The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services took great pride in publishing a video at the end of 2016 heralding all their accomplishments for the year.
We might 2017 bring?
The OIG of HHS should consider reviewing the comments section (pdf of comments here) in response to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) promotional article by Richard Baron, MD and Clarence H. Braddock, III, MD in the New England Journal of Medicine to start their year off with a bang when seeking to root out sources of waste, fraud, and abuse in the US healthcare system.
There should also be a full investigation of the research protocols and informed consent used by the ABIM to conduct research on physicians "to improve US healthcare" and the security measures employed to protect the integrity of the data they collected on physicians. Sending survey results over a non-secure website link (http://survey.abim.org) hardly satisfies even the most minimal data security requirements to protect the information submitted on physicians!
Physicians want (and deserve) answers about this corrupt program and they want it to end, not modified or "improved." Until the ACGME, NCQA, AMA, AAMC, and each of the 24-member boards of the ABMS understands this and takes meaningful action to end this monopoly on our continuing educational system, pressure by practicing physicians to force an end to MOC will continue.
"What might 2017 bring?" It depends on us. Let's stop 'hoping' and start DOING.
From MOC to MACRA physicians have been reduced to being click-clerks forced into practicing ABIM's 'trademarked partisan professionalism' and not medical science.
The ABMS prescribed legislation for healthcare via ABMS-funded professional medical politicians like Christine Cassel, Richard Baron, Lois Nora, Kevin Weiss, et al. Let's investigate this wasteful form of fraud and the highly paid crooks behind it.
New Year's resolution. Let's put the perps behind bars.
The ABIM Foundation wrote the charter for global corruption in the new millennia.
They hired plagiarizing ghost-writers to compose a thin few pages of nonsense and international hype to justify ripping off physicians to the tune of over a hundred million dollars. I am speaking about the Kimball/Strozeski/Cassel heist of 1989 to 2008. This 100 million $$$$$$$$$ is a modest low-ball estimate after taking inflation into consideration.
Christine Cassel, Harry Kimball, Hank Strozeski, and Lynn Langdon institutionalized double-dipping from the ABIM and ABIMF to pad their already hefty salaries, thus depleting the foundation's funds further.
Profound losses from risky stock trading by ABIMF's hedge funds managers eroded the invested profits from physician fees further.
Conflicted payouts to their revolving door partners like the ACP and George Soros ngo's should have been voted down by the board.
And what about the several million that went to ICE? The cold dirty laundry was piled on top of dirty laundry--a dark money fiasco if ever there was one.
And then there is the luxury condo scandal. With the chauffeur--not very tidy of a mess. More millions squandered on CasselGate and Dicky's Dacha. Add it up with the HOA fees, the utilities, bank fees, insurance, bouncer. A bloody financial and moral mess.
Using ABIM Foundation funds to launch and prop up Choosing Wisely is another major financial deceit and political scandal. CW is linked to unintended consequences including but not limited to increased morbidity and well-documented deaths.
Given the ABIM's claims to be completely solvent while maintaining staggering annual losses/deficits in the tens of millions of dollars, it is plausible that the ABIM Foundation accounting may be askew also, unhinged from reality and heavily inflated to cover up the malfeasance, fraud and self-dealing of the boards.
We will not know until we see an external audit from an independent forensic firm or IRS attorneys/investigators who might be curious to take a look for themselves what is really left in the vault after the laundering of funds, undisclosed lobbying, slush funds (if any) and several key officers over the past three decades all walked away with unknown millions of dollars in total compensation, retirement packages, health plan extensions, and deferred payouts.
ABIM, MOC and the ABMS opaque and highly complex finances may amount to one of the biggest billion dollar (annual) Ponzi schemes in the United States right under the noses of the DOJ, physicians who fund it albeit reluctantly, and their representatives on Capitol Hill.
Why ABIM v. Arora Board Review is important to physicians and all who live in America (ABIM v. Drs. Arora, Kachadourian and John Does 50)
What secret deal was made between ABIM and Dr. Arora the director/lecturer of the ACGME-approved board course ABR? Bradley Mittman, of the internal medicine board prep company 'Frontrunners' who was also persecuted by the ABIM/Ballard Spahr in their pursuit of power and money made his legal battle and uncompromising fight to protect his business and clients privacy tangible to the public. He did so by placing his counterclaims and pro se legal actions online.
Why doesn't Dr. Arora speak out of his disgust for the ABIM clearly in a statement as Bradley Mittman did? He can post his ABIM v. Arora Board Review sealed settlement online if he wishes. Or is he still being threatened or gagged legally by the political and financial power of the ABIM and their influential intimidators in very high places of power like Christine Cassel, Dr. Baron and their felonious and very offensive gang of political untouchables?
What threats did they make to this vulnerable old man Dr. Arora who served the medical profession admirably for decades? What gave the ABIM and Chris Cassel the authority to override the constitution and take away his civil liberties, especially his right to free speech and the right to assemble. He was a major victim of due process violations as well. As a clear state actor Christine Cassel personally made sure that Arora was sanctioned, his certification would be revoked and his life, reputation and career ruined. Cassel and Baron also took down Dr. Anise Kachadourian who was accused of horrific crimes against the ABIM. Everything the ABIM and their thugs did violated the constitution and what we know of in this country as decency and moral behavior.
ABIM/ABMS acted like a gang of mobsters using the power and authority of Christine Cassel's political and media connections. These connections include the federal bench, PA political establishment, and DOJ. What is more disturbing is that this crime of the ABIM and Christine Cassel goes all the way to the White House with her special elite appointment to the POTUS' PCAST advisory board.
So, what was the truth in reality. Just the opposite of what the ABIM presented to the public and to the court. Phycians and board prep courses were the victims of ABMS fraud. And we know that none of it should have happened. Cassel could have wrote a simple letter and licked a stamp and had her highly paid staff send it off via ordinary mail. But instead of that simple and proper way of communicating with a colleague, Christine Cassel, a white house advisor, obviously acquired an illegally-obtained writ to enter Arora's home and seize his private property and business records. This is a fact and not speculation. It is the way Cassel got things done through an abuse of power and hiring those she needed to do the job.
A physician fishing expedition resulted and was the intended target (John Does 50) with exponential potential to violate any physician on the planet.
The ABMS and Cassel as their 'big league agent' did what she did (with others) in order to intimidate tens of thousands of physicians' even if it meant to violate their constitutional rights. It was politically and financially motivated. It was a calculated measured attack and well-timed to coordinate with her own motivated plans with healthcare reform and even to get MOC slipped into the ACA. This was coordinated with Kevin Weiss of the ABMS and many others who slyly presented to congress.
This crime perpetrated by Christine Cassel (a POTUS PCAST advisor) opened the door legally for all ABMS certified physicians to be violated in their turn. And such a negative future for docs will occur unless physicians (and their patients) stand up and take a stand against such atrocities done by politically abusers to our freedoms.
What threats did Ballard Spahr on behalf of the ABIM make against this old man, Dr. Arora. They hired a felon ex-cop and a corrupt special attorney to help out with their dirty business. (Both of these thugs were kept secret and worked for the testing security industry to help arrange a highly unusual illegal sting operation.) We all know who A B Mannes is by now. Many of us have heard of Caveon's Marc Jacob Weinstein, one of the lead attorneys in ABIM v. Dr. Arora. If one has not heard of these events, and the underlying conflicted parties involved, you better wake up and read Wes' blog and all the others who have been screaming out for and investigation and justice.
Arora v. ABIM? Why not a counterclaim? Some other thoughts about Cassel and the ABIM's roles in government and the healthcare industry to consider.
Did Arora's passivity in the matter have something to do with ABIM's strong-arming him with outrageous financial intimidation and threats involving immigration status and related concerns for his family? From inferences that I read in court records this may well be true. Were there threats of criminal prosecution that we are unaware of coming from the ABIM's attorneys in talking privately to Arora's
attorney(s)? Their offices and restaurants were just steps away and it is possible that Arora got sold out before he even had a chance to look at the real facts and his legal position. We don't know.
The ABIM is a secretive politically protected chameleon that changes its colors, stories and policies at will. Whatever suits them. If they wish to pretend they have no conflicts of interest, they will try to fool just enough of the docs who have no time to inquire about things.
