I wanted to share some news on the legislative front in Missouri. In late August 2016, two bills were passed in the Missouri legislature that address the issue of Maintenance of Certification (MOC), and participation in certain health plans.
As you may know, the ACG, along with many other societies, has been working hard to convince ABIM to modify its MOC program to one that focuses on lifelong learning instead of lifelong testing. ACG is also very active at the state level, advocating for legislation that prohibits MOC as a condition to privileges and licensure. North Carolina and Oklahoma have passed legislation that prohibits conditioning licensure, hospital privileges or reimbursement on MOC status. ACG has also partnered with the Michigan State Medical Society, urging for your help in getting two bills passed by the MI state legislature.
Missouri bill HB 1816 prohibits the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (the “Board”) from conditioning licensure on any MOL/MOC framework. It also prohibits the Board from requiring any form of specialty certification for licensure. In addition, no state agency may discriminate against a non-board certified physician. It does not restrict the ability of hospitals or health plans from requiring MOL/MOC for privileges or impaneling (something that has not happened yet).
Missouri bill HB 1682 provides that Missouri may not condition physician licensure on participation in any public or private health plan, public service initiative, or ER coverage. This was intended to keep the state from requiring physician participation in the Medicaid program – although its application is much broader.
These bills became law on August 28, 2016. This is good news for Missouri physicians. Please stay tuned and continue to support the ACG’s efforts to restructure the MOC process to make it more relevant to practicing physicians.
Dayna S. Early, MD, FACG
ACG Governor for Missouri