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Medical Board MOC

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  • #31

    Maintenance of Certification: The Texas Senate Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against physicians based solely on their maintenance of certification (MOC) status. Senate Bill 1148 by Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway), is a TMA priority. It also would prohibit the Texas Medical Board from requiring MOC for physicians to obtain or renew a medical license. Specifically, the bill states, “A physician is considered a board-certified medical specialist in this state if the physician receives initial certification, regardless of the physician’s maintenance of certification.”


    Your state medical association can help with this….
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    The problem with these bills, and Oklahoma had one fairly similar, is that it does nothing.  No state requires that a physician be board certified, so saying that they don’t require or can’t discriminate based on MOC is meaningless.  A hospital and insurer can still discriminate and not credential based on board certification based on this bill, no?  Any law that has teeth on this matter needs to specifically state that hospitals and health insurers are forbidden to ask about board certification and require it for credentialing purposes.

    As for the intentions of MOC, maybe they weren’t so pure after all.  I can only speak to what our board members have told us – that it was done out of fear that the government would apply standards to us if we didn’t ourselves in wake of the To Err Is Human report.  Turns out the government has a pesky way of applying standards regardless (MACRA, Obamacare, etc.), making this argument moot – especially in light of there being no evidence to support it as an independent marker of quality.
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    See the bolded section – it very specifically states that hospitals and insurance companies cannot discriminate based on MOC status.
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    Yes, but if you don’t do MOC you don’t get to keep your board certification.  That is a board-specific decision.  From the hospital’s perspective, they can say “well, we don’t care about MOC, but you don’t have your board certification any more so see ya’”.  Would you honestly risk this if you were a physician in Texas?  I wouldn’t change a thing until the law specifically stated that they cannot discriminate or even inquire (as this induces all sorts of bias that can’t be proved/disproved) about BOARD CERTIFICATION.
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    Read the post – it says that in the State of Texas, you are considered to be Board Certified if you pass your initial certification, regardless of MOC status. I thing they were very clear on the purpose of this bill and on its wording.

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    Interesting.  Doesn't look like it passed but I'll be curious to see how this plays out in reality.  This is going to be a bit of a mess though.  Not that patients often look this stuff up, but if they look to your ABMS board and search for board certified physicians in the area your name won't pop up.  But you'll advertise that you're board certified because the state views you as such.  Could be a problem for moving out of state to practice.  But for those knowing that they are going to stay in TX, this does look promising.  Thanks for sharing.