Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Lately, I feel like I'm being bullied.

First, I was told by Practice Fusion that I need to send an e-prescription or I'll lose my
e-prescribing privileges. Well, I sent one. Took me 20 minutes to get it done. As opposed to the 30 seconds it would have taken me to write the thing.

I wanted to balk and not do it, but then I'm going to have to start e-prescribing, whether I like it or not, beginning in March, and I don't want the process to be made more difficult because I let it slide a few months earlier.

Second, I got a survey from the HHS, about my use of EHR's. Ironically, it's a paper survey, and there doesn't seem to be any option to fill it out online. It's supposedly voluntary, but it's not anonymous. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to fill it out. I'm torn between, "Why are you wasting my time with this nonsense" and, "Yeah, I'll fill it out, and tell you how stupid, useless, and sometimes harmful EHRs are."

If I want to work toward some kind of change in EHR requirements, the former is obviously not going to help. But neither is the latter.

A week after I got the survey, I got a postcard reminding me to fill out the survey and send it in. But no pressure.

And finally, on May 23rd, I got The Email. The ABPN email reminding me that my board certification will expire on December 31, 2015. Applications for the recertification exam have been available since June 3rd. If I apply online after September 1st, I pay a $500 late fee. This is in addition to the $700 application fee AND the $800 exam fee.

Remember when mail-order companies used to charge separately for shipping and "handling", and now they just charge for shipping because no one could figure out what handling was? I mean, if you're shipping something, then someone has to pick it up and put it in a package and take it to wherever it's shipped from.

Call me skeptical, but I find it hard to believe that each online application requires $700 worth of effort on the part of the ABPN. Who wrote the program, the same people who designed HealthCare.gov? And it's all ironic since I've been debating attending a Neuropsychoanalysis conference, and wondering if it's worth the money. I'm sure I'd learn more at the conference than I will for the MOC exam.

They've reduced the number of required SA credits from 40 to 24, so I'm kicking myself for having paid for that 1 extra SA credit, bringing me to 43 total.

Also, "Beginning in 2014, diplomates are required to use only ABPN-approved products for self-assessment and performance in practice activities."

To me, that means more money.

For the 2015 exam, they'll only use DSM-5 diagnoses that haven't changed since DSM-IV. In other words, if it's in DSM-5 but not IV, like Hoarding disorder, it won't be on the exam. And if it's in IV, but completely gone from 5, it won't be there either.

More bullying, as far as I'm concerned, because I don't buy into the whole DSM system, to begin with, and now I'm going to have to simply buy the DSM system.

Funny, the same day I got the ABPN email, I got an email from Mass General Hospital Psychiatry Academy:

The study tools are the full length online mastery course, for $495, and the update and question book for $88.99 ($59.99 on kindle). The info seems to point to the fact that the course is intended for residents. I can't figure out if I should sign up for the course, or just use the review book.

More money.

Thus begins my quest to register, study for, and take the recertification exam, next February. Hmm, just before I have to start e-prescribing.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure "bullied" is the term I would use to describe my feelings about all this (though I acknowledge that is how you feel). None-the-less, all of this is a royal pain in the ass. I am not sure I will take my boards in 2020. I simply can't keep track of it and haven't done the surveys, etc-- but I'm also guessing for the money they will let me catch up with that. I have plenty of CMEs (I like taking courses). By then I will be in my 60s and WHO cares?

    I'm hoping some sanity will be restored...