ACC to Work With Subspecialty Societies on MOC Revamp

October 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Plans are afoot to make sure that cardiology's subspecialists who have their own certification route with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) will share in planned changes to the maintenance-of-certification (MOC) process anticipated in the coming years[1].

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has announced it will partner with the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) to develop modules for use by their members to maintain subspecialty certification every few years, in place of the traditional "make-or-break" board exams once a decade.

Much of medicine has recently seemed united in enmity toward that process long in place, with many physicians blasting it for being an expensive burden of questionable value and relevance to their practices.

The ACC announced last month that it, the American College of Physicians (ACP), and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) have agreed with ABIM to develop alternate board-certification maintenance pathways. The ABIM has yet to sign off on the actual blueprint for the "collaborative pathway" for general cardiovascular disease, which is "still in the proposal stages," observed ACC president Dr Mary Norine Walsh (St Vincent Medical Group, Indianapolis, IN) for theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

But it's hoped, she said, that any new recertification processes the ACC develops with HFSA, HRS, and SCAI will resemble the collaborative pathways planned for general cardiology. The new system should include "an ongoing learning process over the course of several years, with evidence of completion throughout those years, without the 10-year exam."

For years, Walsh said, "The ACC has had the ACCSAP self-assessment, and we envision that type of product being the basis of our society's certification maintenance pathway." The self-assessment program in clinical cardiology is designed to help preparation for taking the boards.

"We believe we can fairly straightforwardly, with our sister societies [HFSA, HRS, and SCAI], create similar self-assessment programs and processes that focus on the subspecialties of cardiology," she said when interviewed.

Such a process contrasts with another option the ABIM is allowing medical specialties to pursue and indeed will be followed by general internists and nephrologists starting next year: physicians will engage in a "knowledge check-in" every 2 or 5 years as a substitute for the 10-year exam.

Follow Steve Stiles on Twitter: @SteveStiles2. For more from theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology , follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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