Corporate Compliance

Assessing physician competence

Compliance Monitor, June 17, 2005

Q: Do you have any suggestions to help medical staff evaluate physician competence?

A: Maintenance of certification (MOC) programs, which monitor whether a physician has maintained the skills necessary to provide quality care in his or her specialty, can help hospital medical staffs judge a physician's current competence at appointment and reappointment. All American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)-approved boards are mandated to have four basic components to their MOC programs, one of which requires a physician to demonstrate "life-long learning."

This component of MOC programs is essentially a continuing education program requirement. Physicians can use various self-assessment tools to comply. Self-assessment encourages physicians to stay current with the latest medical information by constantly reading and keeping up with their peers. Because some boards allow physicians to satisfy this requirement with activities or self-assessment programs that they are already using, this component is not a huge leap or extra burden for many physicians, says Stephen H. Miller, MD, MPH, president of ABMS.

Discover the three other components of an MOC program in Credentialing and Peer Review Legal Insider (CPRLI). The cost is $10. Subscribers to the online version of CPRLI have free access to this article. Subscribers to the print newsletter can find this article in their June issues. For the cost of just three stories, you can get the entire June issue of CPRLI. Click here to choose between the PDF and HTML versions for just $30. CPRLI online subscribers have free access to this issue, and print newsletter subscribers can find this issue in their mailboxes.

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