Monday, August 10, 2015

Sometimes a Picture Speaks Louder Than Words

From a Medscape email blast this AM:

(Click image to be taken to the story)

Addendum 08:30 AM CST: Link fixed.


Anonymous said...

Tax Year 2013

(14) LYNN LANGDON 35.00/hrs per week

SR. VICE PRESIDENT / COO X 499,177. 0. 46,997 ( other compensation)

Must have the biggest rabbit foot ever.
Do those 35 hrs/week include lunch and coffee breaks?
The most generous 501-c-3 in history.

Keith said...

It is notable that ABMS refers to the reduction in medicare costs that is present for those rectifying. The question then is is this savings a reasonable savings and how does it impact patient outcome.

Also, is the saving due to the fact that those rectifying have to take time away from practice for potentially board review courses and test taking. If I am out of the office seeing less patients, then I guess I save Medicare money.

Anonymous said...

“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. ”

― Benjamin Franklin

Poor Richard's Almanack for Fiscally Modest Americans

ABIM. A Category of the Fourth Kind. So 'Out of Touch' as to Be Called ___________!
You fill in the word or words.

But how would, our dear Ben Franklin, the muted voice of American wisdom, science and revolutionary thinking classify the ABIM really?

As one of the finest journalists and statesmen that ever lived, Ben Franklin would probably find a discreet sub-category. Perhaps Franklin would say as a journalist,

"Alas, after Rich Baron, Lynn Langdon, Vincent Mandes, and Lorie Slass refused to talk with me and called my journalistic style 'shrill', I would have to classify them as, 'not at home', or definitively 'unavailable'.

But, after giving it some more moments of reflection and contemplative thought,
I would have to classify them as an 'encounter of the fourth kind'.

ABIM is not just clever, dodgy, or immovable as I originally mused and tendered;
no Baron, Slass***, Langdon, Mandes, Cassel, Benson, Kimball and company are in a category all by themselves.

The ABIM and the ABIM Foundation are absolutely 'unreachable'.

And I am still analyzing in detail that MOC cash-kite attached to the high-flying ABMS purse strings."

(Quotes and hundred-dollar notes reproduced by permission from "Poor Richard's Almanack for Fiscally Modest Americans")

Anonymous said...

ABIM PENSION PLAN: In complete agreement with Keith. It is obvious we live in a world of obvious absurdities. Why don't they just round those numbers up to the nearest million. They see themselves as so entitled just for making others suffer and worse...

Could someone tell us, please, about the ABIM/ABIM Foundation PENSION PLAN I see referenced everywhere on their infamous tax forms? Did the former CFO Strozeski retire with a pension. Walk away with some sweet deal. Or did he just take a little off the top and bottom like they all do their and call it legal. What else are they hiding from us!

Anonymous said...

Is the ABIM under surveillance?
A former employee told me they have a culture of paranoia at the ABIM. They don't email, or document as much as they should/could, but instead prefer to walk away from people and workstations to talk. I guess the bathroom or on Walnut Street is the only safe place.
They said one of the former bosses was so concerned about being spied on, they had completely new computers removed and new ones purchased. How much did that cost them? If the CIA spies on the Senate, I guess it is possible that Cassel or Baron, who are just politicians after all would perhaps have that fear. But on the other hand, corporations do have to be careful with trade secrets. Do they have to do periodic sweeps for bugs and computers that spy on you. This is all so fascinating the more I read here.
Wes Fisher should get an award from us for his writing and providing this highly recognized blog site. I envision an expanded site in the future with employees to get at the facts. We need more of that, since more and more you hear that people just do not trust the MSM.

Anonymous said...

