Radiation Oncology

OCC – Radiation Oncology Primary Certification

Effective January 1, 2013, all time-limited certificate holders in Radiation Oncology will be required to enroll and begin participation in OCC in order to maintain board certification. Early enrollment will be available December 1, 2012 for those wishing to enroll for the 2013 calendar year.

For those who wish to enroll in OCC to receive the CMS MOC/OCC PQRS Incentive click here for further information.

Rather than being a single event, certification will be a continuous, lifelong process. AOA certified physicians are already maintaining four of the five components that OCC will consist of (Unrestricted Licensure, Life Long Learning/CME, Cognitive Assessment, and AOA Membership.) The only component in OCC that will require additional effort is Component 4 – Practice Performance Assessment & Improvement. Many physicians are already participating in some sort of practice performance assessment within their department or group, which may qualify to fulfill this component.

Component 1 – Professional Status

Each diplomat will be required to hold a valid, active license which is neither revoked nor suspended in one of the 50 states or Canada. A diplomate must also adhere to the AOA’s Code of Ethics.

Component 2 – Lifelong Learning/Continuing Medical Education

Diplomates must adhere to AOA CME requirements

  • 120 credit hours per 3-year CME cycle
    • 30 must be Category 1-A
    • 50 must be Category 1 or 2 primary specialty credit hours
    • 2-3 of the CME credit hours obtained must be SAMs (Self-Assessment Modules)
      • SAMs require an assessment of what was learned
      • SAMs are educational venues, i.e. CME activities, workshops, reading assignments, online offerings, etc. usually offered by radiation oncology societies
      • Each SAM must include a self-administered examination and the diplomate must meet a minimum performance level established by the SAM provider
      • SAMs will count toward the CME requirement, as well as fulfilling the SAM requirement

The OCC CME breakdown for diplomates includes the following requirements per 3-year CME cycle

  • 50 Radiation Oncology or radiation oncology related CME credit hours
  • 2-3 Clinical Content SAMs (depending on where the diplomate is within the OCC timeline)

CME credit hours and SAMs do not necessarily need to be done in the precise year specified; however, the CME requirement per 3-year CME cycle must be completed by the end of each cycle.

Component 3 – Cognitive Assessment – Radiation Oncology

A diplomate will be required to demonstrate through a formalized, secure and proctored examination, that he/she has the fundamental diagnostic skills, medical knowledge and clinical judgment to provide quality care. Time-limited diplomates will be required to take and pass the OCC Cognitive Exam prior to the expiration of their certificate. Diplomates may begin taking the OCC Cognitive Exam up to three years prior to the expiration date of their existing certificate. The new certificate will be issued upon the date of the expiration of the former certificate and will be valid for an additional 10 years.

Diplomates participating in OCC who hold non time-limited certification may voluntarily take the cognitive examination at any time. A Diplomat’s original non time-limited certification will not be revoked by the AOA/AOBR if, at any time, the diplomat should choose to discontinue the OCC process. However, the diplomat will not be given documentation of OCC compliance unless they have successfully participated in the entire OCC process.

Any diplomate whose time-limited certificate has expired may reenter the OCC process and take the cognitive exam at any time, provided the diplomate meets all other OCC requirements. Upon successfully passing the cognitive exam, the diplomate will be issued a time-dated certificate for ten (10) years, dated from the date of passing the examination.

For detailed information regarding the radiation oncology recertification examination please click here.

Component 4 – Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement (PPA)

Assessments of physician’s practice that:

  • includes an initial assessment of an eligible professional’s practice that is designed to demonstrate the physician’s use of evidence based medicine
  • requires a physician to implement a quality improvement intervention to address a practice weakness identified in the initial assessment & then re-measure to assess performance improvement after intervention

Each diplomate will be required to successfully complete a qualified OCC practice performance assessment every three years or a total of three projects per 10 year cycle using the diplomates own patient data. The goal of the practice performance component is to demonstrate performance improvement in radiation oncology knowledge and skills, including assessment activities of AOA specific core competencies. Each diplomate will be required to demonstrate that they can assess the quality of radiation oncology care they provide compared to peers and national benchmarks and then apply the best evidence or consensus recommendations to improve that radiation oncology care using follow-up assessments. Click for detailed PPA information.

All projects must include the following elements:

  • Relevance to patient care
  • Relevance to diplomate’s practice
  • Identifiable metrics and/or measurable endpoints
  • Practice guidelines and technical standards
  • An action plan to address areas for improvement and subsequent remeasurement to assess progress and/or improvement

Component 5 – Continuous AOA Membership

Each diplomate will be required to maintain continuous and uninterrupted membership in the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)