Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Take Twenty-two Minutes to Learn About the ABIM

My talk given to the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS):

For those who have been following this blog closely, much of this information won't be new. But to those who want the entire depth and breath of the corruption of the ABIM/ABMS MOC program summarized in 22 short minutes, this is a "must see." Learn, also, what can be done to disrupt the MOC re-certification cartel in medicine. The video was nicely produced and incorporates my slides into the video.

Tell your colleagues who might not know this story to watch.

Tell your local news reporters to watch.

Tell your state legislators and health care regulators to watch.

Then ask your friends at the IRS, FTC, and DOJ to watch.

After all, it's one amazing story that touches much of the bureaucratic house of medicine.




Anonymous said...

There is an elephant in the room with the creation of "the MOC threat". The MOC threat is deeper than what the main stream media is reporting.
Through gradualism (boiling frog) we are going under “total surveillance for total control”. We are being surrounded by a digital prison, this, for the sake of a dictatorship of one world government, thus central control. We are under tremendous propaganda and losing most of our freedom of speech, i.e. the tools of political correctness and cognitive dissonance.

Witness number 1: Probably in the 1980's, a California lawyer friend, spontaneously told me an item on how the world really works. My lawyer friend, said, that it was understood, in order to keep excessive (on top of excessive) lawyers out of California, that unless you went to a California law school (he did, a small religious California law school) or a big name law school outside of California like Harvard, you did not pass the California bar. You may have prepared well for the test, but without the right background, a new candidate just does not seem to pass the California bar, this, for power and control reasons.

Witness number 2: Later, a veterinarian friend, probably a story he related in the early nineties, told me, that he took the veterinarian boards for Washington State --where he was trained—and passed; took the veterinarian boards in Idaho and Montana and passed; took the California veterinarian boards and failed. He told me that it is understood, that “they –the powers that be” are trying to keep excessive veterinarians out of the California market. –what? you thought we were freely living in a rational democratic republic? –know there are secrets: in meetings, in powers, and a history of conspiring elite.

This suspicion that there is a control of test results, thus the pass rate, now makes sense in the age of super computers. Like the kind that can do millions of trades in a millisecond—“high frequency trading, when milliseconds mean millions”… This probably allows an instantaneous, real time, following of your computerized exam activity. This can allow a change in the next question via an algorithm, therefore “the system” knows ahead of time, how you are thinking, and what’s probably your next answer, and responds in a non-innocent fashion. Can you say “trans-humanism”, can you say "technocracy"? (“American? boards” (private dictatorship, technocracy dictatorship, corporate “law”, contract “law” ie fascism). (Look at the diebold electronic balloting fraud, which is constantly changing the individual thus popular vote digitally, for control by the powers that be). Your computer is watching and listening to you right now!

And like all secret computerized exams, you never know what you got wrong –the control is tight, learning is harmed. Many private companies have access to EHR data (more than just metadata analysis). There are many books documenting the ever increasing data surveillance for illegitimate control.

My suspicions on MOC were reinforced when I started getting a coordinated mail box full of “pass the boards” “junk mail”, coordinated with my interactions with the ABFM boards. (notice, that one never has to do a “change of address”, the mail digitally follows you). I was also required to jump into my online account to interact with the ABFM, i.e. trans-humanism gradualism. So apparently these private companies had access to my private MOC status information (can you say targeted advertising, can you say crony capitalism, really fascism i.e. Nazism?). Selling knowledge is big business. It is a trap; that is why we’re feeling trapped; and like a boiling frog the trap is tightening. They control behavior through the necessary reward of the money supply.

Charles Koo said...

Thanks to Mike Gold MD and the HRS for releasing an email condemning the ABIM's inability to reform its wicked MOC policy. Where is the ACC statement?

Charles Koo said...

From the HRS
"We got it wrong” was the message from the American Board of Internal Medicine President and CEO, Richard Baron, MD to the ABIM diplomates in February, 2015. Unfortunately, the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) believes not enough has changed in the 20 months following his announcement and ABIM is still getting it wrong. ABIM has eliminated some of the more onerous Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements we advocated for, such as recertification in general cardiology for electrophysiologists and completion of the practice improvement module. However, HRS has repeatedly communicated directly to ABIM that our members were looking for more relevant, customizable, less costly alternatives to MOC focused on continuous learning instead of exam preparation, and they have not responded adequately.

ABIM recently proposed two modified pathways for MOC, either a two-year or five-year exam. Both would be offered via an online, video-proctored, possibly open book, in addition to the continued option of the in-person, proctored ten-year exam. For these modified pathways, diplomates who fail an exam would not immediately lose their credentials and would have the opportunity to pass the next scheduled exam to maintain their certification. No options other than more costly exams with easier access were proposed.

The HRS Board of Trustees concluded these options do not adequately address the expressed concerns or needs of our members. The Board also conceded that ABIM is not likely to eliminate some form of recertification examination despite increased pressure from medical societies and the lack of evidence that they are effective or necessary for assuring quality patient care.

HRS feels strongly that members should participate in continuing education and stay current in the field of electrophysiology. However, the MOC program, as mandated by ABIM, does not meet the needs of our members.

HRS has explored alternatives to ABIM, including offering an HRS certification and supporting alternative certifications, but members have consistently shared that their employer, insurance network or hospital only accepts the ABIM certification credential and they cannot risk a potential loss of their position.

Despite the Society’s opposition to ABIM, we have continued to offer MOC activities and exam preparation as part of our duty to serve our members’ educational needs. HRS's MOC programs are a member benefit and not a revenue source for the Society.

HRS will continue to join other societies in working to try to reform ABIM MOC requirements and explore alternatives.

ABIM has requested that all societies encourage members to weigh in on the modified pathways by completing their survey. You should have received a unique link to the survey via email. You can also access it by signing in to and clicking “Make your opinion count: Take survey about new MOC assessment.” Your feedback is important in easing the burden by giving you and your fellow members options for MOC examinations as long as they are required. We also encourage our members to express their concerns directly to ABIM President and CEO, Richard Baron, MD.

We will continue to reach out to our members for input in developing an HRS vision for assuring continued learning and competency that forwards our mission of ending death and suffering due to heart rhythm disorders.