What did Cassel walk away with as well? Not just 1.7 million in salary and deferred compensation. What else did she take with her in the form of retirement and anything else we don't even know about or suspect. I still have trouble with the spousal support. I personally admire Cassel's husband and think he should be pressured to give the money back. Or just simply asked by Baron or Cassel out of courtesy to all. Those of us who know Chris Cassel in some dealing or another may admire her as well or dislike her, that is not the point. The point is both Cassel and her husband, (I won't ruin his reputation by giving his name) represent organizations and socially responsible and environmental policies and ideas which I support, and I feel it is important for public image and respect to give that spousal support back. I don't know if the condo was used primarily for Cassel who did not live in Philadelphia, but if so, that money should be returned as well. We live in a democratic society, Republican, Democrat, Indy, Green, whatever, and I will not let the appearances of conflict of interest ruin the Democratic party be tainted by Chris Cassel, who I do personally admire. Most of the people are decent at the ABIM, I just don't understand why they persist in ruining what they have built up over the years by creating this mad day of reckoning that persist today over MOC. I say my vote would go to just end it. I have read a great deal on the subject and it is pointless to continue MOC. It hurts us as a nation and our half-baked health care reform did not go far enough and worse did not include the Republican Party enough to help define and refine it. We need all views after all. All this MOC and Choose Wise stubbornness hurts the Democratic Party as you can see from the past elections.
Give the money back, Chris for the travel and condo, if that is the case, it was for you and hubby, and end MOC, put the Foundation's political activism to rest. Choosing Wisely can be a choice in a study paper and has no business being institutionalized. There, Chris, I said it, and I hope you are listening. Richard, please, do something soon or we will all be in a serious quagmire.

Anonymous said...


Maintenance Of Cash
for a house Made Of Clay.

All the big boys and girls
take their share, and then walk away

With Mountains Of Cash;
doing nothing for it, with even less to say.

-by M. O. C.
written for the Made-Off Committee on Pyramidal Ponzi Programs and Schemes

Anonymous said...

Hey !!! Leave Lynn Langdon alone!!!!!!

The poor woman works an heart wrenching 35 hours per week.

And only makes $ 546,000.00 a year.

And no call.
And no weekends.
And no 3 am phone calls.
And no MOC.
And no CME.
And no 60 hour work week.

Poor Lynn.

Lynn...drop us a line.

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court has declared that the ACA is a tax. MOC is now written into the ACA legislation. So does this mean that MOC is actually an ACA-authorized tax on physicians? If it is a tax, this may be the first time that a professional organization was complicit with the government in levying a tax on its own members.

Anonymous said...

If the highest court in the land has determined ACA to be a tax, which is true, then MOC is a tack-on tax. (I consider ACA to be an illegal tax.)
Even without a legal approach, just simple thinking and direct observation, it is an illegal taxation with complicit organizations who profit. MOC is a knock on democracy, against the right to self-determination for you to create your own CME.

The state should take this issue of the ACA and writing in a MOC tax up with the federal government, but a more direct approach would be to take the issue "to end MOC" up with each state with lawsuits until all fifty states end the harassing, pointless and harmful tax. We understand this tax only harms medicine and profits a few lazy individuals who do not want to serve humanity, but instead wish to profit handsomely by ruling over physicians with fallacious stories that even sheep in a field are too sophisticated to believe such guff anymore. Sheep have more rights than physicians.

Medical bureaucracy such as the ABMS umbrella is a vassalage system that must end. It should have ended fifty years ago. The corruption in bureaucratic medicine is rampant and harms the patient. Justification of huge take-home pay by administrators adds to the total cost of medicine and overly complicates things to the degree that we have a system that was meant to serve in the reverse order. Now phycians serve the system. That alone is evidence that the vassalage system must end. It has gotten out of hand. Instead of lending a hand it is an outstretched hand demanding money without service or participation in creating the service. That is how systems grow big, complex, decay and die.

We are witnessing a body that is dead already to us. It may have meaning to us, but probably very little sentiment involved in our relationship. But we can't just kick it out of the way, it must be dealt with officially and officials must declare the organizations dead.

Any one can see the truth without being a legal scholar. Moral persuasion is enough sometimes to get recognition of wrongdoing. If there was moral fiber in the leadership at the ABIM, MOC would end today, not tomorrow. Not because it is a tax, but because it harms physicians and patients. We don't even need science to prove that. It is an ancient problem where you go to the vassal and tell him/her you are being unfairly taxed and it harms the community. A fair vassal would change it. But we live in the 21st century. Bureaucratic vassalage should be phased out quickly in medicine.

