Submit Your Participant Data in PARS for ABIM’s MOC Program
We are pleased to announce the following updates to support accredited providers’ engagement with CME that Counts for the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.
Effective December 15, 2015
CME providers can now submit participant data in the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) for ABIM’s MOC program. Accredited providers are required to submit participant data for each activity registered as meeting ABIM’s Medical Knowledge Assessment Recognition Program requirements via PARS. We thank the CME providers who participated in the beta testing of the PARS Participant Management Interface. Testers submitted valuable feedback, which we have used to improve the process and to produce educational and training materials for the CME provider community.
Important points, timelines, and resources are listed below, including an invitation to join our webinar on January 7, 2016, from 12:30 pm–2:00 pm Central.
Important Points and Timelines
- For activities that participants completed in 2015, CME providers will need to submit participant data by December 31, 2015. Please note: Some ABIM Board Certified physicians may need to complete MOC requirements by December 31, 2015. In order for the CME activities to count toward those requirements, ABIM will need to receive completion data by December 31, 2015. However, recognizing that CME providers may not be prepared to submit completion information by the end of the year, ABIM has implemented a grace period through the first week of January for the submission and processing of year-end participant completion data. During the grace period, ABIM will not change any physician’s status on the ABIM website to avoid penalizing physicians who may have completed a CME activity by December 31, 2015. However, ABIM’s MOC requirements for physicians have not changed and physicians still need to meet those requirements by December 31. ABIM will still accept completion information for activities completed in 2015 after December 31, 2015 and the MOC points earned for those activities will continue to count toward the MOC requirements currently in place.
- For activities that participants completed in 2014 only, CME providers will need to submit participation data by June 30, 2016.
- CME providers working with ABIM prior to the ABIM-ACCME partnership launched on September 30: Any activity for which you have a unique alpha-numeric ABIM module code and are currently using the old ABIM web service, you may continue to submit participant completion data through the ABIM web service. However, beginning in 2017, ABIM will discontinue use of its web service and all participant completion data must be submitted through PARS.
- Submission methods include web services (see more information below), batch upload, and manual data entry.
- Provisional validation process: When you submit participant completion data, PARS will verify the participant’s ABIM ID and birth date, and if verified, will transmit the record to ABIM for validation. You will be able to see that PARS has changed the status of the participant record from “submitted” to “accepted.” If any participant records are rejected during the validation process, the ACCME will be notified, and we will contact providers to address the issue. We implemented this provisional validation process to expedite the process of physicians receiving credits during the initial implementation phase. The process will be changed in the near future so that the status of the participant record will be changed to “accepted” only after the ABIM completes its validation process.
Join our Webinar: Submitting Participant Data in PARS for ABIM’s MOC Program
The ACCME and ABIM will host a webinar on January 7, 2016, from 12:30 pm–2:00 pm Central time to review the process for submitting participant data for ABIM’s MOC program in PARS and to answer your questions. This webinar is open to all accredited providers in the ACCME System as well as to other stakeholders who are participating in this process. Space is limited and we suggest that you sign up in advance. Please feel free to review the new FAQs about submitting participant data in preparation for the webinar. We also invite you to submit your questions in advance.
Participant Management Resources
- Submitting Participant Data in PARS for ABIM’s MOC Program: A step-by-step tutorial for CME providers.
- Ask ACCME about Submitting Participant Data in PARS
- ACCME PARS Tab Delimited Participant Upload Instructions
- ACCME PARS Learners Tab Delimited Template
- XML Learner Reports: A zip file containing a description of the XML file format to be used for submitting participant completion data for activities registered for ABIM's MOC program, a sample XML file, and technical files. This file is useful to support both implementation of the web services (see below) and XML batch upload file development.
We have implemented web services that will enable your software applications, such as learning management systems, to submit activity and participant completion data directly to PARS. The goal of these services is to reduce the need for CME provider staff to use manual data entry or batch upload methods. To use these web services, your developers will need to make modifications to your software.
Resources for Web Services
The following resources provide guidance for your IT professionals:
- ACCME PARS Web Services: This guide describes how to modify CME providers’ software/learning management systems to allow them to communicate directly with PARS. Please note this guide has been updated since we published the pre-release guide earlier this month.
- XML Learner Reports: A zip file containing a description of the XML file format to be used for submitting participant completion data for activities registered for ABIM's MOC program, a sample XML file, and technical files. This file is useful to support both implementation of the web services and XML batch upload file development.
- Testing site: A test site is available as a tool to aid in the development and testing of software designed to use these web services. If you're interested in using the test site, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CME Community Engagement
There are now more than 500 activities registered in PARS for ABIM’s MOC program. We are encouraged by the CME community’s high level of engagement and we look forward to continuing to work together with you to facilitate the integration of MOC and CME for the benefit of our community of physician learners.
We are providing you with this update only to bring it to your attention—there is no requirement for you to pursue the option of registering CME activities for ABIM’s MOC program.