Protect Physician's "Right To Treat"

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Medical practice has always included lifelong learning, and continuing medical education is required for state licensure. The American Board of Medical Specialties’ (ABMS) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program modules have no objective evidence of any benefit to patient care beyond the initial board certification exam.  As the demands of this program have developed exponentially, a physician who declines to “pay to play” can face loss of hospital privileges, employment, and/or insurance panel membership (1).  As a result, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons refiled its suit against ABMS for Restriction of Trade in 2018 (2). 

To keep those physicians who choose not to participate in ABMS' supposedly "voluntary"  monopolistic continuing certification process, but rather choose their own continuing education programs to maintain their license and/or Board Certification independently, in their practices, states have now stepped in with legislation.  Such laws ensure that doctors can maintain their practices and hospital affiliations and that patients can continue to have the same access to care. Twenty-three states have submitted bills in the past 3 years and 13 states have passed some form of legislation ensuring that MOC can not be a condition of employment, hospital privileges, insurance participation and/or licensure.  As many more states consider similar bills, the American Medical Association created its own sample bill in 2017 as a model for language that other states can use as guidelines in creating their own bills (3).

Rhode Island needs to ensure that Maintenance of Certification (MOC) remains a voluntary process with its own "Right to Treat" law. When a doctor’s ability to practice is so restricted, insurance panels lose physicians and patients lose their freedom to choose (4).  We need to do all we can to retain our practicing physicians and stay competitive in attracting new doctors to the state. 

Doctors should have the freedom to choose MOC or other educational programs that better serves their practice. We ask that RI enact its own "Right to Treat" law.    

Sign our petition here which will be added to previous years petition results:

and join the national movement locally 


3.  (see item 8 for pdf of bill)

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