HealthDay News — The 2015 version of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) maintenance-of-certification (MOC) program is expected to generate considerable costs, mainly due to physician time costs, according to research published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Alexander T. Sandhu, MD, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues estimated the total cost of the 2015 version of the MOC program and the incremental cost compared with the 2013 version. They estimated the testing costs (ABIM fees) and time costs (value of physicians’ time) over a 10-year period.

The researchers estimated the internists would incur an average of $23,607 in MOC costs over 10 years, which would vary from $16,725 for general internists to $40,495 for hematologists-oncologists. Ninety percent of MOC costs were time costs. 

Over 10 years, 2015 MOC would cost $5.7 billion, a $1.2 billion increase over 2013 MOC, which would include $5.1 billion in time costs (32.7 million physician-hours) and $561 million in testing costs.

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“A rigorous evaluation of its effect on clinical and economic outcomes is warranted to balance potential gains in health care quality and efficiency against the high costs identified in this study,” the authors write.


  1. Sandhu AT, Dudley RA, Kazi DS. Ann Intern Med. 2015;doi:10.7326/M15-1011.