Richard Baron could be a champion leading that charge to free medicine of what is really useless, but it may take him a while to see that he hurts himself, physicians and patients in participating in the perpetuation of the vassalage. Choosing Wisely as someone said hurts us all. I declare it dead as part of the same system of vassalage that slowly grows and grows until we cannot see the light, only the dark shadow of more and more government over us. No one can work well with someone always looking over your shoulder. We need to have the courage and walk out of the shadows and require that our government stops harassing us with controlling agencies that just follow us around with their hand in our pocket. It is a burdensome situation.

I recognized long ago the ABIM was dead weight. But I am not strong enough to kick it out of the way in society myself. It takes legal and congressional persuasion.
The evidence for such a case is mounting, but it would be better if the ABIM would save physicians this step and do what was right, to simply step out of the way and end MOC altogether. Make a plan for doing so. Transition time will be necessary. as to a simpler more effective and efficient form of renewing medical science, and so on, where there is no vassalage system involving the current certification cleptocracy. It is after all just roadside banditry.

Anonymous said...

Has the ABIM violated IRS tax rulings. Is the Foundation a legal entity? Is MOC a legal fee/tax?

I remember Lynn Langdon from reading about some lawsuits against the ABIM. I was wondering if ABIM legal bills are all paid by physicians when ABIM does something wrong or highly suspect. Do ABIM officers and executives have to cover their own legal expenses? I noticed Chris Cassel was sued also. Some guy named Holmboe also. And several others. Do they get anything like tail coverage when they leave that corporation paid for by physicians fees. What is the coverage available to them legally. I am wondering about Choosing Wisely as well. Those recommendations have as some people have pointed out done harm, they have actually caused death. What is the legal obligation of the ABIM to protect these individuals. If they are covered I think that takes a high degree of risk out their bad choices.

I would ask the Board at the ABIM to look at removing this legal coverage if it exists. It give a false sense of protection in ABIM's choices and decision making. Remove the insurance on your executives. Then make your policies, produce MOC, propagate Choosing Wisely with proper caution.

Also what is the total limit of coverage on your policies, and on individuals, again if you have any personal insurance covered by the ABIM what are those personal limits. Where does that coverage or any additional legal coverage come from if the ABIM is broke? What are the liabilities to the ABIM if the Foundation is sued and vice versa.

Does the ABIM have a means of defending itself in the state of Iowa? Having a registered agent without an operation there seems to imply that if the ABIM and possibly the ABIM Foundation is sued in Iowa it cannot defend itself legally there. Is that true or false. There will be no contest and automatic judgment to the plaintiff. Is that true? Can the ABIM even afford to find out the legal status of the Foundation if the Foundation were sued in the state of Iowa (or Pennsylvania) and a jurisdictional decision was made by the court or state attorney general there.

Is the ABIM and Foundation ready/willing to be tested in the state of Iowa or Pennsylvania. I think the first testing ground for MOC could be in Iowa. It would settle many questions about the legal issues and whether Iowa state tax is due for many years. Fraud is a serious crime with the Federal government also. It would be very difficult to prove that the ABIM is not a profit making business to the federal government who needs the revenue. Has Kurt Eichenwald done his homework and gotten legal opinions? I would like to know. I would like to point out that the registered agent in Iowa is unaware of the ABIM, which tells me that any legal issues involving the ABIM have never been tested there. I believe it is about time to do so.

A simple challenge about the legality of MOC fees and at the same time the legality of the ABIM Foundation would be a good starting point in the state of Iowa, since we seem to have some clear irregularities in the tax reporting, liberties in interpreting or rewriting articles of incorporation, and some very creative financial activities and misstatements.

Anonymous said...

Re Lynn Langdon's work conditions: Someone wrote complaining about lax work conditions and excessive remuneration for the ABIM execs with this question. "Do those 35 hrs/week include lunch and coffee breaks? The most generous 501-c-3 in history."

They don't need lunch or coffee breaks when they work from home.

But that would be a great question to ask the communications officer Lorie Slass. Make her earn her Senior VP pay. We'd like to have an official press release about executive office habits and work styles. Ask her where she is emailing you back from. You will never be able to speak with her on the phone. Inquire about their work from home policy, which for some can mean living out of state.

I suspect they can 'triple dip' as lobbyists too with the loose arrangements earning 'favors' for the ABIM to perpetuate their "happy days are here again" lifestyles, while 23% of Americans are out of work according to the most recent US labor statistics.