Michael R. Gold, MD, PhD, FHRS

DrWes said...

Charles -

Thanks for bringing this announcement to my attention. Looks like I might have to pay my HRS dues after all...


Dan Souk said...

Very courageous of you Dr. Wes. I've been following the story since you first broke it and am very glad to see you're getting some real traction. Great work.

Friday exclaiming no more MOC said...

MOC is a priori a form of control through the threat of defamation and the ABIM is the ABMS' biggest bully

MOC is in essence a form of threat of defamation and actual defamation/demonization of physicians who do not take part in MOC. MOC is also a profound bullying technique to get docs to make continuous payments. "Physicians are not keeping up," the ABIM says. "If you are not buying our MOC services and affiliate's products, you are therefore a bad doctor and not keeping up." "We have also shown physicians that if we disapprove of your behavior/business or suspect you of copyright infringement we will violate your civil liberties, take away your due process, demoralize individuals publicly or by the thousands and we will reprimand you by the thousands, sanction you by the hundreds at a time and sue you if you are deemed vulnerable enough." That is how powerful we are at the ABIM." "You are unethical physicians who attended Arora's prep courses for the past twenty years." "You are sanctioned/reprimanded/letter placed in the database, because you failed to report to us what you saw." How can the ABMS get away with this, you might ask. It sounds like the Soviet Union under Stalin and not the USA with our constitutional guarantees.

This is the whole crux and reason for being of the ABIM's MOC program. Defamation and bullying to comply with payment. It is an unfounded and completely untrue statement made against physicians that "physicians are not keeping up." The ABIM asserts that daily self-study and keeping current with state licensure CME requirements are not enough. Richard Baron has even asserted that the ABIM is self-regulation in lieu of the federal government do it. What utter nonsense that physicians are not keeping up and learning every day. If one uses UPTODATE you can earn CME credits everyday.

ABIM has even tried to partner with UPTODATE to further experiment with keeping control of all the study resources materials external to the medical societies' and educational institutions. I'm speaking about the lucrative rush to control the CME market. MOC has a web of dubious support and conflicted partnerships making it a pernicious useless weed in the garden of medicine.

One hand washes another and mutual monetary gain is the required soap and political lubricant for the ABMS cartel to maintain control through MOC and the ABMS/ABIM's political/financial alliances. MOC should be ended immediately as was the verdict of the AMA House of Delegates.

Anonymous said...

The ABIM's "who's who" list of executives has in fact been comprised of government and corporate proxies like Casell, Baron, Wachter, and Holmboe serving private and government political agendas and special interests in both sectors as well.

Because there is no proof behind the statement regarding this false rational for MOC, and no evidence that MOC is beneficial, the ABIM, therefore, violates a physician's right to practice and it violates the patients' right to be seen by a physician. The violations are due to devious restraints and requirements introduced into the patient-physician relationship which ABMS MOC mandates in the useless and costly efforts.

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear about MOC. It is a failed 30-year-old research experiment/revenue generator of the ABMS/ABIM that has only introduced harm and division into medical practice. Greed for easy money and political power were the prime movers behind the ABIM/ABMS' unilateral research experiment called MOC. It has served to ration medicine, because MOC has limited the number of physicians who practice. The ABMS and its partners/affiliates ration medical care through extraordinarily high failure rates and forced early retirements of disgusted docs, physicians who have no time to study non-relevant medical science, some are perhaps good docs but poor test takers, or those who just get burned out from test after test on top of all the other bureaucratic requirements introduced over the past 30 years.

Furthermore, it is also completely untrue that the public demands it. This is in fact a bold-faced lie on the part of the ABIM. The public has no knowledge of the ABIM or its subspecialties. The public does not know the difference between a NP and physician quite often, or a patient does not know the distinction that physicians are certified in medicine and go through profound in-depth training and grounding in medical science.

Moreover, the public has never heard of MOC. All studies done and presented by the ABIM and ABMS in support of MOC have severe conflicts of interest and were self-funded utilizing ABIM employees assigned and paid to do so.

If you do not keep up by participating in MOC, the ABIM/ABMS will put up on their website that you are not participating in MOC and after a time even declare that, although you made all the efforts to be certified, you are now "not certified." This is not voluntary as originally promised and this lie of "voluntary participation" is still asserted by the ABIM/ABMS.


The conflicts of interest at the ABMS alone should be enough to put an end to all mandated MOC and the deceitful usurpation of a physician's lifetime certification.

To end MOC would take the whip and loaded gun out the healthcare equations and ease a part of the burden of being a corporate slave for phycians. MOC is a form of modern slavery. 21st century tyranny and suppression of civil liberties. Try to escape and you will be punished.

Some states have written legislation to abolish MOC. Now we all need to be abolitionists denouncing MOC and its enslavement. We need this movement to end MOC to succeed across the entire nation. The institutions and insurers who support MOC can no longer turn a blind eye regarding the burdens imposed by MOC on the patient and physician.

Freedom is the only solution for MOC in all fifty US states and territories.

Ty said...

No more underhand pitches from the medical societies regarding MOC; hard ball approaches are needed with a hard-ball club with deep pockets and tremendous pitching power.

HRS has not gone far enough. They should call for the immediate end to all mandatory MOC. And they should participate in the push for state legislation to make it stick.

In fact all medical societies should take the AMA House of Delegates' lead in passing a resolution to end all mandatory ABMS MOC.

Plus, to earn anyone's dues, imo, a medical society worth its salt and pitch, should get behind the PA Medical Society's legal team, donate and help investigate the ABIM and ABMS so we can get to the bottom of how and why these self-serving medical boards and conspirators gained so much political power and succumbed to into corporations with such gross financial corruption.

We need a thorough investigation in order to understand how to avoid such evil results from happening again. All results stemming from ABMS' wrongdoings originated with executives without term limits as mandated in bylaws. How did they pervert the organizations and who let them change the bylaws to serve political and profit motives.

We honestly need to know how to prevent these totally unethical and seemingly illegal practices from happening again in the future.

