UCNS Accreditation and Certification in Clinical Neuromuscular Pathology Approved for Inclusion in CLIA Guidelines

9-30-2021 United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) certification and accredited fellowship training in Clinical Neuromuscular Pathology (CNMP) have been approved under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 as a qualification to practice neuropathology. Having Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approval means that physicians who have successfully completed a UCNS-accredited training program in CNMP and/or have a UCNS certification in the subspecialty are approved by Health and Human Services to examine and provide reports for neuromuscular pathology. The CLIA guidelines will be updated to include UCNS certification/fellowship training as a qualification to practice neuropathology and will be incorporated into the State Operations Manual (SOM), also known as the Interpretive Guidelines under 42 C.F.R. § 493.1273(c), D5605, during its next revision. CLIA laws regulate all clinical and anatomic pathology practices, and meeting the regulations is required for Medicare and Medicaid funding. 

Mazen Dimachkie, MD, CNMP subspecialty representative to the UCNS Board of Directors said, “We are grateful to the UCNS for championing the cause of neurologists with interest in the Clinical Neuromuscular Pathology subspecialty. The inclusion by CMS of UCNS certification and fellowship training into the CLIA guidelines is a major step forward that will benefit patients with neuromuscular disease and CNMP certified physicians.”  Dr. Dimachkie is Director of Neuromuscular Division at The University of Kansas Health System and is certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology and UCNS-certified in CNMP. 

The neurologic subspecialty of CNMP differs from neuropathology because it is highly integrated with the clinical management of neuromuscular disease. All UCNS-accredited CNMP training programs incorporate the evaluation of muscle and nerve in the context of clinical patient care. This clinical patient care aspect is what makes the CNMP fellowship training distinctly different from neuropathology. 

The UCNS has been accrediting CNMP fellowship programs since 2012 and certifying physicians in the subspecialty since 2015. The next UCNS CNMP Certification Examination will be offered in 2023. Fellowship training programs seeking UCNS accreditation may apply throughout the year with deadlines of June 1 and December 1 for the biannual application review cycles. Certification and accreditation information is available at www.ucns.org