We do know that Ben Mannes, the ABIM/ABMS director of investigations has shady ties to the testing security industry. This testing security industry, which Mannes is conflicted party involved with, seeks always a greater and greater fool-proof legal writ that physicians or any test-taker must sign. This legally binding contract or pledge, as ABIM calls it, involves any certification or high-stakes exam. This testing security industry wants not just sanctions, but civil and even criminal prosecution added into the test takers' contracts. And this strict rule of law, which has been enforced to the extreme with prison terms, is true for physicians when they take an ABMS test and exhibit irregular behavior of some kind. Caveon, an undisclosed partner of ABIM's director of investigations helped put teachers in prison for discovering, after the fact, so called irregular behavior in grade school testing. Caveon's proprietary forensic 'algorithms' were employed and they detected too many erasures on tests. But the strange thing is the Utah-based company, Caveon (affiliated with ABIM's Mannes) will allow any scrutiny of their 'tools of the trade' to verify the same repeatable results. This is not dissimilar to the ABIM in their proprietary copyrights and MOC. It is hocus pocus without science.
Mannes' company, Caveon with its sister company Kryterion, has been working with the ABMS on the low down. Soon physicians will be subject to criminal prosecution with hard prison. It is already written into the pledges and contracts. It is a war against physicians to further destabilize their independents with more fear mongering and greater/more stable revenue streams coming in. This can happen if Caveon or ABIM's director of investigations will investigate your thumb print, iris to verify your identity, watch your key strokes for irregular activity, your eye movements, and breathing patterns to initiate a physician's criminal prosecution.
And all this is not in the future it is now. Read you contract when you take your certification test and if one engages in any ABMS online testing. (Where is the copy of the actual contract/pledge provided in writing?) The 'pledge' can change to suit the legal whims of the highly protected ABMS or ABIM. This is already happening also in the Salas Rushford lawsuit claiming he violated copyright laws when in fact he most certainly did not. Nor did anyone else violate ABIM's bogus copyrights. Read the depositions and testimony given so far on Doctor's Justice. (Donate to the legal fund as well.)
It is George Orwell stuff that the ABIM engages in with their partners at ABMS and Caveon.
I suspect that Dr. Arora may not be a citizen and was threatened by Christine Cassel (who is literally a state actor) and her team of thugs. Arora also has children who may have been subtly threatened with immigration problems presented if the old doc did not fold to the ABIM and Christine Cassel. As a sworn-in member attached to the White House hired as a healthcare/science advisor to the POTUS/VPOTUS, cabinet and congress. As a PCAST advisor to Obama and advisor to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Cassel has a history of being a ruthless and egregiously conflicted politician bent on creating universal healthcare ala corporate HMO-style medicine since her early days in the Clinton administration.
Cassel was pushing for this even before the Clinton's took office. Cassel pretended to be a social progressive and was active in PSR writing 'treatises' about the threat of nuclear war and how to respond. This meager writing activity (written in a very strange literary style) is suspect as most of what she has done politically is in support of neoconservative warmongering, death with dignity, and severe rationing of healthcare and access--not improvement of quality just cost reductions to support the war machine. Briefly put Cassel engaged in nuclear fear mongering in order to support the neocons' warmongering. Ironically Cassel supports the morbid and intense fear mongering that supports defense allocations, politics, and the defense industries it serves. One formula to remember in bureaucracy. Testing and certification equals control. The ABMS uses on behalf of government and special interests illegal testing and involuntary certification mandates (MOC) as a means of creating absolute financial and political 'control'.
Cassel and her husband were (and are not) "progressive activists" as they projected for decades. They have been quite literally exponents for the military industrial and surveillance complexes. Not just by proxy. Cassel's husband has been a defense contractor or serving the military's defense goals all his professional life. The testing racket is used to pay them a king's ransom. Healthcare reform to control costs was Cassel's (and now Baron's) part to play as a government actors serving corporate masters.
The MOC scam has greater depth than we can fathom without a proper investigation. If we really want to clean up Washington we need to clean up Philly and the Windy City of these public frauds who claim to run a legitimate non-profit business, which in fact may just be a state and corporate sponsored monopoly. It is hard to imagine that duping and deep state fraud of this sort could go on in America, but it does. And the government and corporations involved in healthcare lie about it and protect this vast corrupt system.
To summarize why seeing a copy of the settlement of ABIM v. Arora is so important
Beginning in 2007/2008 the ABIM and their felonious/corrupt investigators and attorneys spied on physicians, invaded their homes and personal lives. They seized private property, put their dirty hands on physicians' sacred property and spaces, and unilaterally declared war on all physicians' civil liberties and privacy. In so doing, the ABMS created a covert war against constitutional guarantees intended to protect people who live in (what we are taught to be) a free nation called the United States of America.
A former Reagan administration deputy secretary of the treasury (non partisan, he served Kennedy as well) writes of false news presented as fact today. It is controversial and disturbing what he says, but the underlying facts of politically motivated journalism check out supporting what he says. It is the same kind of thing the ABIM/ABMS has been doing to physicians--lying.
And everyone wonders why the ABMS keeps lying to docs, manipulating facts just to incredulously prove that docs need to keep spending more and more money on policing themselves. and succumbing to legislation that mandates their 'primary source' CME. The ABIM wants docs to give more and more time of themselves (mandatorily) to support their covert war against physicians.
There is ample evidence to support what Dr. Roberts writes about the nefarious acts of what governments do to control the masses. (Whatever one's politically charged mind believes in it is a fact.) And Robert's has made enough enemies to get him blacklisted from the MSM and included in the list of 200 fake news sites.
So, what do you think? Is the government often just lying to us? Why, to what aims? (From the Gulf of Tonkin's feigned attack and resolution to Saddam Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction and the resultant war in Iraq.) Why are the intelligence agencies not speaking objectively, but seem to be cherry-picking facts or even inventing them.
In parallel, are physicians being demonized by ABMS propaganda--demonizing images and even legal actions that physicians have paid for themselves? And still pay today. If it is true (and I'm afraid it is) what has been done to physicians, consciously and by design, is one of the greatest travesties and miscarriages of justice I can think of short of actual murder. But it is a death by slow torture and a thousand paper cuts, because we observe that physicians are leaving the profession in droves, or never entering the profession. Moreover, there are no actual data on what the quality measurement bureaucrats are actually doing to the health, well being, and longevity of professional healthcare practitioners.
As someone asked, "who is watching the watchers?" One needs to get a cease and desist order on the ABIM's nefarious actions and harmful activities. MOC is a good place to start, but it can't stop there.
There needs to be a sweeping investigation and full seizure of everything at the ABIM by the DOJ, OIG, IRS, ATF, HHS, CMS. Hit their affiliates at the same time. Lynn Langdon, former COO, now a special activities senior advisor to Richard Baron may have to retire the evidence before she can retire, so you better hurry if you expect to get there before everything that could be of interest is blank, gone or smells like Mr. Clean.
Already the DOJ's secret elite listening group has intercepted several calls and emails originating from a nice corner office on the ABIM's executive floor suites about the patented product "bleach-bit". The code words in the telephone conversations and emails to watch out for and flag are, "does bleach-bit works to remove digital stains?" Does it really work to "remove sweat stains on work-from-home white collars?" Finally, does "bleach-bit" have a heavy duty cleaning cycle to remove any traces of "recoverable dirt" from the "spinning digital pots" and newer "solid state pizza pans?" And can "bleach-bit" cure any "digitally transmitted diseases" from a previously owned remote site?"
Thank you for all you do. I was forced to take the MOC test or lose my job . I passed and I felt the test was not relevant ! It's truly not voluntary . MOC needs to be end. CME is the answer . My hospital won't accept NBPAS so this is very frustrating ! Hoping 2017 will be the year !
You are a patriot. Keep up the good fight. Over . . .
The ABIM is in uncharted dangerous waters. The flagship of the ABMS is going down. The ABMS mother ship and entire fleet are taking water because of their corruption and piracy. What flags do their ships fly? The skull and bones?
