The Value of Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
Maintenance of Certification (MOC) — designed by and for pediatricians — ensures that board-certified pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists have successfully completed accredited training and continue to expand their medical knowledge, improve their practice and increase patient safety. This section of the website aims to help pediatricians understand the benefits of participating in MOC and why the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) is committed to the improvement of health outcomes for children, adolescents, and young adults while also meeting the public's increasing demands for safe and effective care and transparency.
Benefits for Physicians
Some of the benefits that participating in MOC offers for ABP-certified general pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists include:
- Focused learning, self-assessment and other activities to improve effectiveness, safety and efficiency of practice
- Demonstration of commitment to increased knowledge and clinical performance over time
- Recognition by insurers, regulators, hospitals, other physicians, patients and caregivers as the gold standard of physician quality
- Public acknowledgement on referral websites of meeting higher standards
- Alignment with requirements and incentive programs that can lead to hospital credentialing, increased payments, preferred status with insurers, higher reimbursement rates and reduced malpractice premiums
- Better clinical processes, improved clinical outcomes and/or cost savings associated with work done for MOC1
Importance for Children and Caregivers
Most studies that have examined the relationship of MOC to patient care processes and outcomes support an association of MOC with improved care. In addition, research shows that patients, families and groups representing the public expect that regular assessments of a pediatrician’s quality of care and medical knowledge are taking place.1 Other benefits for patients and parents might include:
- A marker of their doctor’s up-to-date knowledge of current medical practices and the latest medical breakthroughs
- Confidence in their pediatrician’s ability to deliver the highest quality of care possible
- Potential for improved communication and working relationships with general pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists
- Coordinated care from integrated teams involved in quality improvement collaboratives
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) maintains a continuously updated collection of research about the value of MOC. Two recent, notable evidence reviews are:
- Nichols, DG. Maintenance of Certification and the Challenge of Professionalism. Pediatrics April 2017. Available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/03/31/peds.2016-4371 (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/03/31/peds.2016-4371).
- Hawkins, RE, et al. American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification: Theory and Evidence Regarding the Current Framework. J Contin Educ Health Prof 33 Suppl 1, S7-19. 2013. Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24347156/ (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24347156/).