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Changes in Hospitals' Credentialing Requirements for Board Certification from 2005 to 2010

Freed GL, Dunham KM, Gebremariam A.
Journal of Hospital Medicine
Pub Med #: 

In 2005, we conducted a study of the prevalence of board certification requirements for hospital privileging and found that one-third of hospitals did not require pediatricians to be board certified. In 2010, the American Board of Pediatrics implemented the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. To examine changes in the policies of hospitals regarding requirements for board certification, we surveyed privileging personnel at hospitals across the country.

Study Design
Telephone survey between April 2010 and June 2010 of privileging personnel at a random sample of 220 hospitals.

Of the 220 hospitals, 23 were ineligible because they had no pediatricians on staff, and 26 hospitals refused to participate. The remaining 154 hospitals completed the survey, resulting in a 78% participation rate. Compared with our findings in 2005, in 2010 a greater proportion of hospitals now require board certification for general pediatricians (80% vs 67%, P = 0.141) and pediatric subspecialists (86% vs 71%, P = 0.048). Among these hospitals, a larger proportion (24% vs 4%) now requires board certification for all pediatricians at the point of initial privileging. However, a greater proportion of hospitals reported that they make exceptions to their board certification policies (99% vs 41%).

In the 5 years since our previous study, a larger proportion of hospitals now require pediatricians to be board certified, although the proportion of hospitals that make exceptions to this policy has increased twofold. Hospitals appear to be incorporating the MOC program into their privileging policies.