It is imperative to see how all the parts have functioned and worked together at the ABMS and its affiliates. They all appear to operate without regard for physicians concerns and years of stated opposition. Such organizations as the ABIM succeed because they have no oversight and operate in secret. We need a change of culture at the medical boards and a return to sanity. We need a lifetime certification or no society has truly worked in the best interests of the physicians and patients.

Trail of tears/useless MOC said...

How about a link to Charles Kroll's presentation, AAPS attorney discussing legal updates, and the governor of Oklahoma speaking on anti-MOC legislation. Did the governor really show up and speak personally?

Glass chin said...

Great talk, Dr. Wes. Keep on with fighting the good fight. Let's have that beer when we win the brawl with these thugs. I've been noticing the body blows are taking hold and wearing them down.
One tip on boxing with white collar gangsters like the ABIM hires: unless you enjoy the fight and want to go all twelve rounds dancing and hugging--hit em in the damn jaw. Go for the trigeminal nerve with a strong right or land a solid blow to the tip of the chin.

When World's Collide: SOS and PCAST said...

The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Healthcare Reform

Was Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State and the un-appointed Secretary of Healthcare reform from 2008-2013? Given the fact that foreign policy and domestic healthcare policy were both cobbled together badly ending in disaster, what are the real conclusions of these policies and their implementation? The consequences of HRC's foreign policy was division, destruction, chaos and exodus. The ACA, if we assess objectively, has created tremendous division, chaos, destruction, and exodus.
The ACA is in a state of disintegration now. Countries HRC touched are in a state of war and disintegration. Folks say that HRC has carried out her duties for the government with apparent and egregious conflicts of interest involving her Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative, CGI.

Parallel roles of Christine Cassel and Hillary Clinton: secretary of healthcare reform and secretary of medical rationing

Why did Christine Cassel do so poorly as CEO/President of the ABIM and ABIM Foundation? Was it because she was rarely in Philadelphia at the ABIM but was instead dividing her time between lobbying and helping Secretary of State Clinton pass healthcare reform? It is a fact that many of the Clinton administration healthcare advisors and healthcare reform architects were brought into the Obama administration to design, legislate and implement Hillary Care/Obama Care starting in 2008.

It is a fact that under Cassel's leadership the ABIM lost millions of dollars, she put millions of dollars in her own pockets, and was accused of having egregious conflicts of interest by ethicists, union leaders, physicians, patients and lawmakers. Her ruthless attacks on physicians when she slowly transformed the ABIM into a police/surveillance state between 2003 and 2013 turned hundreds of thousands of physicians against the ABIM and ABMS. Cassel even managed to alienate, discriminate against and terminate African American employees. She had an overall horrific record in terms of discrimination against minorities, women, and even pregnant employees. ABIM clients with disabilities, or those holding minority status were harmed by the ABIM and sued the ABIM and Cassel for discrimination and failing to abide by the Americans with disabilities act. Almost all of the cases were settled out of court by the ABIM to avoid media attention and facing a public scandal. Direct appeals to Christine Cassel from employees to intervene in order to mediate the problems appear to have invariably led to termination of the employees who were the victims.

Note: Christine Cassel has worked as PCAST advisor to the Obama White House overseeing healthcare reform and health related issues from early 2009 to present. PCAST and predecessor advisory panels over the past several decades have primarily been involved in scientific issues concerning national security.

FOIA said...

Regarding the PCAST advisor, Christine Cassel: it appears the fox has been in the White House lobbying for special interests.

That is not just my opinion, it is Casell's modus operandi throughout her political career. It is certain that the fox was reforming healthcare and working on the ACA; but it appears she was persecuting physicians big time, while lobbying for the testing surveillance industry. I would conclude that Cassel and her cronies were abusing her power while in the White House. Cassel, ABIM executives and her special interest friends were conducting conflicting business at the ABIM and ABIM Foundation, not only in violating physicians civil liberties, due process etc., but Cassel was serving outside special interests such as Kaiser Hospitals and Health Plans and Premier, Inc.!

We also must include how many NGO's, "think tanks" and "foundations" that Cassel has sway over. Now Kaiser pays her to be a Dean and she continues to be a part of PCAST. What is Cassel really doing for Kaiser's new Medical School and how many hours is she "clocking in" at that job? Is Cassel nothing more than a fox in the White House for special interest? This is a serious accusation and needs a serious investigation. The Little Hen will get gobbled up, Wes.

I find this troubling. Could we get a request going via FOIA for a release of Christine Cassel's emails and government related documents. (Possibly even the ABIM, Kaiser, and Premier e-mails and documents since Cassel's involvement there is certainly related to possible government misconduct/malfeasance. Report to DOJ or other agency.) I believe there may be an abundance of misconduct revealed to the American voter/taxpayer involving many of Cassel's actions, decisions, and "verbal policies".

A FOIA request, if successful, could shed some light on Cassel, Baron, et al and the ABIM. Many people are interested in understanding the nightmarish backdrop that is hidden from view. The president is big on transparency, so it would be good to take advantage of that transparency as far as the White House Office of Science and Technology (PCAST) is concerned.

During her tenure at the ABIM/ABIMF as CEO, Cassel was PCAST advisor/Kaiser board member/Premier, Inc. board member, and so on. The conflicts of interest and egregious misadventures which Wes refers to in his twenty-two minute talk and elsewhere on this blog need fleshing out with greater transparency than the ABIM is willing to provide.

PCAST testing, certification, proficiency questions and possible PCAST members conflicts of interest

Anonymous said...

Interesting to note...

The FBI already has a sample of the shoddy work of Christine Cassel and her PCAST committee. Is it shoddy work full of contradictions and lack of science. Or is Cassel's PCAST work/involvement (and others who thrive on the testing industry and data mining) just blatant examples of unadulterated conflicts of interest and support of special interests in the testing industry. Plus PCAST's forensic science study promoted making sensitive data available to researchers -- forensic data exposed to researchers who may not be vetted properly or who may be harboring their own conflicts of interest.

Cassel has either no sense about national security or privacy laws involving research subjects/data or she is completely conflicted. In addition to all her "blindness" at PCAST Cassel proved she was blind/insensitive toward civil liberties and ABIM policy involving egregious violations against physicians. There is clear evidence that Cassel is more than a suspect involving ABIM overreach and abuse of power.

