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ABS E-News

News from the American Board of Surgery

Fall 2013

  • 2013 PQRS MOC Incentive
  • Evans Elected Vice Chair
  • MOC: Key Points to Remember
  • Preparing for an ABS Exam?
  • Other ABS News

2013 PQRS MOC Incentive

The ABS has been approved by CMS for the 2013 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) MOC Incentive. This incentive allows ABS diplomates participating in PQRS reporting to earn an additional 0.5% on Medicare Part B charges by also participating in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) "more frequently" than what is required by the ABS. Diplomates must also participate in a patient experience of care survey.

The "more frequently" requirements are designed so diplomates can easily meet them. No paper documentation is required; you will attest online that you meet the incentive requirements. Even if you have not yet completed your 2013 PQRS reporting, you can still submit information for the MOC incentive. Submission deadline is Dec. 31, 2013.

arrow Complete instructions are on the ABS website: 2013 PQRS MOC Incentive.

Diplomates should note that in 2015 CMS plans to switch from incentives for PQRS reporting to a penalty based on your 2013 PQRS participation. Hence we encourage all diplomates to participate in PQRS this year, regardless of whether you decide to also apply for the MOC incentive. See www.cms.gov/pqrs for more details.

Approved Registries: The American College of Surgeons recently launched an upgraded version of their case log system, now called the Surgeon Specific Registry (SSR). The SSR is an approved registry for PQRS reporting; other approved registries include the Vascular Quality Initiative® (SVS), Mastery of Breast Surgery (ASBS), and STS Database.

Evans Elected Vice Chair

Dr. Stephen EvansDr. Stephen R.T. Evans has been elected ABS vice chair for 2014-2015. He will serve as chair in 2015-2016. Dr. Evans is executive vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer at MedStar Health in Washington, D.C. He also serves as professor of surgery at Georgetown University. 

A native of Montreal, Dr. Evans received his medical degree from the University of South Florida. He completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital followed by a residency in general surgery at Georgetown University Hospital. He is currently certified by the ABS in general surgery and was previously certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Evans was elected as an ABS director in 2009 representing the American Medical Association.

MOC: Key Points to Remember

  • ABS MOC requirements run in three-year cycles (July 1-June 30), starting the July 1 following enrollment in MOC.
  • MOC Part 1 requires a full and unrestricted medical license, hospital privileges, and professional references.
  • MOC Part 2 requires 90 hours of Category I CME over a three-year cycle with at least 60 including self-assessment (question and answer exercise with 75% score or higher).
  • MOC Part 3 requires successful completion of a secure examination in the specialty.
  • MOC Part 4 requires ongoing participation in a local, regional or national outcomes registry or quality assessment program.
  • After each cycle, surgeons must complete an online form about MOC Parts 1, 2 and 4.
  • The secure exam (Part 3) may first be taken three years before certificate expiration. 
  • For diplomates with multiple certificates, the secure exam is the only requirement that must be repeated for each specialty.

Please refer to our MOC Requirements page for more information. Or for easy reference, print this one-page summary (pdf).

Preparing for an ABS Exam?

Taking an ABS examination soon? If you are taking a computer-based exam, be sure to refer to our examination content outlines, as well as our exam guide (pdf). 

If you are preparing for an oral examination, don't forget to review our candidate video, as well as what to expect and feedback from past candidates.

Other ABS News

Congratulations to Dr. Joseph B. Cofer, current chair of the ABS, for being named a 2014 recipient of the ACGME's Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award.

Thanks to our oral examiners and exam consultants for donating their time and energy to our examinations. See our upcoming annual newsletter for a complete list.

Wondering how many surgeons are current ABS diplomates? Nearly 30,000!

Diplomate Online Services (login required)

» Update your e-mail or mailing address: Update Personal Information 

» View exam results; print verification of certification/MOC status: Exam Records

» Track your MOC participation: MOC Timeline

» Record your CME activities: CME Repository

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