Monday, January 26, 2015

Questioning the ABIM Leadership Compensation

Compensation amounts for the past President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) were reviewed over the last 10 years of available tax documents.  I have outlined them below.  We should recall that US physicians fund 97% of the ABIM's revenue.

Fiscal Year Compensation Comments
2004 $580,377 Includes $50,000 performance bonus awarded to Dr. Cassel by Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of ABIM
2005 $593,014
2006 $653,922
2007 $646,510 35 hrs/wk. $2.3 million condo purchased by ABIM Foundation.
2008 $627,472 35 hrs/wk. Spousal travel fees also paid (not itemized).
2009 $865,451 35 hrs/wk. Spousal travel fees also paid (not itemized).
2010 $862,191 35 hrs/wk. Spousal travel fees also paid (not itemized).
2011 $794,852 35 hrs/wk. Spousal travel fees also paid (not itemized).
2012 $786,751 35 hrs/wk. Spousal travel fees also paid (not itemized). Also received $203,500 from Kaiser Health Plans and Hospitals
2013 $838,603 35 hrs/wk. Spousal travel fees also paid (not itemized). Additional compensation earned: $235,000 from Premier, Inc.

Total haul by one physician officer: $7,249,143 over 10 years (or $724,914/yr). This amount does not include the additional consulting fees outlined above.  (Not too bad for a desk job that doesn't involve patient care.)

Which leads practicing US physicians to wonder how much compensation did the current ABIM President and CEO earned in fiscal year 2014. Might it have exceeded $1 million? (We should note the most recent audited financial statement available to date disclosed a $568,000 salary with $131,000 in deferred compensation for a "new key employee" hired effective 7 June 2013, but does not specify the additional compensation this "new employee" will recieve from the ABIM's own Foundation.)

The fiscal year 2014 ABIM Form 990 will be available soon enough.  If the ABIM leadership salaries are indeed this high going forward, there should be little doubt why physicians must now pay the ABIM every two years to "maintain" their board certification status. 

It seems that the salaries of the ABIM leadership demand it.


Addendum: To all concerned physicians: consider signing my petition to stop the marketing of the ABMS/ABIM Maintenenace of Certification program, one professional society at a time.


marcsf said...

There is no doubt Dr. C. Cassel "chose wisely."

Walter Bond said...

Meanwhile, over at the ACP lobbyist’s blog, still no mention of these salaries, the condo, etc. Just more partisan drivel about expanding Medicaid. Where’s the ACP blog written by the lobbyist who actually lobbies for internists?

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything except your thoughts that our professional societies will assist in our emancipation from an out of control ABIM bureaucracy.
Please, realize that our professional societies are in bed with the ABIM. The most intensive lobbying effort ever undertaken by the ACC was to incorporate/codify registry participation as a 'measure' of quality. This was in concert with the ABIM. In essence, they have a business plan which is now LAW with the threat of decreased Medicare reimbursement.
The typical uninformed cardiologist mistakenly believes that the ACC is fighting in Washington, DC for their benefit. In fact, the ACC is lobbying to maintain its own relevance. If the ACC benefited its members, this relevance would be critical; however, the ACC is now the de facto regulatory arm of CMS since CMS provides a significant revenue source for the ACC.
The medicine bureaucrats have pushed this idea of eliminating fee-for-service as too expensive. They have pushed this idea of all the money running out until you realize that a huge pot of money (billions) materializes as the CMS center of comparative studies. This is a bureaucrat slush fund designed to bolster their incomes at the detriment of the grunts in the trenches pulling charts off a door (oops, clicking boxes).
ACC is doing everything in their power to slow walk this issue while scheduling more MOC reviews at the national conference. Once again, this is just an attempt to stay relevant.

NephTangles said...

Dr Wes, Thank you for your tireless effort. I believe that we need to stop hoping that ABMS/ABIM will all of a sudden behave or become reasonable. Everyone needs to work together on creating our own board. Here are my thoughts and how to start at this point:

Anonymous said...

Interesting but not unrelated:

ACP President David Fleming, in response to HHS's plans to move to value-based payment (whatever the hell that is):

'HHS and Congress should ensure that all performance measures are validated through the National Quality Forum, a "not-for-profit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization that works to catalyze improvements in healthcare.”'

And guess who's president of the NQF? The logrolling never ends.