The American Board of Surgery (ABS) recently announced changes to the way diplomates receive Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit when participating in accredited continuing medical education (CME) activities. ABS refers to their MOC program as Continuous Certification (CC).

Effective July 1, 2023, the ABS discontinued self-reporting of credits by diplomates. This means that as of July 1, 2023, if an ABS surgeon wants to have CME credit count towards their ABS requirements, the request must be submitted through the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Program Activity and Reporting System (PARS).

Unfortunately, the recent ABS announcement has resulted in some confusion around whether all CME activities will be automatically reported toward your Continuous Certification requirements, and this is incorrect. To be registered for ABS MOC (Accredited CME or Accredited CME with Evaluation and Feedback), activities must meet the requirements set forth by the ACCME and the ABS.

For Accredited CME, activities must be relevant to the practice of surgery, as demonstrated by the professional practice gap(s) identified by the activity planning committee prior to the start of the activity. Accredited CME with Evaluation and Feedback (self-assessment) imposes additional requirements. As the CME provider, registering CME for ABS MOC is at the discretion of the UPMC Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences (CCEHS). Said differently, there is no requirement for accredited CME providers to report MOC credit for any certifying board.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What activities are registered for ABS Accredited CME towards Continuous Certification (CC/MOC)?

While there is no requirement for accredited CME providers to report credit for any certifying board, the CCEHS expended considerable effort to identify activities that are relevant to the practice of surgery and meet the requirements of the ACCME and the ABS. These activities have been registered for ABS Accredited CME through December 31, 2023 in the ACCME’s CME Passport. Beginning in January 2024, we will be transferring credits quarterly.

How do I know if an activity is awarding ABS MOC credit?

For a listing of activities registered for ABS MOC, please visit the ACCME’s CME Passport and filter by provider name, inputting “University of Pittsburgh”. Activities with self-assessment will be denoted with "SA" (e.g., ABS Point: 1; ABS Credit Type(s) CME, SA).

In addition, the following statement will be used when promoting activities registered for ABS. “Successful completion of this CME activity [, which includes participation in the evaluation component], enables the learner to earn credit toward the CME [and Self-Assessment] requirement(s) of the American Board of Surgery’s Continuous Certification program. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit learner completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABS credit.”

What is the difference between ABS Accredited CME and ABS Accredited CME with Evaluation and Feedback?

The ABS requires 150 credits of Category 1 CME (referred to as Accredited CME) over five years. These credits must be relevant to your practice, or if clinically inactive, to the broad discipline of surgery. Of the 150 credits of Accredited CME, 50 credits must include a self-assessment component (referred to as Accredited CME with Evaluation and Feedback). Please note, the CCEHS does not currently register any activities that meet the requirements for Accredited CME with Evaluation and Feedback.

Will my credits be transferred automatically?

The CCEHS transferred credits earned from attending activities registered for ABS Accredited CME in the ACCME’s CME Passport, for the period beginning January 1, 2023, through July 31, 2023. Credits will be transferred again in October and December. Effective January 1, 2024, credits will be automatically transferred upon completion of the activity (i.e., completing an evaluation or post-quiz, as applicable).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Credits cannot be awarded retroactively. For this reason, if you were not awarded CME credit or your CCE account, http://cce.upmc.comdid not identify you as an ABS diplomate and include your Date of Birth (DOB) and Board ID, we are unable to transfer your credits. 

Is there anything I need to do to set up my CCE account to award ABS MOC credit?

Yes. In order to receive ABS MOC, you must update your CCE account, http://cce.upmc.com, to identify as an ABS diplomate and include your DOB and Board ID. ABS MOC cannot be awarded retroactively so you will not earn ABS MOC until your CCE account includes the required information.

What if I attended a CME activity that is designated as ABS Accredited CME in CME Passport but my credits are not in my ABS CME Repository? 

The first step is to check your CCE credit transcript (How to Access Credit Transcript) to verify whether CME credit was awarded to you. The CCEHS is not able to retroactively award credit.

If you were awarded CME credit, the next step is to verify that your CCE account profile includes your ABS information. Unfortunately, if you did not identify as an ABS member or your DOB and Board ID were missing at the time the credit was awarded, the CCEHS is not able to retroactively award credit. 

If I do not set up my CCE account profile, will I still receive ABS MOC credit?

No. Credits cannot be awarded retroactively so until your account is set up, you will not receive ABS MOC credit. 

Can the CCEHS report the ABS Accredited CME I earned from attending activities offered by other accredited CME providers?

No. The CCEHS can only transfer credits for activities they provided. For questions relating to credit from activities offered by a different provider, reach out to that organization/provider directly.

Who Do I Contact for Additional Information or Questions?

If your question is regarding self-reporting through ABS or questions regarding your ABS board portal, please direct any questions to the ABS

If your inquiry is regarding assistance setting up your CCE account, please contact ccehs_support@upmc.edu.