It all makes one conclude that Cassel (in league with her political/corporate special interest partners) can be characterized so easily as a professional medical bureaucrat -- not blinded by -- but consciously energized by the corrupting forces of politics and money.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO, Doc, BRAVO! I've been following your blog for a few years now and have read every single one on this. I'll be sharing this everywhere I possibly can.

A Day in the Life/Bio of an ABIM CEO and her Cronies said...

Some events are just bad accidents. Other events end up being bad experiences by design. There is another category of action based on cold calculated aggression.

Regarding the ABIM/Medical Board two-step bailout program theory:
Step 1. Invent MOC revenue stream, introduce and implement in stages
Step 2. Create foundation to get "donations" to pay the mounting bills

If the above bailout program is referring to the ABIM, it is partly true, but someone forgot to add the other STEPS:

Step 3. Keep foundation secret and cheat at investing using hedge fund strategies. Any big losses in down markets, sell off majority of assets to hide the huge losses. (Dotcom Bubble) Bring in new political executive - first woman CEO

Step 4. Purge the Human Resources Dept. of honest people incapable of ruthlessness.

Step 5. Buy luxury condo as "investment" for lobbying/"special interest parties".

Step 6. Hire a goon squad to create an ABMS police/surveillance state. Future CEO to take part in destruction of competing board prep companies and introduce ACP MKSAP to new lucrative markets.

Step 7. Utilize your secret police assets to create fear and control. Work with powerful legal arm and police assets' partnerships and testing security parties.

Step 8. Accept White House PCAST advisor role to continue working on HRC's health and healthcare reforms, await announcement. Continue to lobby.

Step 9. Get ex-parte writ from federal judge to seize private property in order to gain access to thousands of physician files.

Step 10. Prepare to demonize, sanction, sue thousands of physicians with powerful internal panel and external legal arm and implement plan in steps

Step 11. PP/ACA legislation passage, struggle and long opposition fight with foes.

Step 12. Send ABIM personal policy advisor to NQF to troubleshoot bribery scandal.

Step 13. Name new CEO of ABIM discovered after conducting a far-reaching "national job search." Utilize testing/security assets and corporate sponsors/affiliates to help create MOC version 2.0 with more onerous pledge, invasion and violation of privacy/civil liberties possible and increased legal liability. Struggling to get compliance and testing fees paid more frequently--keeping the 10-year plan as burdensome demoralizing option.

Step 14. Preparations for launch Choosing Wisely Campaign with RWJF, ACP, and partners. (War in Libya)
Cover-up at NQF. Move ABIM CEO to NQF to deal with escalating bribery/kickback scandal. Launch Choosing Wisely Campaign. (War in Syria)

Step 15. Resign from boards over conflicts of interest and cite "distraction"
(Ukraine conflict with break away republics and annexation of Crimea.)

Step 16. Resign from NQF to become Planning Dean for former "conflict of interest/distraction" Kaiser Permanente. (Middle East, African, EU Refugee crisis)

Step 17. Work behind scenes to patch up a broken/wounded ACA and shore up healthcare reform relationships for Hillary Clinton's shoe-in "re-election" to the White House. (Trump vows to end ACA. Says he will have a good relationship with Russian/China and seek cooperation to destroy ISIS and avoid nuclear confrontation with other nuclear powers. Will seek additional defense payments from NATO allies and others to help pay down our National Debt. Claims there is a defense debt imbalance with other countries under US umbrella.)

Stop 18. Continues to check-in, reassure, and advise ABIM on legal battles involving ABIM employees. Downplay fear of publicity and reassure on partiality of judge who is a old DNC party affiliate and Clinton appointee.

Anonymous said...

FOIA guide for those interested to pursue.

Anonymous said...

"ABMS is the policing/bullying arm of the ABMS."

It looks like ABMS has been involved in "cold calculated aggression" against all 800K diplomates to create MOC.
MOC = maintenance of cash and maintenance of control through the maintenance of chaos.

As the largest member board of the ABMS, ABIM is the "corner stone" or "keystone."

ABIM. Double-Felon's Hypocrisy and BS Expertise Calls it Right on Endemic Philly Corruption said...

ABIM's undisclosed "director of investigations" and unofficial media spokesperson, Ariel Benjamin Mannes, exclaims Philadelphia needs some massive external event to overcome it's deep political corruption.

Let's begin the massive cleanup of corruption starting with the professional medical politicians paid millions for indulging in partisan politics and the "freeloading" police-state thugs protecting these greedy politicos embedded within the ABIM!

How many millions of dollars has the ABIM paid goon squads and dirty lawyers for their shady services? How much of that has been hush money for Mr. Mannes? Is this hidden expense for secret weaponry and strong-arming not just another form of undisclosed lobbying expense? Protection to keep others from snooping around?

Are the reports true that goons were hired to protect the hidden activities of the ABIM and clandestine influence pedaling and lobbying activities going on in DC and at the 2.3 million dollar luxury condo? The excessive ABIM executive compensation is outlandish, but the condo use was certainly more involved than just being an undisclosed perk for executives like Christine Cassel and her husband.

Slush Fund Scandal (COI R US) said...

Philly mayoral slush fund scandal and ABIM's chief of staff

Was former Philly mayor Nutter's Chief of Staff, Suzanne Biemiller, involved in this financial scandal too? Biemiller left abruptly along with two other high ranking executives after several scandals plagued the mayor's office under Biemiller's tenure as policy advisor, project specialist, and chief of staff.

Biemiller now serves as Chief of Staff for the ABIM reporting directly to Richard Baron, MD.

ABIM's Biemiller and the Philly PGW sale

Philly mayor's office has abrupt exit of key officers (ABIM's Suzanne Biemiller)

Anonymous said...

If you lose money you can earn some more. But if you create mistrust repeatedly you might as well kiss trust good-bye. Rich and Chris will never earn it back. The ABIM has crossed the Rubicon of trust. There is no going back. Without trust they have nothing - nada! There is no reason or scientific basis for their "quality assurance racket" to exist. Even the certifications they were minting are essentially worthless today. Maybe in the past, but not anymore. That is what breach of trust does to a company and people who are unethical and live with double speak.