ABIM is a self serving Democrat party ngo comprised of unvetted executives, officers and staff who craft Democrat propaganda and unvetted medical science. They have a history of money laundering, racketeering and investing in unvetted high-risk hedge funds and unvetted offshore accounts. They do so to fund their lifestyles of luxury, but especially their passion for partisan political activism. It is not surprising that they do not hire vetted experienced non-partisan physicians to run this political ngo. Instead they hire a PricewaterhouseCooper 'Wall Street financier' as their unvetted 'Chief Medical Officer'. They hired a former Democrat mayor's political hack (running from scandal) as their unvetted 'Chief of Staff to run the show. A clever move by the CEO to distance himself from operations for legal reasons. It is also not shocking that their self-vetted former Democrat chairman of the board (who claimed they made a nationwide search for the new CEO) personally groomed their own key CMS Democrat operative for the top ABIM position along with the former self-vetted Democrat CEO and self-vetted Democrat COO. All this happened behind closed doors in the dark without a speck of transparency. It was completely conscious and by design that they sought out and hired an ex-cop felon 'thug' to be their 'director of investigations' to spy on and persecute physicians. They had to have at least one executive officer with 'class' and 'integrity' to blame things on when things went south. They knew he would take the risk and take the fall. But things could not be any worse for the ABIM at this point with calls for IRS audits and DOJ investigations. In hindsight it was a very cunning move of Christine Cassel, Robert Wachter, Lynn Langdon, Richard Baron and their handlers to make a double felon their designated patsy. The executives and their handlers are ruthless pretending to protect everyone, but they don't have enough fingers (resources) to hold back the water leaks sprouting up everywhere. Someone is going to end up plastered on the wall of shame. They have run out of options. Strange that in a sweep of the entire organization and their personnel, the ones with the most integrity are the phone people and their administrators. Next in line with quite a bit more integrity than all the executives combined is their 'non-partisan' convicted felon. Let's see how the drama plays out in real life. In reality politicians can seldom be redeemed and do anything good. Politicians are not real public servants like a dedicated fireman, or a good flatfoot who actually protects people.
The ABIM is obviously a highly politicized for-profit corporation. Their zealous political activities, lucrative self-dealing schemes, and excessive self-inurement are disallowed under IRS rulings. Under the ABIM's unethical self-appointed regime nobody can believe a word they say.
It is so embarrassing to observe how Dr. Baron and Dr. Braddock have turned into corporate sell-outs and political shills. It is painful. The money these ABMS-groomed politicians and their cronies make (especially for the harm they do) is outrageous.
The above NEJM article written by these two notables in medicine (Baron and Braddock) is such a shameful ruse. When are they going to be honest and fair with everyone and end MOC as a mandatory lever aiding and abetting the illicit politicization and monetization of the ABMS. The lies and sham are beyond belief. It has gotten to the point that nobody can in good conscience pay the ABIM or work with them.
In fact the entire ABMS is so politicized and deceitful it's difficult to understand why the "quality assurance umbrella" and their failing cabal has any clients left at all.
You want to believe in humanity, but what these self-appointed executives have done has destroyed it; and they have destroyed the trust so integral to medicine. I ask myself, are they so far gone they can't see it?
There is no quality assurance in what they do at the ABMS if they can't change. Ending all mandatory MOC is a big part of that necessary change. What good is the ABMS if they've destroyed the primacy of trust. The certification test, MOC, and everything they do in their "high stakes" game becomes worthless then.
The trademarks of the ABMS are broken. But I'd like to believe in the future; I'd like to believe that there will continue to be trustworthy, independent thinking men and women of conscience participating in life who are not.
Update: new potential political/financial conflicts of interest at the ABIM involving their felonious "director of investigations, A Benjamin Mannes. A new critical infrastructure designation by the White House (affecting the DHS/FBI/InfraGard, etc.) will claim federal jurisdiction over elections and election facilities. Election facilities and machines will be considered to be 'critical infrastructure' under the protection of the federal government protection agencies.
Mannes is a 'governor' at InfraGard and 'director of investigations' at the ABIM/ABMS. He is also a testing security spy/manager for Caveon. This poses as clear conflicts of interest by itself, but now with a highly politicized financially corrupt corporation such as the ABIM with 'a man on the inside' it opens the door wide for further abuses of rights, privacy and political tampering. It increases the risk for a strengthening of the ABMS monopoly, racketeering and other financial and political wrongdoing.
Background: Mannes was somehow appointed to be a governor of InfraGard. We don't know how, whom or by what authority. This is suspicious, just as it is unfathomable why Mannes received extremely light sentencing for Mannes' two felony convictions, which for a normal man or woman would have been several years in prison. He got a fifty dollar fine and a year probation, with a third charge of aggravated assault plead away for a guilty plea. But the controversial shoe may fit well on Mannes. InfraGard is a highly controversial and questionable NGO with great potential for federal power and influence to be corrupted and abused. InfraGard is an FBI/DHS related organization with chapters all over the country. It is a private affiliate charged with helping protect our critical infrastructure.
Federal agencies and their agents are involved in this process as well as private individuals in influential business or other lucrative parts of the private sector. InfaGard's finances are obscure as are the leaderships'/members' financial conflicts of interest. Some InfraGard executives give themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars to run the national offices. Local InfraGard 'volunteers' may enhance their "profitable security business" by taking advantage of being a key executive officer. (Finances are hard to discern with lax reporting requirements.)
The FBI will not answer questions about its national affiliate InfraGard. Contacting InfraGard directly is greeted by a wall of silence or no response at all. This does not come across very well and make the public feel very secure that their constitutional rights and privacy are not under attack or at least made extremely vulnerable at any moment from InfaGard's financial invisibility and transparency about what they do and who and what they focus on as potential targets of surveillance as threats to national security.
InfraGard, Mannes and the ABIM seem like a good fit in their capacity for opaqueness, hidden relationships, and financial obscurity. Mannes at the ABIM/ABMS, and Dr. Baron's potential access to private privileged data poses a potential threat to national security and further violations of conflicts of interest laws and policies governing designated non-profit organizations.
At this point the ABIM is virtually a self-designated not-for-profit as the IRS has not scrutinized them at all for reasons that are baffling. Mannes' relationships with InfraGard, the ABIM/ABMS and Caveon are a smack in the face/reputations of each of these organizations, because of Mannes history of criminality, constitutional violations/ antics, and copious conflicts of interest.
Here's the latest political and financial rub for Mannes/ABIM/InfraGard/Caveon.
President Obama has just federalized state election machines and facilities. Unless this action is overturned, this means the ABMS has a man on the inside (director of investigations) "protecting our election infrastructure" in the key swing state of Pennsylvania and wherever else his cronies dwell. Unbelievable that a violent convicted felon (ABIM's Mannes), who has a firearms conviction (illegal possession of a loaded handgun) and impersonation of a police officer on his record, was placed in such a vital position as 'governor' of InfraGard Philadelphia, and nobody is screaming about it.
This absurdity of appointing a convicted felon with a horrendous record as a police officer shows how well-connected/corrupt the ABIM/ABMS, testing industry, and their state actors in the White House actually are. (Christine Cassel, ABIM's former CEO, for example, is currently a PCAST advisor to the president, traditionally a national security position.) Read the article below about the federalization of election machines, etc., putting state elections facilities under the jurisdiction and watch of a 'self-proclaimed terrorist specialists' like ABIM's two-time felon, A Benjamin Mannes.
It is frightening enough that Mannes has access to physicians records all over the globe to potentially do more harm/persecution, but now through InfraGard, as a 'governor', he has access and potentially influence over our 'critical election infrastructure'. This is all the more critical, because we know that the ABIM/ABMS is a well greased political machine. This and all the other conflicts and scandals need to be investigated and addressed. Mannes, who has far too much power than I am comfortable with should resign, as well as all of the officers and executives at the ABIM.
The new POTUS needs to overturn this designation of election facilities as "critical infrastructure", which erodes the states' independence and sovereignty. It opens it up to influence and fraud from within our own borders. The ABIM and Mannes is the poster child for illicit political influence and financial fraud.
Article: DHS designates election systems as 'critical infrastructure'
The ABIM/ABMS has been engaged in 'routine destruction' of documents, many of which are incriminating to the organization, its executives and officers. Along with their various partner organizations like the AMA and ACP they can be prosecuted. Whistleblowers can receive a percentage of any government settlement with this criminal multi-billion dollar industry. ABIM/ABMS activities are just the tip of the iceberg of the outlandish graft and racketeering schemes being practiced at will in the "quality assurance racket." With the incoming administration in DC, there will be a period of vulnerability for the ABIM and their affiliates.
Individuals who have been harmed by this network of profiteering medical politicians and their respective organizations may receive substantial recovery amounts from this disgraced industry and its vast associated network of high stakes players.
ABIM is a highly politicized Democrat party PAC and lobbying NGO. IRS should be interested to know about the decades-long political activities and appointing of Democrat politicians. It has been a consistent pattern of partisan agenda and appointing/financing key individuals who influence Washington and state politics. All paid for with physicians exorbitant fees.
