Published 11/1/2012

Your MOC Status is Going Public in 2013

MOC participants must be registered with the ABOS

Beginning in September 2013, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) will make public whether board-certified orthopaedists are meeting their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements via the ABMS’ Certification Matters website at www.certificationmatters.org

Any AAOS members who are currently participating in the ABOS MOC program but have not yet registered with the ABOS should immediately go to the ABOS website (www.abos.org) and register to ensure they will be listed online as MOC participants.

Background and rationale
As noted by ABOS Executive Director Shepard R. Hurwitz, MD, the impetus for public reporting of MOC status comes from the ABMS—an organization of 24 medical specialty certifying boards, including the ABOS.

“The ABMS began the initial rollout of the public reporting program in August 2011, when seven member boards began to publicly display whether the physicians they certify are meeting their MOC requirements,” said Dr. Hurwitz. “One year later—in August 2012—11 more ABMS member boards began to publicly report whether the physicians they certify are meeting their MOC requirements. The ABOS will join this important initiative next year.”

ABMS President and Chief Executive Officer Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, noted in a statement that the “ABMS is meeting its commitment to patients, families, and communities by providing easy access to important information about individual doctors.”

According to the ABMS, since February 2011, more than 1.1 million people have visited the certification matters website to determine whether a physician is board-certified by an ABMS member board. Information about the physician’s MOC status has been added as ABMS member boards have joined in the initiative.

“The ABMS has set the gold standard in physician specialty certification for more than 75 years, and this effort further demonstrates our commitment to advance quality health care for patients,” stated Dr. Nora.

What will change in 2013
Currently, users can use the certification matters website to search for physicians by first/last name, location, and/or specialty to determine whether the physician is certified by an ABMS member board. For orthopaedists, this member board is the ABOS.

In 2013, the following information about the ABOS MOC process will also be listed for orthopaedists:

  • “Yes” or “No” response regarding whether an orthopaedist is meeting the MOC requirements of the ABOS
  • Status of all specialty certificates, as well as subspecialty certificates in surgery of the hand and/or orthopaedic sports medicine
  • Message stating that some physicians achieved board certification before their ABMS boards established an MOC program, and these physicians are therefore not required to participate in MOC to maintain their board certification. Users will also receive directions on how to obtain information about whether a specific physician is required to participate in MOC.

Register now
According to Dr. Hurwitz, AAOS fellows who have a time-limited certificate, no matter when it expires, should be registered as participants in MOC. Even fellows with lifetime certificates may register with the ABOS to participate in MOC. Because lifetime certificate holders are under no obligation to complete the process with a recertifying exam, they can decide whether to take the recertifying exam in the future.

“If MOC participation is required as a condition of licensure or credentialing, it is important to be listed online as an MOC participant,” said Dr. Hurwitz. “For that to happen, AAOS fellows must register for MOC with the ABOS and must meet their MOC requirements.”

To register, visit the ABOS online at www.abos.org and click on the “MOC” button. Follow the prompts to register as an MOC participant.

How is MOC status determined?
According to Dr. Hurwitz, ABOS diplomates will be listed as “meeting MOC requirements” on the Certification Matters website if they are registered for MOC and intend to submit their CME and self-assessment credits and case lists and to meet all other MOC requirements.

Diplomates who are registered for MOC but fail to submit an examination application and examination fee by the year preceding their certification expiration year or satisfy all their MOC requirements by the year preceding their certification expiration year would be listed as NOT meeting MOC requirements.

For example, if a diplomate’s board certification expires in 2018, and he or she fails to apply for the examination and submit the examination fee by 2017 and/or fails to complete all MOC requirements before 2018, the diplomate would have “No” listed under the heading of “Meeting Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Requirements.”

Contact the ABOS
Any diplomates who are unsure whether they are registered for MOC, or whether they are on track to meet all of their MOC requirements, should contact the ABOS by phone at 919-929-7103 or online at

Dec. 15 MOC Deadline Reminder
AAOS fellows whose certification expires in 2014 and who plan to take the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) examination in 2014 must submit 120 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits™ by Dec. 15, 2012, or they will not be able to take the recertifying examination in 2014, and their certification will expire on Dec. 31, 2014.

Fellows taking the computer examination pathway must also submit a 3-month surgical case list, or a maximum of 75 consecutive cases, by Dec. 15, 2012. Fellows taking the oral examination pathway have until Nov. 30, 2013, to submit a 6-month list of surgical cases performed during 6 consecutive months (2012–2013).

AAOS fellows whose certificate expires in 2019 must submit 120 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits, including at least 20 credits from scored-and-recorded self-assessment examinations., by Dec. 15, 2012, in order to take the recertification exam in 2017.

For specific information about your status in the MOC process, visit the ABOS online at www.abos.org or call 919-929-7103.