Lucrative opportunities and lots of protection! said...

From humble Iowa sod working as volunteers to "soaking it to physicians" in Philly

It is no longer a mystery why the ABIM moved from Des Moines, Iowa to "Philly".
Most people who have looked at the ABIMF "money laundering" scheme, even in a cursory way, know why the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation was not made public immediately.

They had to wait until the money transfers were complete. And in the meantime they printed a few propaganda studies heralding "professionalism and ethics in the new millennium" for their alibi!

But, moreover, the ABIM culprits had to wait until the statute of limitations for white collar crimes had passed and the period for tax audit/violations had expired.
It is classic!

More ABIM Corruption and Scandal said...

ABIM, a haven for civil rights violators to practice their political (sk)ills on society and hide from justice?


In this posting we explore some of the other kinds of executive "talent" the ABIM hires. This time it relates to having City Hall insiders on the ABIM team who know how to "manage things". In the case of ABIM's newly formed position of Chief of Staff we have plenty to talk about. This position was tailored for Suzanne Biemiller, the former Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff to Philadelphia's last mayor Nutter. The story of Biemiller's past experience links the ABIM in appearances of conflicts of interest, therefore, to years of Philly's City Hall scandal-laden corruption and cover-ups.

The question lingers as to why the ABIM hired a professional politician's Chief of Staff and fund-raiser to manage a certification corporation when both politician (Mayor Nutter) and Mayor's Chief of Staff (Suzanne Biemiller) were both mired in scandal. And the scandals keep coming out and persist.

I would think that such scandal and conflicts of interest would be--in the nomenclature of Christine Cassel--at least given the designation of a real "distraction" constituting the resignation of Biemiller as Richard Baron's Chief of Staff. What's more alarming, apparently even the undisclosed "director of investigations" A. Benjamin Mannes, the double who has 200K files on physicians reports to Suzanne Biemiller, Chief of Staff.

We remember Mannes for "Keeping the Piece" in DC when he brutally...well, read his suppressed news story for yourself in the Washington City Paper:

continued Philly Voices said...

The heart of corruption: ABIM hires a Chief of Staff mired in Philly political and financial scandals

Suzanne Biemiller, Richard Baron's Chief of staff: a recent lawsuit provides insight to many lingering hidden questions about the ABIM and the executives there. It provides further evidence of just how the ABIM operates--not as a non-profit certification corporation providing a service to society--but instead as monopoly and political juggernaut promoting partisan agendas, which keeps much of its financial operations and "Administerial party functions" and lobbying activities secret.

ABIM's Chief of Staff/City Hall/Philly corruption and cover-ups: this time concerning the ABIM's Chief of Staff relating to covering-up the rampant corruption at City Hall during years of "service". The James Foster lawsuit alleges that Suzanne Biemiller (ABIM Chief of Staff for Richard Baron) allegedly had an active role and direct involvement of successfully suppressing the news and information about City Hall's scandals/corruption, and foremost Biemiller had a major role in blocking a viable mayoral candidate, James Foster, from bringing the vast corruption into the forefront of the Philadelphia political debate. Biemiller helped keep Foster out of the televised debates even though he qualified for the scheduled appearances.

How does corruption persist in this country and how does it get covered up? It depends on powerful local connections at all levels. Read the civil rights lawsuit of James Foster journalist/news media publisher/mayoral candidate versus the media, both major political parties, PICA, etc and Suzanne Biemiller, ABIM's Chief of Staff--former Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Nutter who is under fire again mired in a scandal for allegedly misusing city funds for personal use.

ABIM's Chief of Staff was the Mayor's Chief of Staff, Policy Advisor, and Project Manager.

Think for yourself and ask: how do cover-ups occur and does it relate to the ABIM? We all know it does, especially if you believe journalist and former Philly mayoral candidate James Foster who names Suzanne Biemiller, ABIM's Chief of Staff as a defendant in his civil rights lawsuits.

Foster vs. Civil Rights violators involved in covering up corruption including ABIM's Chief of Staff, Suzanne Biemiller as a major player

ABIM's position on Biemiller is mum. (Just like the felon Mannes, nothing is said or done.)

On the ABIM website they cite that Biemiller reports no conflicts of interest with medical companies; yet her whole immediate past professional life mired in political scandal and cover-up is a conflict of interests of the 1st order! That scandal still follows her.

Anonymous said...

"6 Philly politicians tied to corruption scandals since the DNC"

From union bosses to city hall to the State Attorney General's office. From politicians to judges, the corruption runs all the way to the PA Supreme Court.
Is the ABIM next? The influence pedaling has been enormous from Walnut Street and the Ayer Building Condo all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue! Is the ABIM's Chief of Staff, Suzanne Biemiller under investigating for her past roles at City Hall long with her former boss Mayor Nutter?

"The Feds raided union leader Johnny Doc’s South Philly home early this morning and later raided Doc’s Union Pub, IBEW Local 98s headquarters and Councilman Bobby Henon’s office. Henon is a board member of Local 98.

Dougherty is arguably the most powerful person in Philly politics. His connections extend from City Council to Mayor Jim Kenney to Hillary Clinton, whom he met with earlier this year.

There’s more: While Kenney’s office was not raided, the Inquirer reported the Feds are after Dougherty in part because of his union’s involvement with the political campaigns of Kenney and Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty, Dougherty’s brother.

Among the Voices Supressed said...

A fighter of corruption in government dies -- James Foster passes

Special Prosecutor said...

Sample FOIA request and what happens when you need clarifying documents about a case regarding drafts of indictments. Sometimes a simple request is not complied with when the person is named Clinton. Is it fear or power that compels the court to restrict access to documents in order to get at the whole truth? Or is it a strict following of the law? It appears to be unfair treatment obstructing the flow of facts.

How does that same special treatment or obstructing the flow of facts apply to the ABIM when they seek to suppress the deposition of Ariel Benjamin Mannes or a simple newspaper article that is readily available online anyway in a case involving the ABIM? We do expect to see the court records made public in the case of ABIM vs. Salas Rushford vs. ABIM, Christine Cassel, Richard Baron, Lynn Langdon, et al.
Anything less that the whole truth is highly suspicious.

