Survey: Vast majority of docs say MOC is a burden

Take just a minute to consider all of the changes that have been thrown at physicians over the last few years. Take your pick, among accountable care organizations, MACRA, primary care medical homes and more. Thus, it’s no wonder that 81 percent of doctors report that maintenance of certification (MOC) activities are a burden, find researchers.

And this sentiment was held by the vast majority of the more than 4,600 physicians surveyed, regardless of specialty, practice size, geographic area, years in practice and level of burnout, according to a recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Twenty-four percent of doctors agreed with the statement that “MOC activities are relevant to their patients,” while only 15 percent felt such certification activities provide value. Further, only 12 percent of responding doctors regarded MOC activities as well-integrated into their daily routines.

While most doctors embrace the notion of lifelong learning, what’s lacking is how current formal MOC programs contribute to their professional development--beyond skills earned while caring for patients, say researchers.

The last thing doctors want to do is spend more time on additional requirements that they regard as burdensome, writes James C. Puffer, M.D, president and CEO of the American Board of Family Medicine, in an accompanying editorial. "It is imperative that [American Board of Medical Specialties] member boards take these issues into account and redesign their MOC programs to become more efficient, meaningful and impactful," he wrote.

On a practical level, MOC exams are a requirement for doctors across the country, as previously reported by FiercePracticeManagement. While not all hospitals require doctors to maintain board certification, many payers require MOC as a condition of treating patients.