Tennessee Legislature Approves MOC Bill

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Physician members of the Tennessee Medical Association are praising a new law that will ease the mandatory requirements for doctors to maintain specialty board certification. The Tennessee General Assembly unanimously approved the measure after a two-year effort by TMA to persuade state lawmakers to take action on what has become a hot button issue for physicians across the U.S., said officials.

The Tennessee Senate on Monday passed the bill (SB1824) by a vote of 33-0 after the House unanimously passed the companion bill (HB1927) last week. The bill is en route to Governor Bill Haslam to sign to become law. 

Senator Richard Briggs, MD (R-Knoxville) sponsored the Senate bill while House Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) led the effort in the larger chamber. 

Senator Briggs and Rep. Williams worked with TMA in 2017 to pass another law that prevents MOC from being required for state licensure. That same bill created a task force to study MOC as it relates to hospital hiring practices, admitting privileges and insurance networks. Legislators who served on the task force returned to session in 2018 ready to give Tennessee physicians some relief and ensure the arbitrary MOC process no longer interferes with Tennesseans’ access to care. 

“TMA’s goal, after years of complaints from our member physicians about MOC testing requirements, was simply to give doctors options for maintaining and improving their professional competency," said Nita W. Shumaker, MD, TMA president 2017-2018. "Doctors should not be forced by hospitals or insurance companies to participate in an arbitrary certification process that has not been shown to improve quality of care. This bill gives much-needed relief for doctors who may choose Continuing Medical Education or other forms of ongoing learning. Thanks to Senator Briggs, Rep. Williams and the other members of our state legislature, Tennessee is now one of few states developing real solutions to this national issue.”

The new law carries two provisions for doctors who have asked for relief from the MOC requirements levied by the American Board of Medical Specialties, insurance companies, hospitals and health systems. 

It prohibits health insurance companies from excluding physicians from health plan networks based solely on a physician’s MOC status. 

It allows the medical staff at each hospital to determine whether to require MOC or accept other forms of competency measures (such as Continuing Medical Education) for credentialing and/or admitting privileges. Hospitals requiring MOC must adopt bylaws making it a stipulation for work or network participation. 

TMA expects the state’s new MOC laws, coupled with a favorable medical liability climate and other qualities that help Tennessee rank among the best states in which to practice medicine, will improve the state’s efforts to recruit and retain the best physicians, said officials. 


VA Benefits Discussion To Be Held Feb. 26 At Morning Pointe Of Chattanooga

IHOP Restaurants Free Pancake Day Benefitting Children’s Hospital At Erlanger

East Ridge Cloggers Perform At Morning Pointe


Morning Pointe of Chattanooga – Shallowford, 7719 Shallowford Road in Chattanooga, is hosting a discussion, "Best Kept Secret in the Military, A Discussion about VA Benefits," on Tuesday, Feb. ... (click for more)

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, is gearing up for IHOP’s Free Pancake Day on March 12. IHOP’s Free Pancake Day aims to raise needed funds to provide ... (click for more)

The East Ridge Cloggers entertained the residents of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga – Shallowford with their fancy footwork. Performers Sue Wright, Sally Ann Gagliardi, Jane Meadows, Kathy ... (click for more)


Living Well

VA Benefits Discussion To Be Held Feb. 26 At Morning Pointe Of Chattanooga

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga – Shallowford, 7719 Shallowford Road in Chattanooga, is hosting a discussion, "Best Kept Secret in the Military, A Discussion about VA Benefits," on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 3-4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Guest speaker will be Mike Verble with Verble Estate Preservation and Advisors, LLC. Topics of discussion include: ... (click for more)

IHOP Restaurants Free Pancake Day Benefitting Children’s Hospital At Erlanger

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, is gearing up for IHOP’s Free Pancake Day on March 12. IHOP’s Free Pancake Day aims to raise needed funds to provide life-saving technology and facilities to pediatric patients. IHOP guests can receive a free short stack of its world-famous buttermilk pancakes on Free Pancake Day from 7 a.m. to ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Schools Closed On Friday; Other Schools Announce Closings Or Delays

Hamilton County Schools will be closed on Friday due to the amount of rain that has fallen in the last few hours and the amount expected between now and tomorrow. School-age child care will be open at seven locations from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. to assist parents. The locations for child care are: Battle Academy, East Brainerd Elementary, East Ridge Elementary, Harrison Elementary, ... (click for more)

City Report Says Ballard Had Pattern Of Sexual Harassment Over Female Trainees; Attorney Says He Looks Forward To Returning To Work

A city report says an instructor over police academies had a pattern of sexual harassment against female cadets. Two female trainees initially filed the complaint against instructor Ricky Ballard. Ballard was suspended earlier this month for 160 hours without pay over the sexual allegations. Four female cadets said they received unwanted hugs from Ballard. They said Ballard ... (click for more)

Opinion

Heavy Rains Are Coming In The Next Few Days

Please remember to check on folks that are vulnerable which includes the elderly and homebound. With expectations of up to 7 inches or more of rain, we may see flooding in areas that rival those of the past. As Chief Roddy told me this morning, be proactive, not reactive. Pack for an extended stay at work or someone's house. Be ready with extra food, water and blanket in your ... (click for more)

The $500,000 Tax Money Giveway - And Response (3)

Mayor Berke, On September 5, 2017, you asked and were granted a 22-cent property tax increase for city government operations and a capital fund. At the meeting, the City Council approved your proposal for the property tax increase of 22 cents per $100 of property assessment. As a result, every business, home owner, and property owner had one-month notice that their local property ... (click for more)