A Fresh Start!
Neurological surgeons with time-limited 10-year certificates will continue to qualify for renewal of their certificate at the end of their respective 10-year cycles if they participate in the annual continuous certification (CC) program. Given the substantial changes to the program, neurological surgeons who have not yet completed various staged requirements from 2018 or prior years will be discharged from those requirements and will be given a fresh start in 2019 with the new CC program. These neurological surgeons must pay any past-due fee balances owed to the ABNS before participating in the new annual CC program.
Neurosurgeons who have lifetime certificates are strongly encouraged (but not required) to participate in the new CC program. We believe the redesigned program, including the annual adaptive learning tool, will prove to be valuable to the continuing education and practice of all ABNS certified neurological surgeons. Only those neurological surgeons who actively participate in CC will be listed on the ABNS website as “participating in continuous certification” and may present themselves as participants to the public (as well as to hospitals, payors and malpractice carriers).
In addition, participation in this program satisfies the American College of Surgeons (“ACS”) criteria for a neurological surgeon to participate in Level 1 ACS accredited trauma centers.
Key points of this innovative and radical approach:
Part I- Professionalism and Professional Standing
Attestation of the following:
- Hospital privileges
- Meaningful participation in M & M or QA/QI
- Participation in patient safety exercise
If the chief of staff is not available for attestation, a department chair or other suitable administrator or colleague may serve this role.
Part II- Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment
Earn 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (Continuing Medical Education- CME) in neurological surgery annually.
Documentation of the earned credits is preferable, but attestation is acceptable. Please note that attestation may be subject to random auditing.
Part III- Assessment of Knowledge, Judgement and Skills
The new ABNS approach includes a “no-risk” learning tool with high level evidence-based articles to keep neurological surgeons current on new surgical concepts essential for their practice.
Part IV- Improvement in Medical Practice
The ABNS requests that board certified neurological surgeons review their cases for quality improvement (QI/QA) with their peers no less than quarterly. We offer the following guideline as a resource: Guidelines for M&M conference
Additional CC Requirements for Subspecialty/Focused Practice
Continuous Certification for CNS Neuroendovascular Surgery (CNS-ES) or Neurocritical Care (NeuCC)
In addition to participation in the above CC program for all ABNS diplomates, those neurological surgeons participating in the CNS-ES or NeuCC recognized focus practice must also do the following:
- Complete the version of the annual adaptive learning tool that includes an extra module of CNS-ES or NeuCC questions (as applicable) in addition to questions geared to general neurological surgery.
- Submit limited case information annually to confirm that the diplomate’s practice is in fact “focused’ and that minimum volume thresholds are met. For neurological surgeons participating in the CNS-ES recognized focus practice, this submission will be a full list of their procedural CPT codes along with unique patient identifiers. For neurological surgeons participating in the NeuCC recognized focus practice, the submission will be E&M Codes along with unique patient identifiers.
- Pay an additional fee of $200 to defray the ABNS’ costs of administering the recognized focus practice program, including developing the specialized adaptive learning tool modules and reviewing the annual case-related submissions.
Continuous Certification for ABNS/ABPNS Pediatric Neurological Surgery
In addition to participation in the above CC program for all ABNS diplomates, those neurological surgeons participating in the pediatric neurological surgery recognized focus practice under the joint auspices of the ABNS and ABPNS must also do the following:
- Complete the version of the annual adaptive learning tool that includes pediatric neurological surgery questions in addition to questions geared to general neurological surgery.
- Submit a case log to the ABPNS once every 10 years to confirm that the participant is still performing a minimum of 65 cases in patients aged 21 and under within a 12-month period. The case log will be reviewed by the ABPNS to confirm that the diplomate’s practice is “congenital focused” and that minimum volume thresholds are met.
- Pay an additional fee of $200 to defray the cost of developing the pediatric neurological surgery adaptive learning tool module which is added onto the core ABNS module. Please note that the ABPNS may impose additional annual fees to defray the cost of ABPNS operations and the cost of reviewing the case log submissions.
It should be noted that for those with non-time limited certificates, completion of all annual CC requirements (e.g. professional attestation, CME and M&M/QA/QI) is required to participate in the recognition of focused practice program.