ABPMR Commitment to Flexibility for MOC

Many physiatrists are experiencing tremendous stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are helping on front lines where possible; others are assisting with institutional response plans; many are facing extended clinic closures and uncertainty about the future.

In recognition of these pressures, today the ABPMR is making a commitment to our diplomates: No ABPMR diplomate will lose certification or experience a status change due to not being able to complete an MOC requirement this year.

If you have MOC requirements due in 2020, anything left outstanding at the end of the year will be automatically carried over to your next primary certification cycle. These requirements are not being waived — but you can defer them if you need to.

  • For those with primary certificate expiration dates in 2020: Any outstanding requirements at the end of 2020 will carry over into your first continuing certification cycle, giving you an extended timeline of 2025.
  • For those in a five-year milestone year (primary certificate expiration date in 2025): You will not risk an MOC status change at the end of 2020; all requirement deadlines will now be based on the 10-year timeline.

While many PM&R physicians may not be serving on the front lines currently, demand for rehabilitation expertise may increase rapidly in the coming months. We’re making this announcement now so that for the rest of this year, you can focus your efforts where they’ll make the biggest difference for your patients.

All of us at the ABPMR thank you for all you are doing now and all you will do for your patients. Please stay safe and know that we are here to support you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you waiving MOC requirements?
No. If someone with a 2020 due date cannot complete all requirements due to COVID-19, these may be deferred (not waived) to the next cycle. It’s an alternate pathway for those impacted by COVID-19.

What about subspecialty certification?
The same commitment applies to any diplomate with a subspecialty certificate expiring in 2020 — you will not lose certification if you're unable to complete your MOC requirements by the end of this year. Because subspecialty considerations are more complex (multiple certificates, other administering boards), it will take time to work out the details. We will inform you of what this commitment means for you as soon as possible.

I have requirements, but nothing “due” until next year. Can I defer my requirements?
No. This exception to policy is being made in response to the COVID-19 crisis and only for those with requirements due at the end of 2020.

If I want to, can I still work on my MOC activities this year?
Of course! We encourage you to continue working on MOC requirements if you can, especially if you find yourself with unexpected free time. Check out these COVID-19 learning opportunities as examples, or sign in to your ABPMR account to see what you have left to do.

I have a 5-year milestone deadline in 2020 (certificate expiration in 2025). Are these requirements deferred now?
In a way, yes. Per ABPMR policy, your 10-year primary certification requirements were divided up in 5-year segments. This change effectively removes your 5-year deadline so that both segments’ requirements are now due in year 10. Instead of 150 CME credits due by the end of this year and another 150 due in 2025, now you’ll just have 300 due in 2025, as an example.

What does this mean for MOC Part III (knowledge assessment) for those with primary certificates expiring in 2020?
You have some options.

What if I’m enrolled in LA-PM&R now with a 2024 certificate and can’t answer my questions due to COVID-19? Will I be penalized later?
Because we have already extended the deadline for quarter 1 questions, we encourage you to complete as many questions as you can at this time. For those already in a scored assessment, please remember that LA-PM&R has built-in flexibility over that five years, because we will drop your four lowest quarters when making your final assessment.

Originally Published: April 17, 2020