Neurologists have generally agreed that requirements for MOC are overly expensive, time consuming and excessively stressful.  We know to keep up our continuing education in order for us to provide good patient care. Yet, often our ability to practice is dependent on our ability to pass a set of MOC exams and our hospital privileges and payer contracts can be linked to maintaining board certification.  

However, things in Texas have changed for the better. During this last legislative session (2017), our own Dr. Kimberly Monday (Houston) along with State Senator Dr. Dawn Buckingham (Ophthalmology) and the TMA helped pass a bill that addresses this issue.  To take advantage of this new law, you may need to have your hospital bylaws amended. But, first, review the summary of the new Texas legislation below:

The new legislation DOES NOT apply to you if:

  • You are staff for a medical school or a comprehensive cancer center (as designated by the National Cancer Institute).   Under this law, medical schools and cancer centers can always require MOC as a criteria for credentialing.

  • You are grandfathered in for your boards (no changes)

  • You are employed by a state hospital or institution – this law is already in effect for you. State hospitals or state run institutions cannot, by law, require continued MOC as a criteria for re-credentialing.  

  • You don’t need hospital privileges.  Insurance companies are no longer allowed to use MOC as a criteria for re-credentialing.  

The new legislation DOES apply to you if:

  • You need hospital privileges.  If you are seeking privileges at a hospital not outlined in the above section then you will need to request the hospital amend their medical staff bylaws. You are eligible to make this request. Remember, only the medical staff (physicians) are legally able to decide if the hospital privileges depend on MOC.  Administrators cannot decide this unilaterally. The differentiation of who requires MOC for recertification can be limited to certain medical specialties, and can be rescinded at any time by a vote of the voting physician members of the entity’s organized medical staff.  

What is needed to change the hospital bylaws?

A statement will need to be added to the bylaws saying something to the effect of:  

“Maintenance of Certification (MOC) will not be required upon reappointment for medical staff membership and privileges effective January 1, 2018.”  

Thank you to Drs. Monday and Buckingham who did great work getting this bill passed in only one legislative session.  If is now up to us to take it to our respective medical staff committees to get the change made, but, it’s worth the effort.  Good luck!

Sara Austin, MD

TNS Legislative Chair and Former TNS President