Industry Voices — There's a Reason for MOC. But It's Time to Modernize

FierceHealthcare (07/24/18) Morton-Rias, Dawn

Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D., PA-C, president and CEO of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), notes that while there has been an increase in provider resistance to Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exams, there are valid reasons why providers must be tested periodically. She explains, "Certifying bodies such as [NCCPA]...can draw on what we know about how providers and adult learners acquire knowledge and skills to improve our current assessment strategies." Morton-Rias discusses the connection between certification and quality of care—citing research demonstrating the associations between MOC exam scores and quality of care for patients covered by Medicare, for example. In addition, she notes that MOC helps patients know their providers have taken the necessary steps to stay up-to-date, helping to establish trust and increased engagement. According to Morton-Rias, "The MOC discussion over the past five years has created a meaningful dialogue and ongoing analysis, aimed at finding ways to make it less of a mandate and more about flexibility and options." The NCCPA has been examining the recertification exam process for several years. "We have benefited from current and emerging literature on adult learning, learning-styles principles and enhanced knowledge on how individuals learn and retain new and complex information," says Morton-Rias. As the debate over provider testing continues, rather than choosing sides, she writes, "The goal is to find assessment methods that are relevant to providers in an increasingly complex health care system and that are meaningful and beneficial to those who are the recipients of their care."

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