Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Are ABIM-certified Physicians Research Subjects?
I logged on to the ABIM website last evening and was greated by this pop-up screen. It seems the ABIM is in the business of "research" at my expense to "understand how to improve health care." They are mandating that I enter my "practice characteristics" in a 15-minute survey.
Yet I have no idea what the ABIM's "research" entails, I have not been informed how that "research" will be conducted, nor how it might affect my ability to practice medicine, or if my information will be sold to other entities for a price on the basis of the ABIM's valuable "research." Since we know that the ABIM has partnered with companies like Premier, Inc (which just purchased CECity, Inc a subcontractor for the ABIM from 2010-2014) for $400 million, I would like to review the research protocol the ABIM is conducting, the risks and benefits to me for that research, and how my data will be used and protected.
The ABIM should be aware that the Department of Health and Human Services has VERY specific rules and regulations (45 CFR 46) about how "research" is to be conducted, particularly as it pertains to the protection of human subjects like myself who have increasingly found their ability to practice medicine in a hospital setting compromised unless we participate in the ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. We have not been given proper informed consent and, instead, find that this data entry in "mandatory for all Board Certified physicians enrolled in Maintenance of Certification (MOC)." Furthermore, physician's are aware their "MOC status" is being sold by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) via its ABMSSolutions.org website to a whole host of third parties for a fee.
Needless to say, I won't enter this information until the ABIM makes public the "research" protocol they are conducting.
Richard Baron, MD, ABIM President and CEO, needs to explain to all ABIM diplomats why they are ignoring Health and Human Services regulations on the protection of human subjects (physicians) in their collection of "practice characteristics" for the purpose of improving health care.