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ABS E-News

News from the American Board of Surgery

Fall 2014

2014 PQRS MOC Incentive

ABS diplomates are eligible to apply for the 2014 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) MOC Incentive. This is the last year this incentive will be offered by CMS. The incentive allows diplomates participating in PQRS to earn an additional 0.5% on  Medicare Part B charges by also participating in the ABS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program "more frequently" than what is required by the ABS. Participation in a patient survey program (e.g., Press Ganey) is also required.

PQRS MOC Incentive

The "more frequently" requirements are designed so diplomates can easily meet them. No documentation is needed; you will attest online that you meet the incentive requirements. Even if you have not yet completed your 2014 PQRS reporting, you can still apply for the incentive. Deadline is Dec. 31, 2014.

arrowSee our website for details and submission instructions: 2014 PQRS MOC Incentive. For more on PQRS, please see www.cms.gov/pqrs.

Follow us on Twitter! @AmBdSurg

Twitter To expand our communication reach, the ABS launched last month an account on Twitter. Follow us @AmBdSurg for news and updates pertaining to surgical training and certification. And be sure to follow us on Facebook!

Calendar Year for Certificates and MOC

The ABS announced earlier this year that ABS certificates and the ABS MOC Program now run on the calendar yearAs part of this transition, all current certificates have been extended by six months to expire on December 31 of the year of expiration.

In addition, MOC three-year cycles now run from January 1 to December 31. The MOC Timeline of each diplomate has been shifted six months ahead so MOC three-year cycles now end on December 31, rather than June 30. However CME completed based on the former cycle of July 1-June 30 will still be accepted.

With the change to the calendar year, submission of the MOC Status Form will now be due on March 1, two months after the end of a three-year cycle. Diplomates will be notified by mail and e-mail when the form is due. Diplomates completing a three-year cycle this Dec. 31 will be contacted shortly. See MOC Requirements for more details. 

Hunter Elected Vice Chair

John G. Hunter, M.D.Dr. John G. Hunter has been elected ABS vice chair for 2015-2016. He will serve as chair in 2016-2017. Dr. Hunter is surgeon-in-chief and the Mackenzie Professor and Chair of the department of surgery at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. He also co-directs the OHSU Digestive Health Center and is editor-in–chief of the World Journal of Surgery.

Originally from Hanover, New Hampshire, Dr. Hunter attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and completed residency at the University of Utah. He has been a member of the ABS GI Surgery Advisory Council since 2004, and in 2010 was elected as an ABS director representing the Pacific Coast Surgical Association.

Other ABS News

  • 2016 QE in July: In support of surgical fellowships moving to an August 1 start date, the General Surgery Qualifying Exam (QE) will be held in July in 2016. The 2015 exam will be on Aug. 13, 2015; the 2016 exam will be on July 19, 2016.
  • Vascular Surgery News: The ABS has announced changes to the requirements for certification in vascular surgery—the SPE or General Surgery QE is no longer required. 
  • 2014 General Surgery MOC Exam: Applications are still being accepted for the 2014 General Surgery MOC (Recertification) Exam. Final application deadline is Nov. 3.

  Diplomate Online Services (login required)

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

 View exam results; print verification of certification: Exam Records

 Track your MOC participation: MOC Timeline

 Record your CME activities: CME Repository

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- The American Board of Surgery is committed to keeping diplomates and others informed about its activities. Send your feedback about this update to abscomms@absurgery.org.

- Visit the ABS on the web at www.absurgery.org.

The American Board of Surgery - 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Ste. 860, - Philadelphia, PA 19103

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