In 2022 ABIM updated its fee structure to allow most physicians to choose an assessment option that allows them to pay less over time.
Beginning this year, the annual Maintenance of Certification (MOC) fee for the first certificate you maintain will be $220, and for each additional certificate you maintain there is a $100 discount, meaning you’ll pay $120 per year. Access to the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKATM) is included at no additional cost for each certificate you are paying to maintain.
You must be up to date on payments for all your certificates to access the LKA, even if you are participating in just one discipline. If you pay the year before your payment is due you’ll get a 5% discount on all annual fees; if you pay after the due year there will be a $40 fee.
Here’s how it works:
- You pay an annual MOC fee for each certificate you are maintaining.
- The annual fee for the first certificate you are maintaining is $220.
- Each additional certificate you are maintaining is an additional $120 per year.
- You must be up to date on payments for all your certificates to access the LKA for any of them.
- If you choose to take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam, there will be a $700 test center fee in addition to your annual fee. The test center fee is waived for Transplant Hepatology, Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology because the LKA is not being developed in those specialties.
Here’s what the fee structure looks like:
- For the first certificate you're maintaining
- Paid annually
- Includes LKA for that discipline
- 5% discount if paid prior to year it is due
- $40 fee if paid after the year in which it was due
- In addition to the annual MOC fee
- Taken in a test center and paid when you register
- Waived if the LKA is not developed in your specialty*
Examples of savings for physicians choosing the LKA over a 10-year period:*
|Internal medicine physician with one certificate||$2,200||$100|
|Subspecialist with one certificate||$2,200||$650|
|Internal medicine physician also maintaining a subspecialty certificate||$3,400||$100|
|Physician with two subspecialty certificates||$3,400||$650|
|*Using current rates. **This savings does not reflect a discount for payment in advance.|
The new payment structure went into effect January 1, 2022 at the same time the LKA becomes available for 12 specialties. You can pay your 2022 annual MOC fee early and receive a 5% discount from 12/01/21 – 12/31/21. Unpaid program fees for 2021 can be paid until 12/31/21 at the regular rate, without incurring late charges.
If you decide you no longer want to maintain one of your certificates, you must inform ABIM by January 31, 2022 that you would like to deactivate it, or you will be charged the annual fee for that certificate for 2022 will be reported as “‘Certified” in that discipline for the remainder of the calendar year. You can opt to stop maintaining one or more of your certificates by signing in to your personalized ABIM Physician Portal.
Supporting more than 200,000 doctors through their careers
The fees you pay ABIM help you, and physicians like you, directly by supporting enhancements and innovations in assessment options, such as the LKA, MOC activities and CME credit, and a personalized online experience. It also provides you, your peers and your patients with confidence that you are keeping your medical knowledge current.
- Your annual MOC fee is due each year on January 1. You can pre-pay for 9 years in advance up until December 31 of the preceding year. You will receive a 5% discount on program years paid in advance.
- If your payment is past due, you can enroll in the LKA and access your dashboard, but the questions will only become available after payment has been received. This includes any back payment of fees owed for certificates you choose to ‘deactivate’ (not maintain).
- If you pre-paid an MOC program fee, it will remain on your account and nothing is due until the prepayment date for all your certifications has passed.
- If you choose to take the traditional, 10-year MOC exam, there is an additional $700 fee, unless the LKA is not being developed in your specialty. The test center fee is waived for Transplant Hepatology, Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology because the LKA is not being developed in those specialties.
- An additional $40 will be added to the MOC fee for each certificate if paid after the year in which it was due.
- If you decide you no longer want to maintain one of your certificates, you must inform ABIM by January 31, 2022 or you will be charged the certificate fee for 2022 and will be reported as Certified in that discipline for the remainder of the calendar year. You can opt to stop maintaining one or more of your certificates by signing in to your personalized ABIM Physician Portal.
- If you are enrolled in the ABIM/ACC Collaborative Maintenance Pathway you must be up to date on payments for all your certificates to avoid delays in processing score results or activity credit.
- If you are retaking a traditional, 10-year MOC exam for the first time after failing the same exam, you will receive 50% off (the cost will be $350). Subsequent retakes of the exam will be full price.
- For international test takers: In addition to the $700 test fee, there is an International Test Center Fee of $500 for the traditional, 10-year MOC exam. This fee is waived for active members of the military.
- The Knowledge Check-In is no longer offered, as ABIM transitions to the LKA.
When do I pay?
The annual MOC fee can be paid beginning on December 1, 2021 for the following year, with the option to pre-pay up to 10 years. If you pay prior to the due date (12/01/21 – 12/31/21), you will receive a 5% discount for each year paid in advance. You can pay the MOC fee any time before December 31, 2022 and not incur a late fee. However, if you want to use the LKA for MOC you must pay the annual MOC fee prior to January 1, 2022 to have access to the questions.
An additional $40 will be added to the certificate fee if it is paid after the year in which it was due.
You pay the $700 fee for the traditional, 10-year MOC exam when you register for it.
The LKA is included in your annual MOC fee.
What is the annual MOC fee and how much does it cost?
The annual MOC fee allows you to pay only for the certificates you maintain, and the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKATM) is included at no extra cost.
