Red Pants Revolution for Lifelong Learning Day!



So I’ve designated today as Red Pants Revolution for Lifelong Learning Day (RPRLLD). I’m wearing my red pants to work and I’ve got a few items to discuss in honor of this new holiday. First of all, I wanted to make sure everybody has read Dr. George Dawson’s post on 10/27/13, mainly because he outlines the political dimensions of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC). It is also burdensome, time-consuming, and not relevant to the practice of many doctors, including me. Pagination alert; page numbers below the Like button!

Now, in that light, let me tell you what I found out yesterday at an evening meeting about the Joint Commission layer of regulation for physicians called the Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE). Recall I mentioned this in a recent post. OPPE is a hoop for all practitioners, not just doctors but nurse practitioners and physician assistants as well. We are now going to get a couple of OPPE reports a year. Hospital privileging and other credentialing depend on a practitioner’s standing on several key metrics in the OPPE.

Almost none of these metrics apply to Psychosomatic Medicine practitioners whose work can be almost wholly in general hospital psychiatry. The metrics are keyed to things like length of stay and other data that are meaningful mainly for those who are staffing inpatient wards or outpatient clinics.

When I pointed this out to the presenter and the audience, I got the sense many were caught off guard. There was even a comment that my privileging might be called into question. By the way, I received my first OPPE report a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty blank because there was no data.

No data, no hospital privileges? No, not necessarily. My handout clearly said, “It is also important to remember that zero data is in fact data. Zero data can actually be evidence of good performance, e.g., no returns to the OR, no complications, no complaints, no infections, etc.”

But you can see the OPPE was not designed for the psychiatric consultant, and it led to a comical paradox–what does “zero data” mean for a psychiatric consultant? Nearly everybody in the room knew that I had seen many of their patients in consultation, so it wasn’t that I was not seeing patients.

So I drew another breath and asked the next question, the answer to which I was dreading. “Will the Joint Commission accept the MOC instead of the OPPE?” The silence was deafening. I think hardly anyone knew what the MOC was, probably because many of them held time-unlimited certificates. Of course, the answer was that the MOC probably would be acceptable.

How’s that for irony? I fight the MOC and it’s kissing cousin, Maintenance of Licensure (MOL), tooth and nail only to discover I may need them both.


Pages: 1 2 3


  1. There’s gotta be some exception to OPPE requirements. Otherwise, I’m afraid you’ll be the winner of the 2013 Medal of Irony


%d bloggers like this: