In January, American pediatricians, long overworked and underpaid, received an email from the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) informing them that the ABP had been ‘listening’ and was now going to increase the number of required Part 4 (quality improvement) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) points required to be earned by pediatricians to “maintain” their certification. Within days, thousands of pediatricans signed a petition stating that “most pediatricians want to fully get rid of part 4.”
Pediatricians are already confronting so many bureaucratic challenges, that adding even more needless bureaucratic busy-work to their plate infuriated thousands. Pediatricians are keenly aware that MOC is a time-consuming, burnout-inducing moneymaker for the specialty boards with no proof of benefit to patients or physicians. Because of the potential harms caused by tying a pediatrician’s initial certification and right to work to MOC (a continuing educational and quality assurance exercise), PPA and other organizations have been pushing back at the profiteering specialty boards, whose executives make triple the salary as those in the trenches practicing medicine.
PPA crowd-source funded nearly half a million dollars to support plaintiffs in antitrust lawsuits against the boards of Internal Medicine, Radiology, Psychiatry and Neurology. Two of these lawsuits will have judgments coming soon (oral arguments presented to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals can be heard starting at 1:57:00 on the Court’s YouTube page). If any one of these lawsuit survives, it will serve as a precedent against other member boards, including the American Board of Pediatrics.
In response to this outcry, PPA hosted an informative webinar with NBPAS, an equivalent recertification board, which as of November 2021 meets all national accreditation standards for health plans. NBPAS believes that physicians are capable of choosing the CME that best suits the needs of their patients. There is no part 4, no recurring test, and their board is volunteer, so the fees are over 70% more affordable. You can visit the NBPAS site for materials to help you ask your hospital to accept NBPAS recertification.
All physicians can help this ongoing anti-MOC effort by first joining PPA (it’s free and helps us know who you are) and then donating here. Or if you prefer, you can send a check to PPA at the address below. Our board members work for free, your money will go entirely to support the lawsuit and to maintain our website. In light of the stress and work endured by all physicians over the past two years, it’s time the boards truly listened and responded to the real needs of physicians by eliminating unproven and unnecessary mandates!
Practicing Physicians of America
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