We have often heard from our members about the excess burden of the current ABPN MOC process including the re-certification examination and the Part IV requirements. Well, we are happy to inform you that changes are happening. I am also proud to tell you that the AAN is playing a leading
role in these MOC reform efforts.

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology recently announced changes to its maintenance of certification program. The ABPN is expanding the Self-assessment options for all ABPN diplomates, which basically means the Axon Registry is now on the list of approved products or opportunities for diplomates to use in meeting the Self-assessment component of MOC. The ABPN said it will now waive eight hours of Self-assessment in a three-year CMOC block when a diplomate participates in an ABPN-approved registry. The Axon Registry® is approved by the ABPN for this waiver.

By participating in the Axon Registry, AAN members already can satisfy the MOC Performance in Practice (Part 4) Clinical Component. I'm pleased to say these changes make the AAN's Axon Registry an even greater benefit to our members, who already can save considerable time by using our registry to report quality data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. I encourage members to participate in the Axon Registry to help ease the burden of MOC. Learn more about the registry and sign up, and register for free MOC study resources.

More recently, we heard very promising news from the ABPN. We understand that the ABPN is working on a new pilot alternative for Part III (Cognitive Examination) that will be developed during the next year. In this pilot, diplomates will be given the opportunity to complete repeated self-assessment activities based upon specific literature references selected by a committee of peer diplomates. We have been asked to nominate a member to this ABPN pilot meeting, and I'm pleased that our AAN President Elect James C. Stevens, MD, FAAN, will represent neurology so our voice will be part of this discussion. ABPN intends to share the details by year-end, and we will keep you informed of developments.

It is important that you also know the AAN is playing a key role in an effort to engage certifying boards in dialogue with national specialty and state medical societies regarding maintenance of certification and physician self-regulation. In July, we hosted a planning meeting at the AAN Headquarters in Minneapolis with six other specialty societies and five state medical societies. This meeting led to a letter to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) signed by 32 specialty societies and 41 state medical societies.

The letter was written to ABMS to strengthen the collaborative dialogue between the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, state medical societies, and the American Board of Medical Specialties. They stated: “Our national medical specialty societies and our state medical societies are now sharing what we see as the issues and, potential unintended consequences of the current MOC program and an opportunity to collectively address these concerns…. After all, this is about physician self-regulation and not MOC. This is about keeping patients first and doing all we can to ensure high-quality patient care. Some boards have already recognized the problems and are responding. Together, we must fix the problem both in the short term and long term. We, the undersigned, propose a meeting of the leadership of the certifying boards, medical specialty societies, and state medical societies to discuss this crisis and plan a solution.”

I am happy to report that the meeting will take place on December 4, 2017, and the AAN will be there. The societies will host a summit with representatives from ABMS and specialty boards, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Federation of State Medical Boards, Council of Medical Specialty Societies, and American Medical Association. The goal of the summit is to gain agreement
with the certifying boards that they must collaborate with the societies in the development of a meaningful MOC process or risk the loss of professional self-regulation.

The AAN recognizes these hassles of recertification and regulatory reporting draw you away from your patients and family and can contribute to burnout. That's why we advocate on your behalf with ABPN and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and why we strive to alleviate these burdens with beneficial tools, like the Axon Registry, and resources, such as our free suite of Neuro products to help
you prepare for MOC.

The AAN is working hard and doing all we can to help our members reduce regulatory hassle and improve wellness. Hang in there, change (not winter) is coming!