North Carolina Maintenance of Certification Program for Quality Improvement (ABMS Part IV, AAPA PI-CME)

The North Carolina Maintenance of Certification (NC MOC) Program is an approved sponsor of the American Board of Medical Specialties’ (ABMS) Multi-specialty Portfolio Program (MSPP) focused on developing, monitoring and approving quality improvement efforts for ABMS MOC Part IV credit. Most ABMS Member Boards recognize this participation as an option to meet Part IV requirements.

By participating in the NC MOC program, physicians and physician assistants:

  1. Participate in relevant Quality Improvement activities that improve patient outcomes
  2. Receive Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit indicating lifelong professional development
  3. Have opportunities to publish or present their QI Effort outcomes

The NC MOC program helps affiliated physicians and physician assistants understand and meet requirements of their specialty boards to improve care for patients and maintain certification in their specialties.  The NC MOC program is administered through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement (IHQI). The establishment of the NC MOC program with IHQI is important to ensure commitment to the ongoing development of infrastructure to support the Portfolio Program, the availability of resources to facilitate local QI projects and the expertise to advise and educate physicians on QI methods.

As a Multi-Specialty Portfolio Program Sponsor, all UNC-affiliated physicians can earn Maintenance of Certification credit by participating in improvement initiatives previously approved by the NC MOC program. The North Carolina MOC program has also been approved by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) in a pilot program to award performance improvement credit (AAPA PI-CME) to Physician Assistants who participate in approved efforts to improve care for patients. The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) accepts NC MOC credit for physician assistants. The NC MOC program is also interested in exploring how to offer MOC credit to physicians outside of the UNC Healthcare System who are interested in collaborating on meaningful Quality Improvement opportunities.

To participate in the ABMS Multi-Specialty Portfolio Program, UNC-Chapel Hill was required to meet certain standards and guidelines:

  • Being committed to Quality Improvement/Performance Improvement (QI/PI) at the senior level
  • Demonstrating competence in sponsoring QI/PI initiatives that utilize rigorous quality improvement methodologies
  • Being committed to supporting meaningful physician participation in strategically aligned QI/PI initiatives; including a willingness to commit necessary resources
  • Providing QI/PI education and training to physicians

The Maintenance of Certification program benefits Patients, Families and Communities:

Patients and their families expect their physicians to be up-to-date on the most recent treatments for their ailments as well as best practices for preventive care. The ABMS Multi-Specialty Portfolio Program plays a vital role in making sure physicians critically evaluate their current practices, acquire new skills, and adapt their practices to changing patient and community health needs. When physicians participate in Portfolio Program activities, they fulfill these commitments by providing:

  • Better communicative relationships built on listening and sharing
  • Demonstrated clinical knowledge concerning a patient’s medical condition
  • Coordinated care from inter-professional teams and integrated systems of care

Physicians benefit from the Multi-Specialty Portfolio Program as well by:

  • Avoiding duplication of efforts by earning MOC Part IV credit for engaging in organizational QI initiatives
  • Engaging in a more meaningful, relevant MOC experience as a result of the QI projects being directly related to their individual practice
  • Promoting organizational effectiveness and efficiency through team-based QI initiatives
  • Working in an environment that supports their involvement in QI and MOC

 “The Maintenance of Certification program allowed me the opportunity to receive MOC credit for my work on a QI initiative that improved the care for patients at UNC. I incurred no cost to receive credit and avoided wasting time on meaningless online QI activities that are not relevant to my practice”.

Christine Walsh-Kelly, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
Board Certified:  Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Click here to learn what Dr. Don Goldman, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), has to say about integrating MOC into physician practice.