ABIM: Bringing Back McCarthy-era Blackballing Lists said...

Have you noticed how many executives have left the ABIM over the past couple of years. Maybe they saw the legal mess they are in at the ABIM with their continuous wrongdoing. Others just hide and shuffle their feet as senior advisors. The ABIM never made announcements thanking these heavy hitters and potent weaponry for their services. Why is that? I would think that a press release is required by policy to be transparent with its clients who is involved in the management just as the board of directors is announced when there is a change. Remember this is the most powerful medical board in the ABMS.

Among some of the recent notables who jumped ship or are hiding in the crows nest:

Former communications executive Lori Slass left taking a got a job with a PA county seat (government) as communications officer. Slass was involved in Cassel and Langdon's communications with the media and public concerning the investigation and legal persecution of board prep courses and physicians. She was in direct communication regarding these communications with with Christine Cassel, Lynn Langdon, Ballard Spahr, and double-felon investigations director A. Benjamin Mannes concerning these politically motivated and financially-driven operations.

As many physicians may recall, the ABIM and Slass did little communicating and never adequately explained the real motives and intentions behind the ABIM's "unprecedented" actions in Ben Mannes' shady investigations involving illegal surveillance, violations of civil liberties, privacy, and due process. And not to forget being guilty of fraudulently procured ex-parte writ to seize private property. The ABIM representatives and employees even looked in places that were personal and not included in the writ violating the court document. (See Dr. Arora deposition in Salas-Rushford vs. the ABIM.

The ABIM communications officer was directly involved with Mannes, Langdon and Cassel in the defamation, sanctioning and aggressive legal assault that affected thousands of physicians directly and hundreds of thousands "indirectly" in sending a clear communication of political power and financial dependency. Is that a normal thing to do for a certification corporation that could have resolved their dispute with a letter or phone call that would have cost nothing and spared millions of dollars depleted in witch hunts and a revival of McCarthyism in America. Thousands of physicians were "black-balled" publicly and privately with such McCarthy era tactics.

Ransom Money to Pay for the Transparent Reality that... said...

More Misappropriation of funds at the ABIM--even after getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar and big piggy bank?

Another new hire who left fairly recently; perhaps he did not like the job "supervising" A Benjamin Mannes, covering up for Lynn Langdon or the current legal heat:

The new COO, Nkanta Hines--who supposedly replaced Lynn O. Langdon with her decades-long grip on that key position--left after about a year to pursue other opportunities. Nick went to work for an educational institution which has a lot of involvement in ACA policy. The ABIM never announced the retirement of the former COO Langdon who hired the felon A. Benjamin Mannes as "director of investigations."

A question comes to mind. Who really shows up at the ABIM for "work", and who is boss over who at the ABIM, especially after the hiring of Suzanne Biemiller as Chief of Staff, who as I understand manages all the executives and departments and reports to Richard Baron. She is not a physician and knows nothing about medicine.
Or is Biemiller just doing what Christine Cassel did while she got big money from the ABIM for living and working elsewhere. Cassel as we all know worked at the White House and Capitol Hill pushing healthcare reform. And her lobbying efforts on physicians dime, violating IRS laws, are well documented. So, the question is ripe to ask from past transgression, what is a non-medical person doing as chief of staff over all the departments reporting to Richard Baron. Does Dr. Baron and Suanne Biemiller even show up at the office or do they "work from home." For those who don't know court documents tell us that the ABIM has a very generous work from home policy for executives.

And what are they really doing? If the past is a reflection of the present then we must conclude that Suzanne Biemiller is a political operative working very hard for healthcare reform and desperately trying to help Hillary Clinton get elected in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. She is a fund-raiser by profession working for democrats to get elected. So, I think it is fair to ask for actual work records and emails of what these executives are all up to. You really can't trust them as they have a history of misappropriating physicians funds even a full-blown top secret money laundering scheme to pay themselves handsomely and to have a war-chest for("professional") political purposes.

What's that all about? Plausible deniability for Baron and obscuration of liability/hiding out from her past for the Chief of Staff.

Chief of Staff is a new position at the ABIM and it is unclear what that position is needed for. Again the ABIM lacks any transparency about the severe conflicts of interest of this individual hired for their "nice honest face" and facile, "dark-side of the moon" skill at weaseling for politicians and herself involving alleged misuse of city government funds.

And not just Philly's mayoral slush fund scandal, but many other power-brokered behind closed doors deals concerning the selling off of Philly's largest public utility. The chief of staff for former mayor Nutter worked without consulting the city council. And that is why that kind of person is so valuable for the operating style of the ABIM--total secrecy making hidden deals and trying to put gag orders on people and suppression of court documents.


ABIM: From Professional Misconduct to Misappropriation

There seems to be a lot of restructuring and lip-service about change at the ABIM, all done in absolute darkness without a peep given to the clients. This shows the ABIM cares not a whit for the hard-working candidates and diplomates who pay their bills and put-up the king's ransom for the mind-boggling compensation packages. And now we learn of the financially obfuscated 990 tax filings and consolidated tax documents that hint of retirement plans and golden parachutes paid for with off-shore investments in special legally protected hedge funds.

Who is this 7 million dollars for? How about all the past Wall Street fancy casino style investing with Drexel and 1838 Investment Advisors where we discover former CEO's, COO's and CFO's like Benson, Langdon, Strozeski, Kimball and Casell having the slush funds/money transfers to the ABIM Foundation paving the way for these white collar criminals to walk away with fortunes. It was all profit hidden by hiding it from the IRS and then concealing the illegal transactions.

And they got away with it, because like today, they work in total secrecy at the ABIM and ABMS without full disclosure and transparency. They are after all accountable to no one. Not even their own policies and bylaws. The head of the ABMS says they have no oversight. And we now know very well why there is no system of following ethics, professionalism and discipline in place at the ABIM. The rules only exist for their victims and suckers who keep paying their bills and golden parachutes. Richard Baron has a million dollar smile and a nice growing back-pack worth millions more and then it will be his turn to jump out the back of the plane with his stolen booty.

