August 10, 2023 — It is the position of SCAI that ABIM diplomates who successfully pass their exams and report procedural volumes in a timely fashion should be indisputably recognized as “certified” for the respective time frame (e.g., a 10-year secure exam pathway success should always lead to an entire 10-year cycle of “certified” status) regardless of whether they are participating in any other MOC activities.
As a direct result of ABIM recently tying certification status to post-exam yearly MOC participation, SCAI members have had their privileges threatened and even revoked rather unexpectedly. This situation unacceptably exacerbates the interventional cardiology workforce shortage, and threatens to directly impact the care of patients suffering life threatening cardiovascular emergencies. It is the position of SCAI that the ABIM must immediately abandon its complex practice and stop mixing nonparticipation in MOC with “not certified” status.
Hospitals and insurance companies should also understand the current complex interplay and confusion regarding certification status and be mindful of this changing landscape until such time as this issue is resolved.
There has been significant evolution in the ABIM MOC program since its launch. In 2017, SCAI successfully lobbied ABIM to diversify the procedures that counted toward and to lower the total procedural volume required for interventional cardiologists to meet MOC requirements. These changes were necessary to keep up with the evolution of interventional cardiology practice. More recent changes include the introduction of alternatives to the 10-year secure exam, including ABIM’s Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA) and the Collaborative Maintenance Pathway (CMP) CathSAP product from the American College of Cardiology. In general, these alternative assessments have been welcomed by our membership, as they lessen the burden of high stakes exam preparation, which remained available. This year, however, reporting on MOC has been intertwined with and impacting upon certification status.
Today, the ABIM requires interventional cardiology diplomates to complete an assessment by their due date (through a very complex process involving variable rules around secure exam, LKA or CathSAP CMP products), achieve 100 self-assessment points every five years, and complete a procedural volume attestation every five years to remain certified. These steps require expensive fees and failure to complete any of them is evaluated through complex regulations that may trigger a change in certification status from “certified” to “not certified.”
SCAI believes that ABIM diplomates who successfully complete their assessments (secure exam or alternative pathways) and report procedural volumes in a timely fashion should always be recognized as “certified” and that SCAI members and the patients we serve must be protected from the hazard of insidious changing in certification status based on status of participation in MOC.
Simple and credible rules are advisable, while a labyrinth of regulations is both unfair and unjustified.
For more information: www.scai.org