We know about Christine K. Cassel and her conflicts of interest, political activities and leanings, but here is Richard Baron's political voice and money published by open secrets - the bulk of his compensation to fund Democrat party candidates came from milking physicians and taxpayers of their hard earned dollars.
Open Secrets puts Bob Wachter, former chairman, director, 20/20 committee principal, and trustee of the ABIM as actively donating to Obama and Clinton's campaigns. We knew that he was a professional Democrat party medical politician. But it appears Hillary Clinton did not garner much support even from Bob Wachter. (Btw, many of us concerned about the politicization of the ABMS are Democrats.)
I'm afraid the're all corrupt and compromised.
I see reason for hope if we all work together to end the bureaucratic nightmares imposed on us. MOC and its machinations must go immediately. MACRA just another monster that came out of the darkness of the vile swamp.
Wow, "dr" baron has an interesting variety of employers listed on his opensecrets page. Also, a whole lot of $$$ donations to ACP services - The PAC for ACP. Interestingly the ACP Services website states that Pennsylvania is the state with the highest amount of donations. Hmmmmmm - is that all coming from ABIM? Is ABIM funneling money to ACP for the purpose of lobbying and funding candidates? Makes it very hard to swallow the idea that the ACP is truly working for our best interests with regards to MOC. Oh but wait, they (ACP) profit from it too don't they?
Another prominent Doc not participating in MOC
One of the political candidates Richard Baron and his partners backed (even Ballard Spahr) was US House of Representative Allyson Schwartz who was a key Democratic representative who pushed for and worked on key parts of Obama Care. Schwartz worked in healthcare administration for year before going into politics. Allyson's husband is a cardiologist in PA. Dr. David Samuel Schwartz who is double board certified cardiologist, but does not participate in MOC. And why should he with a grandfathered status. Certification should be for life as it is for this well respected Pennsylvania physician. Allyson Schwartz recently ran for governor of PA but lost in the primaries.
Maybe Allyson Young Schwartz could speak out about the public fraud at the ABIM and support other physicians all over the country in calling for an end to mandatory MOC. (Maintenance of Certification.) I'm sure that Allyson does not view her husband who does not participate in MOC as an inferior physician. Neither Allyson or Dr. Schwartz patients condemn him for doing focused CME. And nobody condemns Dr. David Schwartz for "not keeping up," as Baron puts it, just because Representative Allyson's husband chooses not to bother with the onerous demands and ridiculous costs associated with the unproven and harmful MOC.
Allyson Young Schwartz as a US representative from PA was one of the first house member to speak out against Anthony Wiener who 'exposed himself' online, calling for Wiener's resignation in 2011.
Perhaps Dr. David Schwartz and Allyson Schwartz would exercise the same moral prerogative with a condemnation toward MOC exposing maintenance of certification for the shameful money scam that it is.
When is Dr. Baron going to get together with his colleagues/peers in condemning MOC and be the first CEO of the ABMS to be on the right side of facts and history? Rich needs to stop what he is doing and saying now and do something before it is too late. Time is running out for the ABMS. It grieves me to watch Rich and Clarence Braddock carrying on asserting value where there is none; we all see only the imposition of ABMS products that do great harm and little good. MOC's relevancy is not just a false projection propounded by Baron and Nora, et al, it is an example of what could be viewed as illegal coercive regulatory capture.
The ABIM/ABMS is pushing fake beta-version products on physicians and everyone knows it. There is little science in the "Houses of Quality Assurance," because most of the physicians fees end up in the executive's pockets, golden tax deferred accounts, and jaw-dropping pension plans. (To think they did this all for free before as a volunteer.)
And they want more money. To make it so, they have been paying lip service to change and at the same time scheming with third-party vendors who will innovate their way into physicians homes.
Once in, you will be forced to sign their pledge and be watched-over by fourth-party vendors who will watch you for irregular behavior, depending on how well they are trained. These unvetted strangers will subvert and invade your privacy and diminish your civil liberties. That is the future today. They won't let go of their headlock on physicians. They will make it more comfortable so you can have them put you in a headlock from home and take over your computer for the day of the test.
These discussions, plans and preparations are occurring with undisclosed testing security firms and online proctored testing companies. These meeting are often taking place behind closed doors. These new and clearly unsafe technologies will take over your lives; the ABMS wants your money because they need to maintain power. Just sign here digitally.
This Orwellian vision they have for the world is being funded by physicians who are not free to choose what is the best CME for them. The "quality assurance" market has been reduced to one monopolistic stall where physicians have been hypnotized into belief in a false science where it is the one and only science. Blinders are placed around the eyes and their 'spines' have been pinned back. "You must eat with us," they say, "or you will not eat at all."
But we all know MOC is wasteful distraction for physicians keeping them from patients. It thwarts a relevant focused study for them. This is potential harm for patients to have distracted and unfocused study; it is coerced on their physicians by an organization which has its ethics and science upside down. Such unethical and unscientific demands as the ABMS imposes are demoralizing, because everyone knows better. As a result it create a tremendous drag and loss of force. It is time for physicians to empower themselves and find their way home so they can find can sustain knowledge and profession with dignity.
What the ABMS/ABIM imposes is undignified. The founding physicians/leadership of the ABIM, ACP, AMA would be disturbed at the terrible situation. In fact if you care to listen, they are knocking against their graves.
MACRA IS ANOTHER CHEAP SHOT MANDATE THROWN AT PHYSICIANS BY POLITICIANS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WHO SOLD OUT TO SPECIAL INTERESTS (OR WERE DUPED)
The end result will be wasted time creating less access to care, which all equates to seeing fewer patients and less patient contact time. The insurance companies and ACOs love the reduced payouts and rationed care. The outrageous MACRA mandates, unless the idiotic reporting requirements are reversed, will not only create lower quality of healthcare (less time to focus on patients relevant needs) but will eliminate the last vestiges of private physician and smaller to medium-sized group practices in America. This is criminal and will harm patients, especially because more doctors will leave the profession due to not having enough time to actually treat a patient's actual complaints and healthcare issues. Tell me that will not lower quality dramatically. The NQF/PQRS/XYZ/whoever/whatever they are are living in a time capsule with a warped sense of reality doing harm to medicine just like MOC.
The threads are coming into focus. It's a web of deceit.
Wow! Eight hundred fifty-thousand docs dangling.
The ABIM/ABMS and their ilk have all the power and few moral boundaries.
The job pool at the ABIM includes the highest paid employees in Philadelphia's city government with ties to close ties to former Mayor Nutter's office. It includes a felon with two convictions to police over physicians and investigate them! This cannot continue.
This is more than strange what is happening at the ABIM. The years go by and the ABIM gets worse not better. The lies compound. The promises get more unbelievable each week that goes by. Look at the position of chief of staff and what the ABIM is trying to cover up. Endless cover-up at 510 Walnut Street and their advisors/risk managers. Why the endless lack of direct talk about anything that matters? Only lip-service, window dressing, and laundry service happens at the ABIM.
Suzanne Biemiller, ABIM's apparent dis-avowed chief of staff, never appeared on the 990 tax filings--at least the ones that have been released so far. Will they come clean on her compensation and bonuses. ABIM paid an undisclosed amount of compensation to Suzanne Biemiller; then her employment with Dr. Richard Baron CEO/President suddenly terminates without any announcement or warning to the public and physicians. This is unethical; very troubling for the "quality assurance markets" as well. Ariel Benjamin Mannes, the director of investigations never has appeared on 990 disclosures. In fact they do not even admit that he exists. The have even quashed his court deposition from appearing in court records. Why! What has he done? What has the ABIM done they are desperately attempting to hide?
Look at the ABIM objectively. How can the ABMS be trusted when they refuse to hire physicians to oversee the operations, but instead ABIM brings political operatives onboard. It's no wonder the ABIM has a tough time disclosing conflicts of interest. Christine Cassel was the queen of conflicts of interest. She was not properly vetted. Now the ABIM is hiring another key executive with the name of Cassel--a politically active person involved in Philly's city government working behind the curtain. Another candidate from the office of the mayor and its sphere of influence.
What has the ABIM really been doing all these years with physicians money? They need to be investigated thoroughly along with the entire multi-billion dollar for-profit industry they are involved with. And the political activities. The propaganda the partisan platform support. The support of partisan candidates.
