Most Rheumatologists See No Value in MOC

The majority of rheumatologists in the United States do not see the value in maintenance of certification programs (MOC), according to a survey.

A total of 3,107 rheumatologists received the questionnaire, of which 515 responded. The majority of respondents (74.8%) said they see “no significant value in MOC, beyond what is already achieved from Continuing Medical Education,” the study authors wrote.

While 65.6% of respondents said MOC helps keep rheumatologists on track with the latest research, a similar percentage (63.5%) believe MOC does not contribute to valuable patient care; in fact, about three-quarters (74.6%) said MOC takes time away from patient care, and 74% said it takes away time from family. Speaking about the purpose of MOC, 43.4% said MOC serves to financially benefit board certifying organizations, while 30% believe it exists to quell health system administrative requirements. Most rheumatologists (77.7%) believe MOC requirements will lead to physician burnout, 67.4% predict it will result in more early retirements, and 63.9% think the number of practicing rheumatologists will decline.

There is no prior research to indicate that MOC-participating rheumatologists provide more quality care, the study authors noted.

“If participation in MOC indeed does not have a significant value on improving patient care in rheumatology, as indicated by the perception of practicing rheumatologists, and if it remains a requirement to practice for at least over a third of rheumatologists in the United States, then an argument can be made that elimination of MOC might be a way to sustain and improve the rheumatology workforce without compromising quality,” the researchers wrote. “To our knowledge, there have not been any studies to show that rheumatologists participating in MOC activities provide better care.”

The authors also called the respondents’ feelings toward board certifying organizations “striking.”

“When asked to rank in order what is thought to be the reason for creating MOC programs, financial well-being of board-certifying organizations was the highest ranked answer,” the researchers wrote. “Improving patient care, which is the motive claimed by board-certifying organizations, was the least likely ranked answer.”

The results call for a closer look at the relationship between these organizations and practicing rheumatologists, the authors said.

“Regardless of what the motive might be, these results suggest that practicing physicians, and in this case rheumatologists, do not trust board-certifying organizations,” according to the researchers.

A Larger Cost to Rheumatologists

Working With Specialists: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting Coverage

2018 American College of Rheumatology/National Psoriasis Foundation Guideline for the Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis

Sources: Arthritis Care & Research, Rheumatology News