The ABIM Board of Directors voted to extend the board's practice assessment decision through 2018, according to a press release.
This extension means that ABIM will not require practice assessment, patient voice and patient safety in its maintenance of certification (MOC) program through Dec. 31, 2018.
ABIM said that the board based its decision on feedback from the internal medicine and subspecialty community.
"ABIM has heard from many stakeholders that it is good for patients when physicians regularly evaluate and improve the quality of their care, so we need to do a better job recognizing the meaningful quality improvement activities you are already doing," Richard J. Baron, MD, MACP, president of ABIM, wrote on the organization's blog. "We all share the values articulated by the [American Board of Medical Specialties] that embody a commitment to professionalism and the importance of physicians staying current, increasing patient safety and reducing harm and improving patient care."
Richard J. Baron
The board reiterated that physicians will still need to take and pass an examination every 10 years as well as earn 100 MOC points every 5 years and complete some MOC activity every 2 years.
In the release, ABIM noted that it is still working to provide opportunities for "meaningful quality improvement activities" and is participating in various programs to improve MOC programming and allow participants to receive MOC credit for activities in their practice environments.
“As we have continued to increase the types of CME activities that attest to knowledge assessment, we have made it easier for physicians to get MOC credit for a broader range of CME activities,” Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, chair of the ABIM Board of Directors said in the release. “Our focus is now on involving physicians in various efforts to ensure that our exams reflect what they see in daily practice. We are also engaging societies and physicians to help us explore the feasibility and potential implementation of more frequent, lower stakes assessments.”
ABIM also highlighted other changes to its MOC program, including exam updates, a grace period for failed exams and reducing retake fees, and asked that physicians participate in a survey that will further guide their program improvements.