Baron is political. Wachter and Casell highly political. This created/creates huge problems of trust and questions that the ABIM is even focused or involved at the executive levels on quality assurance. It all sounds like lies to most observers. The ABIM appears to be a façade for high finance and politics. To underscore this point, now we get another politically charged chief of staff for the newly-minted position. Chief of staff positions do not exist in the ABMS anywhere before 2014/2015. Professional politicians and politically ambitious bureaucrats do not belong working at the ABMS.
There is a great deal the ABIM and Baron are not telling us and it shows in his eyes whenever I see him. Twisted zealous politics creates a twisted fanatical psychology and vice versa. Nervous, disharmonious movements cannot be hidden from view so easily. The ABIM and ABMS needs to thoroughly and forever de-conflict. Medical science should be apolitical and free of such excessive financial inurement. And the ABIM should de-conflict itself permanently by hiring actual physicians (even volunteers for certification tests) to oversee the ABIM as it should be. It does not take that much money to create certification tests.
ABMS is a billion dollar industry. How did we get here? Personal greed and political conflicts. This needs to change now. MOC, which is a highly illegal racketeering enterprise, should end immediately.
Rather than hiring felonious police-thugs and conflicted politician "chiefs of staff" to fear monger and manipulate physicians with regulatory capture it would be better to find honest non-conflicted physicians to run the ABIM. Enough is enough. Baron should step down and take his thug and political advisors, and dirty attorneys with him. Fire Ballard Spahr and end the persecution of physicians. End the propaganda machinery and its digital presses. End the bullshit that burdens and demeans the profession of medicine.
The public does need disclosure, because the ABIM is so vital to their everyday decisions as patients. If the ABIM does not fully disclose information about itself, how can their information about their certified physicians be trusted. In fact there is little the public and client can trust involving the ABIM. We don't know what Suzanne Biemiller was even doing at the ABIM for two years leading up to and during the 2016 campaign season.
We know from "OpenSecrets" that ABIM donated a bundle to Hillary Clinton for president and other Democrat party candidates. Biemiller contributed personally. And Ballard Spahr, ABIM legal counselors/attorneys, were very intimately and financially involved to the point of hosting the Democratic convention. Ballard Spahr's principal Ed Rendell, former governor and former Philadelphia AG, was head of the host committee.
Questions about ABIM's conflicts of interest and disclosure policies???
Judi Cassel, the unannounced replacement for Suzanne Biemiller (chief of staff) and apparently Donna Campbell (Director of Human Resources who's employment terminated unannounced by ABIM in December 2016)). ABIM failed to mention her employment in a press release. And they failed to mention an important detail of Judi Cassel work history. Cassel was special assistant to Rich Negrin. Why did ABIM fail to mention this? He was the Philadelphia City Manager under Mayor Nutter. Negrin, a Democrat has announced his bid for Philadelphia District Attorney 2017. He is a very politically charged individual working for a highly political law firm currently.
This is an important detail as Judi Cassel did work with Negrin as a personal assistant for quite some time and has a close relationship. This represents a clear conflict of interest for many reasons. Many believe the ABIM is a for-profit/non charitable organization and is not paying its fair share of tax to the City of Philadelphia. The Democratic Party lineup at the ABIM just gets more unbelievable as we discover more details of the inner workings and history of the organization.
Cassel and Negrin have close ties to the Nutter administration as did Suzanne Biemiller. Negrin went back into private practice. Nutter and his cronies have been under investigation for misappropriation of funds for personal use. Nutter denies any wrongdoing.
Philadelphia Managing Director's Office, Agency overview
Annual budget US$81.2 million (2015)
Agency executive Richard Negrin, Managing Director and Deputy Mayor for Administration & Coordination
Parent agency Philadelphia City Council
"Negrin is the third Democrat to announce a challenge against embattled two-term incumbent Seth Williams. He served in former Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration from 2010 to 2015, before leaving to become a partner at Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, a politically connected Philly law firm."
ABIM has this "unannounced" new addition to their executive leadership. Why no press release? Why is Biemiller a terminated item only to be replaced by another city government staff member with ties to Biemiller, Negrin, and the Nutter administration? What is going on?
Rich Baron via his "communications officers" tells us that the conflicts of interest disclosures will be forthcoming. You'd think that will tons of communication capability that the ABIM could send out two press releases and update the profile to include important details concerning conflicts of interest.
"Judi Cassel, MPP, Chief of Staff
Ms. Cassel works within the President’s Office as the Chief of Staff of the American Board of Internal Medicine. In that role, she has direct responsibility for overseeing ABIM's Human Resources and Governance sections. She serves as a key representative of Dr. Richard Baron, ABIM’s President and CEO, and helps to develop and implement ABIM’s programmatic goals, including the creation of a new assessment pathway. Ms. Cassel also supports communication among all of ABIM's leadership team members, chairing the Senior Executive Team. Additionally, she acts as liaison to outside legal counsel and serves as ABIM’s Chief Ethics Officer.
Before coming to ABIM, Ms. Cassel worked for the City of Philadelphia as Project Director, OnePhilly, where she led the $40 million transformation of the City’s human resources operations, which serves more than 28,000 active and 35,000 retired employees. She also served the City as Chief of Staff to the Finance Director, where she helped to lead the City’s financial operations and set financial strategy for the City. Prior to that, Ms. Cassel served the City of Philadelphia as Chief of Staff of the Department of Human Services and as a Deputy Managing Director. Earlier in her career, she was Deputy Chief Strategic Planning Officer for the School District of Philadelphia.
Ms. Cassel graduated from Dartmouth College and has a master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She also completed a fellowship at the Education Policy & Leadership Center in Harrisburg, PA."
Mayor Nutter helped Clinton in 2008 and 2016 in her failed presidential bids. It was rumored that former mayor Nutter would be given a key position in Clinton's administration in 2017 after she won the election. It is fascinating to see two political survivors of mayor Nutter's scandals going through the ABIM revolving doors at the same time without so much as a peep from Dr. Baron about it. This rouses my suspicions further regarding what they are up to at the ABIM and what they are hiding from physicians. Reading between the lines it is clear that ABIM cannot hire normal direct honest people to do the kinds of financial and political deceit Baron, his "elected" board, council, and cunning hires are involved in. It is also clear that there is palpable concern that someone will go outside their trusted "family" and talk about it.
Quietly, hoping no one would notice what it all was about, one chief is in and her friend and ally is out. No one would suspect a thing. It is surprising that for years no one bothered to take a close look inside the "house of cards" lifting up the lid until fairly recently. (Wes Fisher revealed the condo and financial deception and much more.) For decades this deceit has been happening in the dark.
Now a great deal is known. A spotlight has been placed on the ABIM. More and more has been exposed and the cards are blowing away one by one and two by two. Baron and his cronies are exposed to the cold winter wind--the winds of strong criticism and direct questions coming at them from all directions which they cannot afford to ignore.
What has been going on at the ABIM and ABMS cannot continue.
sounds like ABIM is buying political influence by hiring the 'city of philadelphia' MDO... and maybe gonna do something in human resources to beef up those retirement funds for dr. baron.... before he goes to grand cayman to collect his offshore investments.... when he liquidates his lucrative position with the ABIM....maybe he'll do a lynn langdon at that point...keep drawing a senior advisor's paycheck while he gets his abms pension and deferred golden parachute in bermuda shorts and sunglasses sipping a cool one after a nice swim
So the ABIM has merged with the philly mob and the 'democratic party'. You're just now figuring that out? Maybe the next step is to diversify and get some republican mobsters involved. But then that's why they have the ABMS in Chicago to make sure it's a bipartisan rookery of crooks.
Pay to play? Etu ABIM?
Which Philly managing director was Judith Judi Cassel a personal assistant to? I think it will be a long time before this 'novi Cassel' can be vetted and Dr. Baron can reveal all the actual and potential conflicts of interest. There are too many past city criminals (alleged, indicted, and convicted) she has worked with.
Ms. Cassel represented the city at PICA meetings. No mention of that in her ABIM credentials because the potential conflicts of working for the city managing director and mayor's offices are too rife with conflicts and pay to play to even fathom for an outsider.