I suspect there is fairly high turnover in the low-paid phone bank pool at ABIM. We understand how that game works. I have talked to many phone reps at ABIM over the years, all new. Such disparity of pay right there in Philly.

Here's a link to an interpretation of most recent labor statistics by a former deputy secretary treasurer. He mentions lobbying, which I found interesting.

"The most lucrative jobs in America involve running Wall Street scams, lobbying for private interest groups, for which former members of the House, Senate, and executive branch are preferred, and producing schemes for the enrichment of think-tank donors, which, masquerading as public policy, can become law."
-Paul Craig Roberts, former US Deputy Treasurer, and Wall Street Journal Editor.

Anonymous said...

Many think this is just a struggle to end MOC. But it is a fight to end ABIM's corruption with all of its coercive demands and control over physicians.

Anonymous said...

Who "Names" the ABIM Board of Directors and its Chair? Are they elected or appointed?

Each Member organization (ACC, HRS) I have joined, offers me a vote - (even my past membership of naivete in AMA). Even as a 0.001% stock corporation shareholder, I am offered a vote.


"ABIM Announces New Members and Officers on Board of Directors and Council"

"Philadelphia, PA, July 6, 2015 – The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) today announced the new members and officers of its Board of Directors and ABIM Council. Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, has been named Chair of the Board of Directors and Patricia M. Conolly, MD, has been named Chair Elect. In addition, three new physicians will be joining the ABIM Board of Directors: Vineet Arora, MD, Roger W. Bush, MD, and Robert D. Siegel, MD. ABIM also announced that Jeanne M. Marrazzo, MD, has been named Chair of the ABIM Council, which added one new member, Bruce A. Leff, MD."

Anonymous said...

The ABIM is medicine's Star Chamber. A good idea gone bad.

Minuteman said...

ABIM's motto. “Of the profession, for the public.”

Poor Richard said...

Poor Richard's Almanack for Modest Fiscally Responsible Americans

Quotes for the day: "A dollar saved is a dollar not given to ABIM."

"ABIM, in creating the ABIMF in their own image, wanted to have their MOC [cake] and eat it too."

Latest news in the "MOC"/"Professional" Foundation debate.

Undercurrents of blatant political activism and egregious personal inurement among the highest echelons of the ABIM and a vast network of associated not-for-profit medical societies proves how rampant corruption and treason is among our non-clinical administrators. I speak of those men and women who chose to opt out of serving the modest fiscally responsible American patient population; and instead of providing good counsel, prescribing medications, and performing humble procedures and life saving surgeries, they issue press releases stating how wrong we all are in our chief complaints, even though we state them plainly over and over in sundry ways every day.

Instead of press releases it would be much better if the ABIM "old 17th floor crowd" use some ABIMF money to buy a mobile medical truck and deliver free medicine to my poor suffering home town. The ABIMF could choose wisely do more and not less by aiding the seniors of all colors, just blocks away, with what they need most, which is direct patient care.

How about it Richard? One Richard to another. One day a week for the poor. Many are in a doughnut hole right now. They can't get out. Can't afford the medicine or the visit they say. I've talked with them. Help them out. Extend that 35 hour work week to 43 hours. One day for the poor. Set this example and other sister organization will follow. We will all chip away together at the national debt in such a steady and dedicated manner. (Use the press secretary to reach out for donations for this project if the Foundation is tied up financially.)

If ABIM don't improve their public image soon,these bureaucratic servants of the King with socially irresponsible policies (yes, I'm guilty of modest hyperbole and local vernacular) will soon receive a pie in the face for their overly-compensated politically-motivated history of "diabolical ways and questionable means."

Hear ye all. All who stand before you here today have been caught with sticky fingers licking everyone's frosting like naughty children; and it is time to do public service for it. I never was an exponent of stocks, but rather public service to the poor is much more valuable and useful than public ridicule and humiliation.

Poor Richard
Written for all good Americans on a hot muggy, but bright Philadelphia summer day.

Anonymous said...

Open letter to Lynn Langdon....

Lynn... I have an idea.

Maybe you can redeem yourself and publically APOLOGIZE to Sarah Von Muller MD for heartlessly trying to ruin her life.