Under the new fee model, which includes the LKA at no additional cost, ABIM Board Certified physicians will have the option to pay less to maintain certification.
Beginning in 2022, the annual fee for the first certificate you maintain will be $220. For each additional certificate you maintain you’ll pay $120 per year, and access to the LKA will be included as well. If you pre-pay you’ll get a 5% discount on all annual certificate fees; if you pay after the due year there will be a $40 fee for each certificate.
What if I have KCI or 10-year exam credits?
For those with an exam credit from a KCI or 10-year exam, you will not be charged an additional fee for your first attempt on the 10-year exam if the exam fee has increased. The entire credit will be used to pay for the exam, and a zero balance will be left on your account.
What happens if I don't pay my annual MOC fee in the year it is due?
Your participation status will never change due to non-payment. However, you will not be able to access some of the services ABIM provides:
- The ability to answer LKA questions (you will continue to have access to your LKA dashboard but cannot open the questions).
- Registering for an MOC assessment.
- Processing MOC points for CME activities.
- Ordering new products or working on products previously ordered.
- Completing entry into ABIM's Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine program.
- Enrolling in the MOC reciprocity program.
- Completing re-attestation for Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine or Interventional Cardiology.
I am maintaining multiple certifications. Do I have to pay the MOC fee for each certification?
Yes, the MOC fee is based on how many certifications you maintain.
If you decide you want to ‘deactivate’ one of your certifications (no longer maintain) you must inform ABIM by 1/31/22 or you will be charged the certification fee for 2022, and will be reported as Certified in that discipline for the remainder of the calendar year. You can opt to stop maintaining one or more of your certifications by signing in to your personalized ABIM Physician Portal. Once you notify ABIM that you will ‘deactivate’ a certification, the status of the certification will be changed to ‘Not Certified’ on February 1 following the processing of the deactivation request. Deactivation requests will result in cessation of billing for the following calendar year (with a grace period through the end of January). For example, certifications deactivated between 2/1/23 and 1/31/24 will not be billed for 2024. You would still be responsible for any unpaid current year and past due fees for the deactivated certification(s). Any prepaid years on deactivated certifications will be refunded to your account.
Why is there a test center fee?
- The test center fee helps offset costs incurred for securing your seat at the Pearson VUE test center, as well as development of the exam itself.
- The LKA is included in your annual MOC fee. If the LKA is not available in your discipline you will not be required to pay the test center fee.
Can I still pay for 9 years up front?
Yes. You will receive a 5% on any certificate you pay in advance. You can pre-pay up to 9 years beginning on December 1, the year before the certificate fee is due.
How will I know when payment is due?
ABIM will send you an email reminder in advance of when your MOC fee is due.
What if I was certified prior to 1990?
If you earned your initial certification before 1990 you will need to pay the annual MOC fee if you’d like to participate in the LKA. If you choose not to, you will see a balance due on your account, which will be forgiven at the end of the year. You will not lose certification based upon non-payment.
Will those newly certified and eligible fellows still receive an MOC fee waiver?
Yes, those who are newly certified in internal medicine and those enrolled in an eligible fellowship program will receive an MOC fee waiver that is automatically applied.
What about discounts for physicians who are also certified by another ABMS Member Board?
The MOC fee discount for physicians certified by another ABMS Member Board was discontinued on November 1, 2017.
What happens if I've already pre-paid for 10 years?
If you've already pre-paid for 10 years, you will not need to pay until the 10 years pass. For example, if you pre-paid your program fee for 10 years in 2015, you will not have to pay an annual MOC fee before 1/1/2025. Also, if you have not used your exam credit, it will remain on your account and can be used toward one traditional, 10-year MOC exam.
How are my fees used?
All of ABIM’s operations are funded by physicians. Your fees support a number of essential ABIM services, including:
- Development of innovative assessments like the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA)
- Access to all ABIM MOC activities
- Partnerships with societies in qualifying and expanding appropriate activities for MOC
- Processing MOC points for eligible CME activities
- Attestation processing
- Licensure verification
- Physician portal with access to personalized ABIM status report
- Publicly reporting certification status of more than 200,000 physicians
- Developing and distributing reminders from ABIM about your MOC program requirements
- Helping provide fee waivers to physicians in fellowship
- Providing all newly certified internists with a one-year MOC program fee waiver
What value do I get out of MOC?
ABIM provides a credential of value and substance, fostering continual learning that leads to a confidence that you are staying current in knowledge and practicing today's medicine. It is a signal to your peers and patients that you are up to date on your medical knowledge.
Evidence shows that physicians who earn certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine and maintain their certification provide better patient care. Hospitals and other employers recognize this by offering board certified physicians a salary 18% higher than a non-board certified physician.
The new Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA) is an additional tool you can use to immediately incorporate new knowledge into your practice. It provides ongoing feedback as you answer questions, including references and rationales, and an updated score report on a quarterly basis to help identify areas for future study.
We offer a simple, unified process for earning CME+MOC, access to all of ABIM's medical knowledge activities, peer-developed assessment options for confidence in your current knowledge, and a dynamic personalized physician portal.