Suzanne Biemiller was chairperson for PICA even while working for ABIM. She was involved in pension funds. The sale of Philadelphia's huge gas/electric utility was orchestrated by Biemiller. The sale did not fly because the city council was not informed at all of the dark dealings and dark money on the form of undisclosed bonuses that were offered to utility company executives if they went along with the sale. The future of the mayor's pension and other municipal/city workers like Biemiller and Cassel was in doubt from deep debt/low performance of investments and the sale was needed they said. It would bolster city coffers and the pension fund. Mayor Nutter, Biemiller and Cassel's boss now gets 142,000 annually as a pension from the city for life. And that tidy package can be passed on to family under certain conditions. Did anyone even consider why Biemiller left mayor Nutter's office early? Why did Baron suddenly need a 'chief of staff'?
The pay to play which is rampant in Philadelphia is part of the culture. When is Philly going to change its culture? When is ABIM going to change its culture?
I though Rich was being paid the big bucks 800k because he was supposed to be politically smart, not politically dumb.
What was Biemiller doing at the ABIM as chief of staff? Someone pointed out that her term at ABIM coincided with the 2016 campaign season. She was a mayor Nutter staff member, a city employee and sought after fundraiser/promoter for politicians --not a physician. Thirty-five hour workweek from home means you can do almost anything and get away with it. Even stumping for Hillary Clinton--burning through several thousand dollars in physicians' certification fees. That's what Christine Cassel did--pushed political agendas on our dime. Cassel did not even live in Philadelphia. How many times did she even set foot in the office? She lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That's why we are so upset. They are accountable to no one and we are accountable to everyone.
Whistleblowers get a percentage of IRS recovered money.
ABIM/ABMS is a case of fraud the IRS would like to consider. There has been meaningful conscious abuse of tax benefits and status.
With the totality of corroborating evidence against them, the ABIM and ABMS clearly violated tax laws for years. There may be a great deal of money to be made in reporting them. I would report complaints/violations to the DOJ and FTC as well.
For ABIM whistleblowers: reporting ABIM's fraudulent tax filings including undisclosed business activities and unreported contractors of importance.
Why did the ABIM (with physician fees transferred privately to the ABIMF between 1989 and 2008) purchase a luxury condo with chauffeur services when the money transfers were nearly complete?
When can the ABIM as a non-profit corporation provide to its clients and the public a complete record/log of occupants, expenditures and activities at that three bedroom house w/ view of historic city and parks? There is a huge cloud of suspicion surrounding this scandalous secretive purchase. What was it really used for?
I wish to point something out that Dr. Fisher and others reporting on the ABIM scandals may have overlooked. It concerns the broader significance of a very important item of interest. It involves the hiring of an incorporated "security service" which in violation of tax codes does not appear on the 990 IRS tax filings or consolidated reporting. Yet there is hint of this "security service" mentioned in court documents, which ABIM is currently trying to keep from being released to the public.
ABIM (including the ABIM Foundation) is a tax advantaged non-profit charitable enterprise and they owe it to the public to be completely forthcoming and transparent in all things. Even in legal disputes where they hire criminal attorneys to keep their alleged "dirty secrets" quiet. They do this disservice to themselves and the public, ironically while trying to ruin the very clients they claim to serve transparently. This contradicts ABIM's own decades-long pledge of humanitarian service and ethics policies. It is blatant hypocrisy with strong currents and undertones of fraud in no uncertain terms.
Blowing the whistle on the ABIM and ABMS
After tens of millions of dollars in money transfers were completed in 2008, ABIM and the ABIM Foundation hired a "security service". It was quite significant in terms of the decrease in quality of operations, but the associated costs associated with this undisclosed "security contract" has been astronomical. Until this contract is put into proper financial perspective, we will not understand the almost unfathomable millions of dollars in legal and communications fees that this "security services business' with its undocumented man hours has cost the ABIM and ABMS.
Moreover, this "security services business" was not vetted properly for conflicts of interest and the torrent of compromising data which exists on this "security firm". ABIM has engaged in a crude blind-eyed approach to operations, and what they utilized this security firm for goes against the broad ethics and conflicts of interest policies at the ABIM. Undisclosed all the way, the past contractual history and important federal convictions and fines involved were kept from key ABIM and ABIM Foundation principals and staff upon hiring this "security services business." Was this scandalous data swept under the rug at the 24 boards' conference tables. Or hidden under its umbrella? Why?
Some key questions: why was this "security services business'" past history and personnel records obscured and suppressed? Actually all mention of this important "security services business" was omitted from public view, which is a violation of IRS rulings on such matters. In our own investigation of this, we have not been able to verify incorporation of the "security services business" ABIM (and ABIM Foundation) hired for their security needs. However, this "security services business" claims to have an incorporation of some kind. Can the ABIM make available its records pertaining to contracting with this undisclosed "security services business"? We would like to have any inclusive costs involving compensation, bonuses, healthcare, retirement, slush funds, travel, hotel, food, entertainment, any and all costs, including any incidental/extraneous exchanges of services, favors, etc., that may have not been compensated for monetarily.
ABIM most certainly should have listed this "security services business" under its list of contracted companies; or if there is a principal individual that is associated with ABIM's "security services", they should disclose that on their list of executives and directors. They must do so immediately by re-filing and correcting that information for the past five years with the IRS. I will be reporting this information shortly with the IRS and encourage others to file official complaints with the IRS against ABIM for any 990 tax form errors, omissions or mistakes. I have been informed that there is a "whistle blower" reward for reporting (minus any fines) based on a percentage of recovery. If anyone has information pertaining to this the IRS will split the recovered money between the whistle blowers. I believe there is a broader case here also against the ABMS, and encourage whistleblowers to come forward and report this tax fraud as the security services business was contracted to assist the ABMS umbrella as well as other member boards.
The totality of wrongdoing including the tax fraud
The reason I believe this tax omission mentioned above must be reported to the IRS is that in my research I discovered ABIM's "security service/business" was previously hired contracted by a very active and lucrative business operating in the heart of the nations capitol where "lobbying" took place on a daily basis and "nightly entertainment" (and other activities) involving, dancing, drinking (and reports of illicit drugs) occurred on an almost nightly basis. The owner of this DC for-profit business was convicted of tax evasion involving several million dollars and sentenced to serve time in prison.
I want to point out that this same DC "security service/business" was soon thereafter contracted/employed full-time (and after hours) by the ABIM/ABIM just after the ABIM Foundation's closing on the condo; but ABIM has not disclosed that costly "security business" item in any concrete terms or listed it in relation to the condo on their 990 tax forms or consolidated returns. It is fraudulent in my estimation to not include it as a vital/important item of ABIM's business activities and model. I believe that this should be investigated by the IRS for fraud and possible tax evasion as it would suggest that the ABIM was also hiding other activities involving undocumented money transfers, exchange of services or barter that have not been clearly identified, discussed or mentioned in their IRS 990 tax forms or consolidated reporting from 2007 until present. Was this critical item so important for ABIM's operations been withheld from the auditors? For how long can the ABIM exist defrauding the public and its clients who have a right to not have such important items omitted or misstated on an annual basis
Unaccountable to no one? All we hear are incredible 'Whoppers' told and sold by Nora, Irons, Braddock, and Baron about ABMS' toxic 'Big MOC'.
Let the ABMS try to explain to the IRS, DOJ, OIG and FTC how their corrupt offices are not responsible for the unethical and illegal conduct of their member boards.
Let the ABMS try to refute that the 24 member boards were not contractually and ethically merged when tens of millions $$$ in annual membership fees, ABMS sponsored products and services, and not to forget the mutually beneficial monopoly on certification testing, and ABMS MOC fees; it all tells a different story.
To deny moral obligation of responsibility to fiduciary oversight for a contracted member board would be like the CEO of McDonald's trying to argue with the IRS or DOJ that his company does not make Big Macs and does not have burger franchises when all his or her contracted partners and partnerships (franchises and leadership) were being accused of systemic corruption and fraud.
He would be telling the IRS, FTC, OIG and DOJ such a "whopper" which not even the public, who has to consume that 'quality stuff', could ever beleive!
The ABIM is a protection racket within a protection racket within a well-protected monopolistic scheme. Ditto that for all 24 member boards and Chicago umbrella.
One observes three types of participants in the ABMS' high stakes game:
1. planners 2. doers 3. followers.
There are no innocent bystanders within the ABMS.
Where did they go? ABIM and Robert Wood Johnson revolving doors.
Judi Cassel UPDATE! ABIM Chief of Staff/Human Resources Director/Chief Liaison Officer to Ballard Spahr/Chief Ethics Officer/Chief Officer of Governmental Affairs
ABIM STILL SAYS "DISCLOSURES COMING SOON" - "NADA FROM THE ABIM" about Judi Cassel!
