What is primary source verification?
Every site must have a formal procedure
to verify employee credentials. Most licensing and certifying bodies provide the ability to verify an individual’s
For example, to verify a physician’s medical license you would check the physician
licensing board in your state.
For physicians, certification can be verified at the American Board of Medical Specialties website.
For technologists, use their certifying agency.
certified medical physicists, certifications
be verified at the
CRCPD National QMP Registry website.
be verified at the American Board of Medical Specialties website.
For medical physicists qualifying under the
“Not Board Certified in Required
Subspecialty” criteria, your primary source
be the accredited educational
institution granting the “graduate degree in medical physics, radiologic physics, physics,
or other relevant physical science or engineering discipline.”
The procedure does not need to be submitted to us.
However, if we conduct or CMS conducts a
site visit, the written (or electronic version) of the procedure should be available.
I work in a small practice and for some modalities I have difficulty in meeting the continuing experience through primary interpretation. Are there other ways I can meet the requirements?
- Double-reading (two or more physicians interpreting the same examination) is acceptable.
- Interpreting physicians may also reinterpret a previously interpreted examination and count it towards meeting the continuing experience requirement, as long as he/she did not do the initial interpretation.
- Examinations that are reviewed and evaluated for RADPEER™ or for an alternative physician peer review program may count toward your continuing experience numbers.
- There is another activity underway to assist members in meeting the continuing experience requirements. There is large case engine that has been developed through the Education Center. A workgroup is looking at ways to make those cases available via the web to enable members to increase the number of cases they have reviewed.
We are already accredited in MRI, CT, ultrasound and mammography. The expiration dates for each modality are different. Does ACR require the cases for continuing experience be tied to our expiration date?
No. For example, if we do a site survey on March 1, 2011, we would look at all MDs for all modalities for the previous three full calendar years to see if they have their continuing experience numbers. If not, we would consider any cases read during the current year (2011).
For physicians reading organ-specific exams, are the 60 organ-specific exams included in the total 200 cross-sectional imaging studies?
I am a physician reading only head CT and MRI exams. What do I need to do for continuing experience?
You would following the second pathway for continuing experience. The total number of exams you must read is 200 of which 60 must be in CT and 60 must be in MRI. The other 80 exams that you need to meet the 200 cross-sectional imaging studies can be in either CT or MRI.
If I take a one hour course on abdominal imaging that includes a discussion of CT, MRI and ultrasound may I count CME credit for one hour in each of the three modalities?
Yes. The ACR recognizes that there are correlations between different types of imaging modalities and that physicians utilizing imaging must be cognizant of such relationships. Therefore it is not unusual for a course in imaging to include discussion of more than one modality. Accordingly, any course that addresses multiple modalities will be entitled to count equal CME credit for all of the modalities discussed for the purposes of ACR accreditation. (Note that only ½ of the CME must be Category I.)
We are already accredited in MRI, CT, ultrasound and mammography. The expiration dates for each modality are different. Does ACR require the CME be tied to our expiration date?
No. As with the continuing experience, if we do a site survey on March 1, 2011 we would look at all MDs for all modalities for the previous three full calendar years to see if they have their credits. If not, we would consider any credits they received in the current year.
We are applying for CT accreditation. Our deadline for submitting testing materials is next week. We selected high-resolution CT of chest for evaluation of diffuse lung disease as our specialty examination but we don’t have a patient scheduled in time to meet the deadline. What should we do?
ACR staff can grant you an extension on your deadline. Please call 1-800-770-0145. Staff will work with you to accommodate your needs. However, please be aware that a delay in submitting any of your testing materials will extend the time it takes for you to get accredited.
What is the image collection time period for the clinical and phantom images?
The new, more flexible requirement mandates that the clinical images may predate the application by up to six months. The time for the clinical image acquisition relative to that of the phantom
image has also been eliminated.
Our large academic practice includes two radiologists who trained outside the U.S. and are considered experts in their field but do not meet the initial requirements for ACR accreditation. How can we include them in our accreditation application?
The ACR recognizes that there are a number of highly qualified radiologists practicing in this country that trained elsewhere. An international medical graduate (IMG) is defined as an individual who successfully completed and received a medical degree from a program outside the U.S., its territories, or Canada.
Any IMG who is certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) or who completes an ACGME- or RCPSC-approved radiology residency program must meet the initial qualifications as defined for radiologists. IMGs who have not completed an ACGME- or RCPSC-approved radiology residency and began practicing in the U.S. after December 31, 2002, must be an active candidate in good standing for certification by the ABR under the ABR IMG Alternative Pathway. These individuals must provide a letter from the ABR verifying their acceptance into the IMG Alternative Pathway. However, if an individual has applied but has not received formal acceptance from the ABR they must provide documentation that they have initiated the application process. These individuals will have one year from the date of their application to provide the acceptance letter from the ABR to the ACR.
The ABR mandates that these candidates take and pass the board examination within 10 years of completion of their four-year qualification period. If an individual does not pass the examination by the end of 10 years or fails to successfully complete their four-year qualification period, they are no longer considered an active candidate in good standing. However, if an individual successfully completes the four-year qualification period but fails to pass the board examination, and continuously remains at an ACR-accredited institution and continues to meet all CME and experience requirements for accreditation, they will remain qualified for the purposes of ACR accreditation. The qualifications of individuals who cannot demonstrate continued practice at an ACR-accredited institution will be reviewed and assessed independently.
IMGs who began practicing in the US on or before December 31, 2002
Any IMG who began practicing in the US on or before December 31, 2002, must have successfully completed four continuous years as a full-time faculty member of a radiology department with an ACGME-approved residency and must provide to the ACR the following documents:
- Current, detailed curriculum vitae with specific dates of all training
- Verification of medical school training
- Verification of foreign clinical year of training
- Verification of foreign radiology residency training
- Verification of foreign radiology board certification
- Verification of full-time faculty appointment in an institution that has an ACGME- or RCPSC-approved diagnostic radiology residency training program
ACR will review each physician’s documentation for compliance and provide a letter indicating approval or nonapproval. In the case of nonapproval, the missing or inadequate documentation will be indicated. If the candidate provides additional documentation ACR will reconsider their application. Please send all correspondence to the following address:
American College of Radiology
Attn: Krista Bush
1891 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA 20191
A radiologist who received ABR certification in 2002 or earlier has lifetime certification and the 10-year MOC cycle does not apply. Does this lifetime certification meet the requirements in lieu of obtaining a specific number of CME credits and exam counts per modality?
No. Radiologists certified before 2002 have a lifetime certificate and are not required to participate in MOC. However, if the radiologist voluntarily participates in MOC then they would be qualified under the MOC pathway.
What documentation will the ACR need to verify that the radiologist meets the requirement for the MOC pathway for continuing experience and education?
The best way an ABR diplomat can do this now is with a screen shot from his/her ABR personal database. This page summarizes the MOC status, including a listing of enrollments (which certificates), payment status, licenses by state and expiration date, CME and SAMs, cognitive examination, and indication of compliance in PQI.