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Important Update on MOC Legislation from the FMA

Thursday, April 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
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Please read this important update on MOC legislation from the FMA and click here for the PDF version:

FMA Maintenance of Certification Alert:
MOC Bill Advances in Senate


One of the FMA’s top priorities for the current Legislative Session, legislation to prohibit onerous maintenance of certification requirements (MOC) on Florida physicians (SB 1354), passed out of its first committee in the Senate on Monday. There is a great deal of misinformation about this legislation being disseminated by an individual who is trying to raise money for an outside organization that has no clout in the legislative process. Please beware of hyperbolic and inflammatory rhetoric that is intended to confuse physicians and undermine organized medicine’s effort to address the MOC issue.

 In order to move the bill forward, an amendment was unanimously adopted by the Senate Health Policy Committee that focuses more directly on the root of the MOC problem. Without this amendment, SB 1354 would not have gotten a hearing, and MOC legislation would have been dead for the session.

 The amended bill targets the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) directly. ABMS and any other recognizing agency in Florida will have to obtain a certificate from the Department of Health to be able to bestow board certification on Florida physicians. In order to get the certificate, ABMS will be prohibited from requiring its maintenance of certification process for board recertification. The Department may only grant a certificate to a recognizing agency that does not require a periodic testing regimen, proprietary selfassessment, or peer review. The recognizing agency may not charge more than $500 every two years for recertification, and the only requirement for recertification that a recognizing agency is allowed to impose is a set number of continuing medical education hours.

With this approach, the bill prohibits MOC at its source rather than targeting third parties for the MOC prohibition. While we would have loved being able to require both, such was not politically possible. Contrary to an erroneous report from a fringe organization that purports to represent physicians, the amended Senate bill in no way empowers government to further push MOC on physicians.

The House bill (HB 753) retains the original language and is awaiting a hearing in the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Rest assured, the FMA will continue vigorously advocating for physicians and will work to pass meaningful legislation that ends the abusive practices of the ABMS regarding maintenance of certification.

If you have any questions concerning SB 1354 or the maintenance of certification issue, please contact FMA General Counsel Jeff Scott, Esq., at jscott@flmedical.org.