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Statement from 2019 ASH President Roy Silverstein, MD, on Draft Maintenance of Certification Recommendations

Boards should implement formative testing, forgo further practice and quality reporting requirements

(WASHINGTON, January 10, 2019) – Today, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) submitted feedback on draft recommendations for reforming Maintenance of Certification (MOC) to a commission appointed by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and other entities.

The “Vision Commission” released a report of its draft recommendations for reforming continuing board certification in December. ASH has submitted comments on the report and sent a note to its members asking them to submit their own comments before the site closes on January 15.

2019 ASH President Roy Silverstein, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee issued the following comment:

“For four years, ASH has eagerly sought opportunities to work with ABMS to make meaningful changes to MOC that would better align with the needs of hematologists. The formation of the commission and its draft recommendations is the latest positive step taken by ABMS to take a long overdue look at MOC and to involve sub-specialties in setting the course for change.

One of the components of MOC that has emerged as most controversial is the summative test required periodically to maintain certification. ASH is not a proponent of the test, as the Society believes that a single exam or assessment does not recognize the diversification of career paths in hematology. Additionally, we believe that testing without making continuing education resources available does not give diplomates the tools to improve their knowledge and care. While we were pleased to see the Commission’s recommendation that boards should implement formative instead of summative assessments, the Commission could strengthen this recommendation in the final report by advising ABMS to direct the boards to formally make this change.

ASH also hopes the Commission will reconsider its recommendation to reinstate the reporting of practice improvement activities as part of continuous certification. The takeaways we glean from practice and quality reporting are valuable, but it is a time and resource-consuming practice for physicians who already must report this information to insurers, institutions, and health systems.

ASH hopes the Commission takes these changes into account in its final recommendations to be shared with ABMS. The Society remains committed to working closely with ABMS to make continuing certification more valuable for hematologists and the patients in their care.”

View the ASH email to members outlining the Society's feedback to the “Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission” report at http://portal.criticalimpact.com/vm.cfm?i=62A72F293791AE4A.

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online, as well as the newly launched, online, peer-reviewed open-access journal, Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org).

Amanda Szabo, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4914