Update: States limit the role of specialty certification
Passionate physicians have organized state-based campaigns to minimize the role recertification plays in licensing, payment, and employment or admitting privileges. These advocates firmly believe that initial board certification and continuing medical education ensure that physicians stay current and competent.
Responding to physicians’ data-driven arguments, including a December 2014 JAMA study showing maintenance of certification (MOC) programs do not improve patient outcomes (JAMA 2014; 312:2348-57), state legislators proposed several new laws in 2016.
Missouri. A comprehensive proposal protecting patients and providers in Missouri was advanced by members who understand this issue first hand. Representative Keith Frederick, DO (R), and Senator Bob Onder, MD (R), secured the governor’s signature on the Medical Practice Freedom Act. In addition to a prohibition on requiring any form of specialty board certification or MOC, as of Aug. 28 of this year, licensure may not be tied to any insurance plan participation, emergency room coverage, or electronic health record “meaningful use.”
Oklahoma. Under a new law signed April 12 by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R), physicians may challenge a hospital granting privileges exclusively based on MOC, asserting that it interferes with the practice of medicine. The American Board of Medical Specialties took the unusual step of expressing “disappointment” with the measure, affirming its policy stating, “Neither specialty nor subspecialty certification should be the sole determinant in granting and delineating the scope of a physician’s clinical privileges.”