MOC fees exceed expenditures, according to research reported by Physician’s Briefing.

Brian C. Drolet, M.D., from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn, and Vickram J. Tandon, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, compiled the fee structures for initial certification and maintenance of certification (MOC) through the published websites of 24 ABMS member boards. The amount and sources of revenue and expenditures, and the liabilities and assets for each board were extracted for fiscal year 2013.

The researchers found that the mean fee for an initial written examination was $1,846 in 2017. For initial certification, 14 boards required an oral examination, at a mean cost of $1,694. Subspecialty verification was offered by 19 boards, with a mean cost of $2,060. For MOC, the mean fees were $257 annually. In fiscal year 2013, member boards reported $263 million in revenue and $239 million in expenses. Overall, six boards reported no debt and 18 held assets that exceeded liabilities. The change in net balance (difference of assets and liabilities) of the ABMS member boards increased from $237 to $635 million between 2003 and 2013.