It's not much different than D.B. Cooper who hijacked an airline. The ABIM holds everyone for ransom. If you want to work to feed your kids, better pay up. And by the way you have to give up your privacy, civil liberties, and humanity to felons and white collar thugs like Langdon, Mannes, and the ones who make the books look real good.

Is this all appropriate or is it just more of the same--MISAPPROPRIATION?

ABIM: Suzanne Biemiller Undiscloed Medical Industry COI said...

ABIM's further failure to report potential conflicts of interest with his second in command at the ABIM, Suzanne R. Biemiller

ABIM Chief of Staff, Suzanne Biemiller (age 51) claims no conflicts of interest with any medical company. Biemiller's husband is an attorney for GlaxoSmithKline in Philadelphia. He has worked for GlaxoSmithKline for many years. This should have been disclosed voluntarily for the sake of transparency given Biemiller's top position as Chief of Staff. Chief of Staff is second in rank to the CEO. Biemiller's work there, whatever it is, touches on all departments within the ABIM by the required reporting directly to Richard Baron.
The ABIM Chief of Staff should also voluntarily disclose any investments in GlaxoSmithKline plc she may own. I find the lack of transparency and full voluntary disclosure troubling at the ABIM.

James Robertson McCrae works as longtime corporate counsel for GlaxoSmithKline plc in Philadelphia.

Observation: Suzanne Biemiller's marriage to James Robertson Macrae, who is a key attorney for GlaxoSmithKline America, should send alarm bells off in physicians and in Dr. Baron's head. Given all the other political activities and scandals revolving around conflicts past and present with his Chief of Staff, Dr. Baron should be especially sensitive to reporting all appearances of conflicts to clients and the public. This is a normal policy for semi-regulatory agencies like the ABIM and whatever vetting took place and questions asked those documents should be made available. I consider this to be potentially fraudulent; this non-disclosure of Biemiller's long term family ties with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies is another thorn in ABIM's side. The conflicts of interest policies at the ABIM need to be explained in light of this revelation.

The whole affair smacks of conflicts of interest with both Baron and Biemiller having something to hide. This is yet another example of the lack in the leadership at the ABIM. The most important things do not get done. What are they doing there? And what are they doing with all our money?

It is unlikely that the ABIM Chief of Staff forgot she was married to one of the most powerful attorney's for the British pharmaceutical industry giant.

Anonymous said...

How the appearance of conflicts of interest can follow you to the ABIM
(Mayor Nutter's former interim Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, Suzanne Biemiller.)

James Robertson MaCrae, Suzanne Biemiller's spouse, is not just attorney/counsel to GlaxoSmithKline in the Philadelphia Navy Shipyard offices, he is involved in public policy. That is an even more serious potential conflict of interest for the spouse Chief of Staff at ABIM.

Also of import to consider: Choosing Wisely and the ABIM Foundation and ABIM, as most physicians may know, are housed in the same couple of offices at 510 Walnut Street. There really is no separation. The walls bleed with conflicts of interest today and they have oozed conflicts of interest for over four decades. CW recommendations can affect a large pharmaceutical giant. The ABIMF is closely connected with the NQF, CMS, Consumer Reports, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and NCQA. The potential conflicts of interest should be obvious to anyone who knows these revolving door relationships and the past bribery scandal at the NQF that Christine Cassel and her policy advisor managed to contain.

They used a lot of tap-dancing with the DOJ and verbal smokescreens from Robert Wachter. Cassel in doing so was completely exposed. She got caught with her knickers down over her own conflicts of interest moonlighting at Kaiser and Premier, Inc. She was called out first by a Union Boss, then ProPublica, Senator Grassley, and a large number of "ethics professors" who all went into an uproar about it. Cassel resigned to console the many critics crying foul.

ABIM's Chief of Staff who works closely with Dr. Baron, Suzanne Biemiller should consider resigning, also over the huge conflict with the undisclosed spousal relationship. We have had a surfeit of ABIM/NQF/CW conflicts and scandals. Enough is enough.

Conflicts of interest follow Suzanne Biemiller

While Suzanne Biemiller was working for Mayor Nutter in various capacities, she had the most obvious conflicts of interest in the following relationships: with GlaxoSmithKline, 2011 re-zoning of Philly, a city development project involving GSK, and a couple of prominent architectural firms involved in creating GSK's new space at the Navy Shipyard. The sequence of events and the spousal relationship is telling.

GSK COI continued said...

It all started with a large donation with "no strings attached" . . .

GlaxoSmithKline donates $5 million to Philadelphia. March 24th, 2011

"GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Andrew Witty surprised Mayor Nutter on Wednesday by announcing a $5 million donation to the city, with no strings attached beyond the general hope that it would help young people in Philadelphia."

"Nutter said Witty had not mentioned the money previously, including in a meeting right before Wednesday's event.
'We just couldn't be more excited, and very proud, and grateful,' Nutter said in an interview Wednesday night."

And then there is a promotion for Biemiller as Mayor Nutter's Deputy Chief of Staff . . .

Posted on October 20, 2011 by City of Philadelphia
Suzanne Biemiller to assume position of First Deputy Chief of Staff.

The city project went on for two years, but finally completed and GlaxoSmithKline had one of the best office complexes in Philly . . .

"In April 2013, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline opened a 205,000-square-foot building in The Navy Yard's Corporate Center." Wikipedia

"As a longtime member of Philadelphia’s history, GSK decided to locate their new office in the city’s up-and-coming Navy Yard redevelopment zone. With the heart and soul of the Navy Yard being renewal, locating there makes sense given GSK’s desire to create a healthy and sustainable office space." -GSK brochure

A few supporting documents:

City of Philadelphia, Office of Economic Opportunity
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation
Contract Activity Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2012 Year to Date
Suzanne Biemiller 2012 Mayor Nutter's Office of Economic Opportunity. Page 145 below

Contract Award from PIDC to Robert A.M. Stern Architects $500,000
Architectural firm used for GlaxoSmithKline Navy Shipyard Office Building Complex Project. Page 136
About Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, is founder and senior partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, a 230-person firm with an international reputation and wide experience in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. Working with Liberty Property Trust and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the firm led the design team for the 2004 master plan for the redevelopment of the Philadelphia Navy Yard and then served as design architect for the office building at One Crescent Drive. The firm's work for Liberty Property Trust also includes the design of Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia and a headquarters building for PPL in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Stern is dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

The following document was written and prepared by the Mayor’s Office of Policy,
Planning and Coordination: Maia Jachimowicz, Katherine Martin and
Suzanne Biemiller. (You can see the various projects. GSK office complex is discussed and more.)