There is still nothing in the way of disclosures about the highly conflicted ABIM Chief of Staff (and chief of everything else). Nothing has been posted on ABIM's site! That is a bad sign for someone in such a powerful and broadly defined job description. Everything in her job description and lack of immediate transparency spells "cover-up" and "make the problems go away". Silence from the Chief of Ethics means "ignore the ethical appearances and actual conflicts of interest."
How will J. Cassel manage to de-conflict or resolve anything that is wrong at the ABIM, including ABIM/Ballard Spahr's involvement in ongoing investigations and persecution of physicians, or the ABIM Foundation's multifarious activities, which includes the highly unethical and possibly illicit use of the ABIMF as a mouthpiece for HHS/CMS/consumer affairs as well as other partisan political and corporate media propaganda? How can an unvetted "Chief" de-conflict the ABIM when Cassel does not come to work on day one with a clean record and nothing to report.
Does the ABIM hire people first and vet them later? Why does it take so long to disclose? They never do as we have seen. ABIM is a big part of the Philly corruption. Just to have Ballard Spahr as their attorneys is a bad sign due to their long history of political power brokering legal dirty tricks clubs. Or does it work in reverse? Cassel has been a brand name synonymous with self-vetting at the ABIM.
So we can assume the new ethics officer is vetting herself when she is good an ready to do so, and after careful months of choosing the right media spin. Maybe the ABIM's new communications officer is too busy in preparing the copious press releases and talking to physicians and the media about why the ABIM is resisting answering questions about anything real. Such as the AMA resolution to end mandatory MOC, MOC legislation, the call for independent audit of financials, the illegal money transfers, improper us of "ABIMFunds" to purchase a luxury condo and ABIM's failure to document its long list of "unregistered guests" and "nefarious activities".
The new communications officer Pam Brown White, and the last one who just ran away from it all (Lori Slass), "never said nothing" on the current financial obfuscation either. They never confronted allegations of fraud and racketeering. Nor have the communications officers discussed the ongoing legal persecution of physicians by this "protection racket" with its illegal "Gobble-Dee-Goo-Big-Piggy-Bank-Foundation." That is to say the ABIMF and its tax dodging bogus hocus pocus newspeak about "professionalism."
What to expect going forward from the ABMS and its flagship ABIM
Where are the disclosures concerning the many potential conflicts of interest for ABIM's Judi Cassel? Do the new jobs she is hired to do come with gag orders involving discoveries about past ABIM transgressions. Who is training Judith Cassel? Lynn Langdon the special advisor to Dr. Baron? What happened to the other political powerhouse Suzanne Biemiller? (S.B. was a potential GSK liaison via her husband Rob MacRae a GSK VP. ABIM failed to disclose that important detail. There is more than appearance of this in the past.)
Ms. Cassel, like Suzanne Biemiller the former ABIM Chief of Staff, worked many years for the former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter's office. Nutter, under fire for taking money from government for personal use, is now on the Economic and Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Nutter is one of Philly's top political power brokers along with former governor Edward Rendell. A frightening combination and mix of volatile state, local and federal elements.
As Human Resource Director/Chief of Staff, will Judi Cassel order an investigation into the undisclosed/unvetted hiring and subsequent nefarious activities of the double-felon Ariel Benjamin Mannes who ABIM employed to "investigate" and persecute physicians and competing board prep courses? He may have involvement with a racketeering schemes of his own on the side.
Will Ms. Cassel have Philadelphia DA investigate Dr. Richard Baron's roles in this persecution of physicians and ABMS competitors? Probably not. The Philly District Attorney, Seth Williams, who was Cassel's partner in 'fighting corruption in city government', has according to many reliable news sources lost his credibility.
All one has to do is Google Philly's DA Seth Williams and there are a number of items against the DA ranging from accepting unreported gifts for years to failing to respond to crimes such as when Official City of Philadelphia vehicle's tires were slashed, because the destruction of city property was carried out by his girlfriend. Williams girlfriend later came forward and admitted the crime herself.
Will Judi Cassel turn a blind eye to her new friends' longstanding culture of corruption at the ABIM, ABMS, ACGME, ACP and AMA? It is the past and present tradition there to not respond with truthful honest answers. It is not the tradition to tell the truth to the IRS about domicile and lobbying. With the hiring of Philly government political powerhouses with their hands on the hot and fast engines of politics and crime, it is plain to see that "business as usual" is the de facto plan for the future.
We can expect more corruption at the ABIM and more cover-up of their various nefarious activities. We'll see what degree of sophistication that corruption and cover-up will be.
VP of Test Development comes to work for ABIM without any biographical information
And like Chief Cassel he comes without a whiff of information about conflicts of interest whatsoever. ABIM does not even provide an "on my honor pledge" from Dr. Baron that they will ever get a bio or conflicts of interest disclosure from this candidate.
Who the hell is running the ABIM!?
Could Dr. Baron please come to the office from wherever he is vacationing and fix these glaring problems?
The communications officers, various chiefs, senior advisors, and Dr. Baron seem to be on holiday in the Cayman Islands or in retreat at the Four Seasons again. And their human resources director who left did not instruct the manager of HR apparently on how to collect information from a CV to write a simple bio. And we know their collection of information concerning conflicts of interest data is dysmal to non-existent.
Here is the latest two shoes to fill an executive position at ABIM!
Jeremy Dugosh, Ph.D., Interim Vice President, Test Development
Bio coming soon.
Disclosure of External Relationships [not even a "coming soon?"]
ABIM's new Interim Vice President, Test Development at American Board of Internal Medicine
In the absence of any intelligible activity and honest direct statements coming out of the ABIM, I would recommend giving Jeremy Dugosh the double role of Acting CEO/President as well as VP of Test Development. As long as he is not under the spell of "PEARSON/ABMS MIND CONTROL."
I have taken the pain of doing what ABIM failed to do. Here is a link to Mr. Dugosh's LinkedIn bio and we can assume he is an ABIM lifer recruited straight out of university. So he has no conflicts of interest whatsoever, except he appears to actually be a hard worker and critical thinker, more social than political, all of which does not fit in with executive culture there.
Possible future conflicts of interest for Jerry W. Gudosh
In my judgment, ABMS clients would have better luck talking with Jerry Dugosh about ending mandatory MOC and breaking off the toxic coerced relationship (possibly even cordially)than with anyone else at the ABMS. Jerry could become rich and famous if he put together a self-help website for one million BC/BE depressed and hopeless physicians and offered them hope, method and clear timeframe of how to end mandatory MOC as the AMA house of delegates so resolved and every physician in the US badly wants. MACRA could be a co-target (and another possible conflict of interest) for Jerry's website. It would be a great service to humanity to abolish this pernicious social and medical evil (MACRA and MOC) as it renders physicians powerless to find time for patients and families. And patients have less access/time thus reducing the quality of care. Physician burnout and stress key fundamentals drivers of the need to change. Jerry could possibly make a great deal of legal money in the multi-billion dollar quality assurance industry going against the ABMS' illegal rackets and persecution of physicians.
Wes Fisher tweeted, "PearsonVue, Pearson's 'professional testing' affiliate is all over ABIM's Form 990's as a major subcontractor."
Pearson LLC, with offshore accounts in Luxembourg and strong financial investment relationship with Muammar Gadhafi's family/Libya, the recent diversification into third world markets has made Pearson LLC into a very controversial player in testing/educational markets.
We have learned that it was the legislated support of national testing that siphoned money from education/teachers. Pearson has done more harm to education than good. With finite government funds going into actual testing (Pearson Vue) a further erosion in money for educators resulted. Further reduction in teachers (and compensation)occurred as more money went to testing security (Caveon). This created lays-offs of teachers.
Within the medical quality assurance markets Pearson/Caveon have helped divert precious money from phycians and patients as well by putting it into the hands of high stakes testing companies with regulatory capture the primary driver for both. Out of the profession straight into the hands of scoundrels who hired lobbyists pushed for strict control and greater revenues in the testing markets. (Caveon, Pearson Vue). That into laws which favored testing industry giants like Pearson.
Pearson Vue benefitted from changes in copyright laws (lobbied for) which put even more money in the hands of predatory companies writing odious contracts and pledges. The resultant strict adherence to civil and criminal penalties on the part of the courts indicting and prosecuting for alleged irregular behavior in testing has sent teachers to prison. Such onerous take-it-or-leave-it contracts caused physicians to become frustrated and leave practice or stay as far away as possible from such abuses if possible. Physicians and patients and teacher and parents are fighting back from repercussions of ABMS' punitive practices.