No, Lynn, we haven't forgotten what you did !!

Anonymous said...

ABIM and ACCME Announce Collaboration in Support of Physician Lifelong Learning

These two mutually profitable (extremely profitable)organizations have been in collaboration and collusion together inventing new ways to control physicians and take plenty of their time and money since 1936 and before.

Add all the years up and then calculate that deep stream of cash for the medical administrators.
I believe when we compare public servant salaries in government these profligate ABIM ministers of greed do not deserve their excessive salaries.

That is a slap in the face for all of our government employees who administer selflessly for fractions of what ABIM and ACCME executives get.

What is the ABIM really? It has been a political action committee within a testing company fa├žade. You pay for their brand of politics. If you don't see it by now, read everything about Chris Cassel. She is the queen of profligate greed and political ambition. Look at the whole web of organizations she and her mentors have control of.

It is not learning they sell. It is politics. You fund it. You pay for their politics, that is all. When will we learn that horrible fact deeply enough to act?

Every dollar to the ABIM is a vote against yourself against physicians. I vote to spend my money elsewhere on pathways that serve the physician and patient, not organization involved in little more than personal inurement beyond the ethical. They will be proven to be in violation of non-profit IRS tax rulings.

This corruption and collusion will only end when you take the money out of the equation for them. They will not give up their generous cash stream easily.

Your money lined Lynn Langdon's pocket to give her the power to harm you with legal weapons or a bad test, which they never could produce fairly or scientifically. Add all the other names of people they have harmed. It is not a pretty business.

Anonymous said...

The optics suggest that the ABIM may be just a stealth PAC franchise operating under the cover of an exam machine on autopilot maintained by another sketchy franchise, the British colossus Pearson VUE. Word is that the machine is being tweaked to actually start delivering some actual exam performance feeback to give substance to the pretense that this is an educational exercise. But all that aside, just how sharp of a blade is the ABIM's test? Notice how the exam prep companies (some of the newer ones even operating out of smart young tech-savvy docs' homes) now seem to generate practice questions of equal or higher quality, and yet the ABIM insists that only its questions, prepared with excrutiating care by no mere mortals in a bunker deep beneath a nondescript Four Seasons Hotel, can select physicians worthy to deliver care chosen wisely. Well, the proof is in the pudding (maybe the Four Seasons needs a new chef): no less than TIME magazine declared that the US ranks last among 11 wealthy nations in health care quality, despite the fact that the ABIM has been guarding the gate for years. Kudos to this blog for helping us recognize that it's time to rethink the metrics for identifying the sum and substance of those entrusted to wear the white coat.

Health Watch Humor Exchange said...

Health Watch Humor Exchange ©2015
“If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything!”

As the author above says on this blog, the ABIM may be "just a stealth PAC franchise operating under the cover of an exam machine"...

Other News to Chew On…

ABIM and the Need to Supply the Public with Administrative Minutes (Archived and present.)

The European Federation of Internal Medicine supplies its administrative and council minutes freely to the public online. Why does the ABIM not post their minutes on-line as well?

Moreover, EFIM does not support that evil “SON OF SCAM” called “MOC.”
No one would stand for it in Europe. No, they say, to any maintenance of certification hog slosh!

At least for now.

Just be aware the ABIM has been trying to expand beyond the US.
Christine Cassel and Richard Baron were pushing for the EU to have ABIM certification internationally accepted as the most respected achievement of professionalism. Hog slop!

Why? Money.

Did you know the ABIM has been trying to expand their empire around the world. They are spreading Choosing Wisely as well to many countries.

Why? Money.

ABIM even applied for the trademark ABIM International.

I, however, believe we should keep our vital trade secrets at home and not let them out to the world. Otherwise we might fall even further behind in healthcare ranking.

But the truth is our foreign medical partners are smarter than we. I hope they continue to excel in thought and keep the ABIM at bay. That they remain free.

The ABIM has put us ironically in a free-fall with their MOC science and using the ABIM as a political action committee lobbying against physicians.

And hiding that lobbying from the IRS and us. Then lying about it!

That is just not so damn funny to me!

Below you can see how a free and open medicine society posts their administrative and council minutes for all to see. At least for now.