December 13, 2021 - CC
ABPMR CC Program Fee Announcement
Starting in 2022, the cost to participate in the ABPMR Continuing Certification (CC) Program will increase to $350 annually and subspecialty examination fees will increase to $2,000. This increase will cover rising costs associated with examination administration and development and the CC Program.
Our goal is always to provide you with high-value resources that not only fulfill continuing certification requirements, but also offer meaningful connections to your day-to-day practice. Based on standards set by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the ABPMR CC Program provides diplomates with tools and resources for lifelong learning and improvement, including longitudinal assessment for PM&R (LA-PM&R), continuing medical education (CME) and self-assessment CME (SA-CME), and quality improvement (QI). Together, these elements support our diplomates’ education and practice in PM&R to help foster excellence in patient care.
Please continue reading to see the reasons for this change, a breakdown of ABPMR annual expenses, and reminders of the value of participating in the CC Program.
Why are program fees increasing?
The ABPMR is committed to financial stewardship and transparency regarding certification program costs. The annual program fee has not been raised since 2015; however, annual expenses the ABPMR must pay for examinations, certification, and operations have been steadily increasing over the years.
The annual program fee is changing in 2022 to cover the costs of creating and administering exams, developing platforms for longitudinal assessments and the Part II Examination, supporting diplomates through staff time, and maintaining the ABPMR office.
Here is a breakdown of our current annual expenses to show where program fees go:
Changes to Certification Requirements Based on Diplomate Feedback
In 2021, we transitioned from the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program to the CC Program with enhancements over the past several years to increase the relevance and decrease the burden of certification requirements.
Back in 2014, ABPMR diplomates were participating in the MOC Program; this included taking the MOC Examination every 10 years. This program and the examination were receiving significant negative feedback from diplomates, so we asked you what needed to change.
We sent the MOC Survey in 2014 to hear diplomate feedback on the program and collect ideas for improvement. These survey results helped guide the decisions and changes that led to the CC Program launching in 2021. To create a more meaningful, valuable, and relevant certification program, since 2014 we have:
Piloted, validated, and implemented LA-PM&R, the evidence-based learning and assessment platform featuring customizable content and built-in learning tools. Diplomates answer quarterly questions with re-attempt questions in subsequent quarters to reinforce learning. Learning is in your control with the ability to create goals and deadlines
Eliminated the MOC Examination, which was heavily criticized as burdensome, costly, time-consuming, and not valuable
Developed and released 20 free guided quality improvement (QI) project templates based on topics commonly seen in a physiatry practice to make QI more relevant for you
Combined two areas of the CC Program by offering self-assessment CME (SA-CME) credit for each quarter of full participation in LA-PM&R to save you time and resources
Designed and launched a new Certification Dashboard with enhanced features to guide you through certification cycle requirements with ease, as well as give you tools to take your certification requirements into your own hands
Responsible fiduciary policy and sound investments have allowed us to add these upgrades over the last several years and weather the uncertainty associated with COVID-19 without raising fees. This fee increase will allow us to keep offering resources and programs that you feel make a difference in your certification and real-world practice. We remain committed to partnering with you in providing high-quality care, and will continue to seek your feedback on the CC Program’s value so future enhancements can be made.
Subspecialty Examination Fee Increase
Subspecialty examination fees are increasing to cover our rising costs associated with providing subspecialty certification; the $2,000 examination fee applies to all subspecialty examinations. Fees for these exams have not been raised since 2011 even though costs to offer these subspecialties and administer the exams have increased.
Subspecialty exam fees are increasing to also offset startup costs in transitioning to longitudinal assessment for subspecialties. LA-Pain is now offered by the ABPMR with the plan to transition more subspecialties to this format soon.
The ABPMR board directors are not paid for their role as it is an all-volunteer board. All board members are required to fully participate in the CC Program and pay the annual program fee. This fee change applies to all ABPMR diplomates, including board directors.
Our mission remains steadfast to provide a dynamic and valid certification process that is transparent, valuable, and relevant throughout your career. We hope the information in this article provides you with historic and current context to explain the rationale for this fee increase.
This change will go into effect January 1, 2022. At this time, you will see the 2022 CC Program Fee on your Certification Dashboard; all annual fees for 2022 are due by December 31, 2022.
Please reach out to the board office if you have questions about this change.