Yeah, if you are doing C-MoC you have to pay. That said, they give quite a bit of lee way and don't seem to be hard to work with. I forgot to pay until like February or March last year and nothing happened, they didn't change my certification status and just accepted my payment no questions asked, which I appreciated.
Yeah, the reasoning was supposedly to lessen the impact of having to shell out about $3k all at once for a computerized exam. I remember people complained that the expense remained the same even though the oral portion of the exam was discontinued, and this was the ABPNs response at the time.
On a positive note, I am totally cool with the new C-MOC pilot program coming up where you just have to answer a few questions on articles we all read anyway instead of taking yet another multiple guess exam over old information. It seems a lot more useful to keep up on the literature. The last time I took a big exam was nearly 4 years ago and I'm still burned out on exams.
Given the new life span estimates, I'm looking at possibly one MOC and 2 colonoscopies in life. At least I heard there will be no such thing as life time board certification soon and I don't see why they wouldn't want more psychiatrist's $1K.