The ABIM/ABMS has undisclosed shady relationships with Pearson as well through testing security company Caveon. Here are a few darker relationships: Double-felon A. Benjamin Mannes (ABIM/Caveon/Ballard Spahr/InfraGard), Marc Weinstein (Caveon/Mannes Partner/Ballard Spahr), Joe Kamell (Caveon, American Board of Radiology, ABMS), and a myriad of other Caveon/Kryterion principals and security/surveillance executives in the testing-security industry.
This is more than a cottage industry, it's a damn evil empire on steroids
Caveon is looking to have its online proctoring standards accepted by ANSI and established as an American national standard.
"As a new technology, online proctoring has tremendous potential to improve the security of high-stakes test administration. There are many new and old security threats that can be dealt with effectively by a trained and independent observer, with new security controls at his or her fingertips. Online proctoring, if carried out according to a set of national standards, has the promise of taking an aging monitoring model to a more effective level,” states Dr. David Foster, Caveon's CEO."
Does anyone know what ANSI is? It is the rule by the dark "standards empire" which acquires power through onerous contracts, membership fees, etc. They maintain order with mother ships and stormtrooers that patrol the world. In reality they are a very corrupt organization getting companies to join the ranks of membership, pay fees, conform to standards and submit to audits as a means of spying and control. And your company can potentially be in a position to set standards that everyone must conform to. They hide behind the mask of respectability and unleash their standards on the world, who don't have a clue what they are buying into.
Caveon/Kryterion David Foster CEO of Caveon, founder of Kryterion and former ANSI board member
Online proctoring and its pledge opens you up to attack from 'Big Brother' Caveon's new lines of products and their invasive online death-star with your personal name on it. They've got your data and files. They let you enter the ABMS mandated MOC test through an iris security port. They rely on backup verification using digital fingerprints. They know everything about you and share it with third party vendors who learn your personal habits, bathroom habits, eye movements, key strokes, galvanic skin responses, and overall trustworthiness as you accept life-long learning through propaganda--clever peer statements that they make up in order to utilize various forms of guilt on you. Then they get you to pay them and them alone as you have stupidly agreed to be tested to death.
Just say no to their online proctored death star (invasive testing security format), and say no to mandated MOC to the ABIM. It is part of the evil empire.
Dr. Baron and Mr. Hide (Don't let Dr. Baron's new colorful checkered shirt distract you from Dickey Hide's seamless checkered past.)
Surrounded by political advisors, Dr. Richard Baron has been getting a makeover.
Two of former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter's chiefs of staff and high finance queens have been advising Rich that he must work on changing his look and the ABIM's horrible public image. What better way than to parade yourself and ABIM volunteers showing that ABIM cares on Martin Luther King Day with a tee-shirt and subway sandwich campaign. But they need to do a makeover, because ABIM has a horrific track record of discrimination against people of color.
Most physicians, I would hope, are aware by now of the discrimination lawsuits against ABIM that had to be settled in the plaintiffs' favor to keep Cassel, Langdon, and Baron's heinous acts of discrimination out of the mainstream media. Only in Philadelphia could you control the press with such ease and be so utterly cheap and demeaning in settling the case. These lawsuits had the added weight and understanding by ABIM and Ballard Spahr that the ABIM Human Resources Director and Lynn Langdon, along with Christine Cassel and Rich Baron had, just hired a violent thug security guard, a former ousted DC cop with two felonies, to investigate and stick-it-to board prep competitors and physicians.
Rich and others miss the ABIM Foundation's Ayer Building $2.3 million luxury condo with their own private chauffeur. He liked the ease of visiting the "party house" without being in public view or under psychological restraint and need to smile for the camera.
Dr. Baron and his political advisors talked about doing a "pizza party" for the kids of Philly on MLK Day, but soundly decided against anything even remotely reminiscent of pizza.
It is clear that the following three corrupt and secretive companies work closely together in the testing, certification, and test security markets. They are:
1. Pearson LLC/Pearson Vue (with the Association of Test Publishers and McGraw Hill)
These companies are formally and informally involved with each other in what appears to be a vast racketeering enterprise. They even share the same directors, managers, and many other personnel to keep the lines open and the revenues flowing. Caveon/Kryterion is a "who's who" of testing publishers (Pearson, McGraw, ATP), and testing security executives and directors. Pearson plays in prominently in the enterprise model. The conflicts of interest are egregious, but the ABIM/ABMS has been trying to keep the public from seeing the key players, subordinates, and their conflicted financial interconnectedness.
ABIM has almost gutted itself of the prominent old guard executives from 2009
Before under Cassel
and after under Baron
Only Vincent J. Mandes, Chief Financial Officer officially appears as CFO in both regimes . . . and the retired and undisclosed special senior advisor, Lynn Langdon, must be getting hush money . . . and her protection racket specialist, director of investigations, Ben Mannes is drawing pay too. And Rebecca Baranowski, senior clinical content manager, is still running with the pack . . .
But they keep a lot of folks hidden . . . who don't ever make sandwiches on MLK day . . .
ABIM has not kept its pact with physicians of OFFERING A LIFELONG CERTIFICATION. It has not kept its pledge. What good are they if they cannot keep their word?
Read the ominous and deceitful words of dr. BARON to HIS CREDENTIALING ADMINISTRATORS:
"The ABIM no longer issues certifications with end dates; however we recognize that some entities require primary source verification of certification to complete the credentialing process. We update the status on our website on an annual basis."
What a betrayal and stab in the back by Dr. Baron who's "metempsychosis" is apparently complete, turning himself into the "million-dollar man." Transforming from a physician--who crushed physicians and medical prep boards from day one at ABIM with Ballard Spahr's dirty blades--Rich has become a real "corporate sell-out" and "politically motivated ax-man." I am deeply dismayed by his disloyal behavior and attitudes I witnessed at the ABIM starting from early 2007 when I actually looked beneath the gleam of his façade. We all feel a deep sense of betrayal.
The original pact with physicians of lifetime certification included the joy and passion of self-directed lifelong learning, which has always been driven by charity and service. Rich Baron and Chris Cassel have especially made a sham and mockery of this. The original pact with physicians was real because it was inward and actually meant something. The pact did not include scamming physicians with MOC, but was always and still should be a commitment to non-corrupted forms of learning. The kind of learning we need is a self-determined education driven by quality and value, which can only come from high content science and its application. Such uncorrupted education is a form of tailored medical knowledge and continuing education suited to the individual needs of any given physician in their particular specialty. The ABMS has directed the bulk of physicians fees right into executive pockets and not into education.
And it was all completely voluntary. Completely voluntary, not burdened with valueless unscientific encumbrances, profit-seeking stipulations; and it was completely free of external coercions. The education we speak of cannot be monetized; nor can it be politicized.
The certification was just a landmark moment and pledge to excel.
That inward pledge had meaning. Now the ABMS MOC franchise has destroyed the meaning of certification. I speak of the ABIM certification in particular, but all ABMS certificates have been annihilated by the erosion of ethics and pure medical science, but above all its value has ruptured due to the low value given to trust by "physician imposters" at the ABIM/ABMS. Trust, honor and dignity should be the key components stress, not suspicion and demeaning treatment.
Turning the tables
The whole of the ABMS is now a dirty-hands organization with its affairs, finances and morality so conflicted it is hard to find any apolitical individuals or actions that are not driven by money. They are all in collusion motivated to undermine the autonomous compassionate profession of "physician." They are destroying the sacred "way of the physician."
The real profession of medicine has self-pride--a real inward pride to stand up for what is right and oppose what is wrong. Now is the time to stand up and throw out the imposters who are none other than lazy self-serving professional medical bureaucrats. These pseudo-physicians no longer drink from the fountain of pure medical science and conscience but have fallen asleep to the values they have taken an oath to uphold and defend.
Where is the unbiased servant to be found for the medical boards who have their feet firmly planted and rooted in untainted medical science, but no without compassion? What value is there in the partisan and corporate propaganda we are getting from the medical boards today!
Physicians of conscience should resolve to stand together and fight the unconscionable profiteering and political activism that plagues the medical boards today. Such filth has no place in the hallowed field of medicine.
Turn the tables. Wooden minds and avaricious hearts have no place at the medical boards.
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