In November 30, 2018, the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) and the National Board of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (“NBOPAS”) requested the Maryland Board of Physicians ("Board") formally recognize them as a specialty certification board for continuing certification. Armed with a 17-page letter from the DOJ, they were hopeful, but the outcome of their request they just received from the "Board" was almost predictable:
As a policy matter, board certification or re-certification is not a requirement for licensure. Board certification, however, may be a requirement for employment, hospital privileges, insurance carriers, etc. In that regard, the Board does not believe that it is the appropriate entity to evaluate re-certification or continuing certification boards for approval.It is a shame this fight has come to this, but it has. Maybe now the leadership of the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons will recommend their diplomates join our nationwide, multi-specialty legal fight to end "Maintenance of Certification."
The Board believes, consistent with the DOJ opinion letter, that board certification and the approval of a certifying board for recertification is a business decision to be made by hospitals, insurers, and employers. Even if the Board approved the NBPAS or NBOPAS as a continuing certification board, hospitals, employers, and insurance carriers would still be able to make their own determinations about which boards they choose to recognize for purposes of meeting any eligibility requirements.
Given the inconclusive findings of the MHCC workgroup and the lack of data on quality of care, the Board believes that approval of the NBPAS and NBPOS as a certifying board is premature. The Board will continue to monitor the discussions and research projects regarding maintenance of board certification, including the recommendations from the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission, which are expected to be released in a final report sometime this year.
Addendum: Maybe Maryland joining the Interstate Licensing Compact (with the help of Kaiser Permanente, a fond bedfellow of ABIM's former President and CEO, Christine Cassel, MD), had something to do with this decision.