Anonymous said...

Other interesting bedfellows with Philly Mayor Nutter contributing to his 2007 Mayoral bid, including Ballard Spahr, Marc Weinstein, Suzanne Biemiller, etc., plus a few names of representatives and judges that were later indicted in bribery scandals as a result of a city-wide sting operation to root out corruption in Philly.

2007 Elect Mayor Nutter Contributions: Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll, Ed Rendell for Governor, Suzanne Biemiller, Robert Stern, Marc Weinstein, State Rep. Ronald Waters, Heidi Siegel GSK, PNC Bank, Michael Kane, Bank of America

Anonymous said...

ABIM/Mannes' madness continued

This ABIM convicted felon, Mannes, has your files and according to his Twitter rants and "smart expert articles" he wants to change HIPPA laws to allow for law enforcement to access patient records/data to quell gun violence. Read further:

•Refine legislation that actually improves the myriad existing, effective laws, which include a requirement for background checks for personal transfers (which could be as easy as the parties of a personal sale going to a gun store or police station to show identification when privately selling a firearm) and immediate legislation for public-safety modifications to health-privacy laws (HIPAA). The HIPAA revision should fund the creation of a state mental-health treatment database, to tie mandatory notifications from mental-health professionals to law enforcement when someone is undergoing treatment for potentially dangerous conditions (to include outpatient treatment when pharmacological intervention is required), who can cross-check files with firearms registration (and requests to buy new weapons).

Physicians should contact their boards and demand that A. Benjamin Mannes be terminated immediately before it is too late. He works for the ABMS inflicting his bullying through the ABIM. The ABIM allows Mannes' severe conflicts of interest of this convict because it serves their conflicts of interest as well. His influence pedaling and corruption must be stopped.

This is serious. Wes knows what he is talking about. And I know what I am talking about. I believe that all 875 thousand diplomates who have been affected by this convict and ABIM bully Mannes would vote to keep him and others like him away from positions of power over physicians and any of our medical boards.

Every physician should read this article about his violence and fraudulent character. He has many fooled or they are just unaware. Inform yourselves quickly.

His CV lies about his past. No physician could work with an incomplete, false CV.
Immediate grounds for termination. Yet this fraud has gone on manhunts for people that have done nothing wrong. It has been and is only to intimidate and keep the ABIM in control. End MOC by ending the greed, conflicts of interest, and total lack of oversight. Stop the administrative insanity at the ABIM.

Legislate in all fifty states for the end of MOC completely and cleanly. No MOC. Period! said...

For those who have not signed the petition and who want to save our Profession from an utterly corrupt ABIM and ABMS, please sign this and pass the word.

If the collective apathy does not eject Rich Baron et al, then all of Medicine is doomed by our political inertia.

Anonymous said...

ABIM, and its illegal and improperly documented "foundation", are two of the most corrupt politically motivated money laundering and clandestine special interest lobbying schemes in the world. They use physicians as their political conduit and unwilling source of financial funding. The executives have accumulated massive wealth and retirement plans, which have been obfuscated through non-disclosure and secrecy to the degree of fraud. Their self-inurement and profligacy, as more facts emerge, is increasingly perceived as bordering on grand larceny and profoundly troubling affronts to the moral codes we live by. The ABIM is contributing little to quality assurance and greatly to ethical and moral decline in the United States.

Anonymous said...

What ABIM has done, monopolizing physician quality assurance markets through means of racketeering and mob-style protection plans and violatory means shocks normal moral sensibilities to the point of disbelief. The fact that they have groomed and appointed exceedingly duplicitous and deceitful executives who used felonious white and blue-collar thugs to do their dirty work is more than alarming, it scares physicians to death.

The lies, deceit, profligacy must end. The strong-arming and defamation must stop immediately. MOC must stop immediately as the AMA House of Delegates so proclaimed in their overwhelmingly decisive resolution and recommendation to end MOC now, not later.

Anonymous said...

MOC is at the heart and core of the lies, deceit and profligacy of the ABIM, ABMS and many other partner organizations such as the ACGME and ACP, and even key financially and politically motivated medical societies.

MOC should not be an item of negotiation between rank and file physicians and self-serving out of touch profligates. Every working physician knows MOC is a money scheme by now. Physicians know it has a negative value in terms of quality assurance and that it does grave harm to patient and physician.

Achieving positive cash flow for the ABIM and ABMS bottom line is not a reason to maintain and continue the MOC mandate. MOC is wasteful and it costs physicians and taxpayers a great deal of money -- billions annually across the boards. This is ridiculously expensive and wasteful.

This waste is especially true when we see that core members of the organization produce little except overhead. Such wasteful executive overhead along with the work at home policy must be eliminated. Political and financial conflicts of interest need a complete revision by writing new policy that actually includes enforcement of that policy with strict disciplinary actions and threat of termination.

Companies like Hewlett Packard, Yahoo and IBM have seen productivity decline in allowing work at home policies. ABIM and the ABMS must take heed. Testing compilers and test question panels should be voluntary by practice and design to avoid conflicts of interest and reign in costs. Voluntary lifetime certification is the only acceptable and logical solution to address the lucrative corporate and political fraud and ever-increasing self-inurement at the ABIM and ABMS.

The ABIM and ABMS umbrella has undermined healthcare and politics in the United States to an unprecedented degree. The ABIM, ABIM Foundation and the ABMS umbrella corporation, along with the inner circles controlling the ACP, ACGME, FSMB, NQF, NCQA, AHRQ, and AMA should be investigated thoroughly and any wrongdoing should and must be punished. The corruption has exceeded anything known in US history and the people are fed up and recoiling inside about it.