Commission are anticipated by February 2019.
The new LiverLearning® platform
AASLD adopted a new platform for LiverLearning® in August 2018, to improve new learning opportunities and achieve a better online experience. To accomplish this, we closed CME credit and MOC point granting on June 30, 2018, and will gradually bring back many activities on the new platform. Be on the lookout as AASLD is working on piloting some activities in the new LiverLearning® and will be continuing to build the platform into the fall and especially 2019.
Transplant Hepatology Board Review Course
The Transplant Hepatology Board Review Course (THBRC) held this August in Texas was an overwhelming success. Its online, on-demand version is an excellent resource to help anyone preparing for the ABIM or American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) certification or MOC exams offered in October, or anyone seeking a comprehensive review of hepatology. Enduring materials from the THBRC will be available soon on LiverLearning®. The on-demand version will include access to recordings from the live course (speaker audio and visual of the slides), PDF versions of the syllabus to view and print, a PDF supplement of 40 board-style questions and answers for practice, and a 30 question quiz that must be successfully completed to receive CME and ABIM and/or ABP MOC points.
Resources to obtain MOC points
In addition to AASLD’s LiverLearning®, MOC points can be obtained from other professional organizations (ACG, AGA), UpToDate searches, or you can search for sites using the ACCME’s CME Finder which lets you search for activities under all of the ACCME accredited institutions and organizations offering MOC by certifying board. You can further refine your search to look for specific keywords such as “liver”. Many institutions offer MOC for attendance at grand rounds. You do not need to earn MOC points specifically for the subspecialty that you are recertifying in (e.g., if you are recertifying in gastroenterology or transplant hepatology you can earn MOC points for participating in a MKSAP module from the American College of Physicians or from any activities and topics approved by ABIM). You will also earn 20 MOC points for your first attempt at taking a certification or MOC exam (even if you fail) and for each year of participation in your fellowship training program. For more information on the amount and ways to earn MOC points, visit the ABIM Earning MOC Points webpage or the American Board of Pediatrics MOC webpage. Also keep in mind that many activities offer both CME and MOC points.
MOC Update Session and Earning MOC Points at The Liver Meeting® 2018
If you are interested in learning more about MOC and what AASLD has to offer, please join us on Sunday, November 11 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm for the MOC Update session (1.5 CME and 1.5 ABIM MOC points). Helen Te, MD, FAASLD, will discuss “Insane (But True) Things About MOC,” Heather Patton, MD, FAASLD, will discuss “MOC 1-2-3 from AASLD,” and Nancy Reau, MD, FAASLD, a member of the ABIM’s Gastroenterology Board, will provide the “Inside Scoop on MOC from the ABIM.”
At The Liver Meeting® 2018, AASLD is offering ABIM and ABP MOC for the Postgraduate Course and ABIM MOC for selected sessions. More information on which sessions and how to complete the MOC evaluations will be posted on the AASLD’s TLM Continuing Education webpage in October.