Apr 15, 2017
As in a bad Freddy Krueger movie, rumors of a binding, incestuous relationship between the Interstate Medical License Compact and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) just will not die.
Let’s set the record straight.
The Interstate Medical License Compact is a multistate agreement that allows physicians to obtain a license in a new state faster and with fewer hassles. Here are some basic facts to remember:
1. The Compact does not replace, override, or reduce the need for the physician to meet the licensing requirements of the new state.
2. Physicians who, for any reason, do not want to use the Compact still may apply for a license in the new state using the traditional route.
3. Physicians who want to use the Compact must have an active board certification at the time of the license application through the compact. The Compact does not require MOC before, during, or after that procedure.
Now, as to the position of the Texas Medical Association (TMA):
TMA opposes mandatory MOC requirements for licensing, credentialing, hospital privileges, health plan contracts, or payment. This position was adopted by votes of the TMA House of Delegates in 2013 and in 2016 in adopting these policies:
· Maintenance of Certification Requirement: TMA supports the American Medical Association’s Principles of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) H-275.924 to ensure physician’s choice of lifelong learning, and will pursue legislation that eliminates discrimination by the State of Texas, employers, hospitals, and payers based on the American Board of Medical Specialties’ proprietary MOC program as a requirement for licensure, employment, hospital staff membership, and payments for medical care in Texas. (2016)
· Opposition to Maintenance of Licensure: TMA opposes any efforts by the Texas Medical Board (1) that require the Federation of State Medical Boards’ Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) program as a condition of licensure, and (2) that unilaterally implement different Maintenance of Licensure requirements other than those currently in place for physicians in Texas. (2013)
In the current (2017) session of the Texas Legislature, TMA is strongly supporting Senate Bill 1148 by Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R- Lake Travis). That would prohibit the sole use of MOC status to credential, license, or pay physicians. Kim Monday, MD, a neurologist from Houston and former president of the Harris County Medical Society testified for the bill in committee on behalf of TMA. Dr. Monday called the requirement “burdensome, expensive, and filled with irrelevant curriculum.” She noted the combined cost including materials, fees, and time away from patients and the medical practice to undergo the process can be as high as $10,000. Dr. Monday referred to MOC as a “moneymaking scheme” with “little applicability to day-to-day practice.”
The Interstate Medical License Compact provides a route for Texas to recruit and quickly deploy physicians currently licensed in other states. Given the desirability of practicing medicine in Texas and the state’s severe physician shortage, adopting the Compact by the Texas Legislature would have a positive outcome.
In 2015, the TMA House of Delegates considered but did not adopt a resolution calling on the association to “oppose the Federation of State Medical Board’s (FSMB) Interstate Medical Licensure Compact as currently written.”