Friday, February 24, 2017

Bringing the ABMS MOC Program Before the FTC

Looks like the new Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Maureen K. Ohlhausen might take an interest in the onerous and costly American Board of Medical Specialties' Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program:
Testifying on behalf of the FTC before the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen noted that while occupational licensing can help protect consumers from health and safety risks and support other valuable public policy goals, unwarranted restrictions can harm competition, leaving consumers with higher-priced, lower-quality, and less convenient services.

“From, a competition standpoint, occupational regulation can be especially worrisome when regulatory authority is delegated to a board composed of members of the occupation it regulates,” Commissioner Ohlhausen said.

According to the testimony, this type of board may make regulatory decisions that serve the private economic interests of its members and not the policies of the state (emphasis mine). Such decisions could result in occupational restrictions that discourage new entrants; deter competition among licensees and from providers in related fields; and suppress truthful, nondeceptive advertising, and innovative products or services that could challenge the status quo.

The testimony notes that while the principles of federalism embodied in the state action doctrine limit the reach of federal antitrust laws when a restraint on competition is imposed by a state, this does not mean that all state regulators are exempt from antitrust scrutiny. Through its enforcement and advocacy work, the Commission has helped to define the contours of the state action doctrine for actions taken by state boards composed of private actors – culminating in last year’s decision by the Supreme Court in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC.
-Wes

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

An individual can open a case online with the FTC at their government website. A complaint can be made by mail or over the phone as well. If over the phone, an intake officer will take your complaint and submit it for you and you can track your case online and respond to the ABMS or member board's responses online. The good thing about filing a complaint is the violatory issues involved will go into a national database as a mark against the ABMS and boards. That in itself is significant and worth the effort. The best case scenario would be a lawsuit and settlement with stipulated conditions restoring MOC and certification into being a voluntary consumer choice again - not tied to insurance and employment.

The ABMS member boards are acting like unregistered for-profit collection agencies right now.

There are complicit not-for-profit organizations, such as the NCQA, Joint Commission, Insurers, ACGME--too many--that are complicit in creating the monopolistic power of the ABMS. They have all together created the unacceptable conditions involving restraint of trade and deceitful practices that force physicians to pay and often restricts patients from having access to care that they need.

Anonymous said...

It is a deplorable state of affairs and Drs. Nora, Baron, and all the rest of the ABMS gang should be completely ashamed for allowing it to go this far and for so long.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone outline our case and provide some legal language as a starting point for the complaint and give advice on what we can expect out of it? What else can we do. Obviously the ABMS is not listening. Dr. Baron is not listening. I believe it is an excellent idea to pursue an FTC complaint individually and also collectively with an attorney to present the issues clearly in legal language that will bring home the main violatory acts and points of legal contention.

Humphrey said...

I'm disappointing that the AMA "leadership" will not respond to the will of its members and the AMA House of Delegates which resolved to end mandatory MOC.

Pudd'nhead said...

Only one thing's worse than being an indentured serf and that's being a damn slave to MOC!

MACRA HIT A NERVE--one physician down and out said...

First full week of MACRA. Click-click...Ow! On extended leave, down with carpal tunnel. Wow!

Thomas Nielsen said...

Unfortunately that press release was over a year old. Not sure if any action has been taken since then...

DrWes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DrWes said...

Thomas,

Sorry, here's the link I was referring to:

https://www.law360.com/articles/895025/ftc-chair-to-take-on-job-licensing-with-new-task-force

Anonymous said...

i just sent a tweet to Maureen K. Ohlhausen twitter account about ABIM. everyone do the same.

FTC Criminal Liaison Unit said...

There is a lot for the FTC to be alarmed about concerning the ABMS' - not just their self-serving modes of behavior and uniquely insular character. The ABMS routinely violates federal and state laws put in place to protect consumers and maintain fair practice in business.

FTC Anticompetitive Practices Complaints and Investigations said...

Eureka! ABMS MOC Goldmine

Every physician has been harmed by ABMS MOC. That means every physician and medical institution that reimburses physicians for that illicit MOC tax has a claim if there is a lawsuit against the ABMS and a settlement amount is reached by FTC or individual lawsuits. Additionally, a flurry of civil actions against the ABMS could start a "gold rush" with physicians and institutions sleuthing for the millions of nuggets from the billions of dollars stolen from physicians and medical organizations for the past 20 years. MOC and other ABMS actions have certainly been in violation of anti-trust/anti-competition and also fall under the category of consumer protection laws. Whoever gets the money first can cry "eureka" before the ABMS accounts and insurance coverage payouts are exhausted. Certifications will be given during the last year of residency and fellowship created by volunteer practicing physicians and academicians. Certifications will be given with diplomas and the paper will be subsidized by the federal house staff stipends.

The ABMS executives can kiss their sweet compensatory kickbacks and laundered offshore hedge fund accounts goodbye! Sorry Rich Baron!

Was Mannes part of the hospitalist movement's new certification plan? said...

"Fake certificates" popping up everywhere

Take notice of this bit of certification history for the FTC and DOJ to investigate as part of the public fraud that the ABMS represents. Hackles go up about a bogus ABIM story of one old "doctor of divinity" acting alone creating "ethics pledges" for doctors with PO Boxes being serviced in various parts of the country. A very big puzzle for us all and needs to be pursued further by investigators as a possible hoax-threat perpetrated by the ABMS in Chicago and the ABIM in Philadelphia. The timing was good for the announcement of Bob Wachter's new ABMS hospitalist certificate at the same time as the ABMS went after competing board preparation courses and their candidate internists. Where have all the internists gone?

http://www.abim.org/news/focused-practice-hospital-medicine-questions-

ABIM warns about "phony" boards

The American Board of Internal Medicine has issued a warning to physicians about fraudulent certification boards and societies in geriatric medicine, cardiology and hospital medicine.

In its warning, the ABIM lists 11 boards and societies that it considers "phony." The board recently added another in oncology to the list.

None of the boards under scrutiny is affiliated with the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Osteopathic Assn. Ben Mannes, ABIM director of test security, said the validity of board certification is put at risk by fraudulent accrediting entities.

"That's really the reason we've taken action, because not only is this weakening the integrity of board certification nationwide, but it also weakens the faith the public has in their doctors," he said. "When they see a certificate on the wall, they vouch for [physicians]. And if the certificate's not real, that gives everyone cause to worry."


http://www.medtees.com/blog/MannesLinkedIn.pdf

Of interest, on Mr. Mannes' CV he listed Mannes and Associates LLC from 2003-2008. That is most curious, because in the most recent incarnation of his very-hard-to-believe history, Ariel Benjamin Mannes has somehow turned five years of his LLC's admitted viability into an unlucky 13 years now. That's an extra 8 years he worked into his CV. That is at the same time as he worked for the ABIM as an undisclosed and probably poorly-vetted "director of investigations."

Anonymous said...

Until Mannes comes clean and talks to the judges, lawyers and victims he lied to about what he did to harm physicians, Mannes has not class! Violating citizens and permanent residents constitutional rights! Over and over again. Good God! Being a felon is not the problem. Not disclosing it to the ABIM's clients, the testing security industry, radio talk show hosts, the Hill, but especially the courts where people's lives were damaged and ruined because of Mannes. That is the core of the shame and problem. Nobody is safe when a former law enforcement officer lies with such disdain for the lives of others. I believe Mannes owes it to himself to be a man and stop pretending, and make the ones he harmed whole with the truth. In my view his ranking will go up in the eyes of the world when he follows through on this.

Wall Street's designs on healthcare said...

The great heist of physicians and vulnerable businesses. Was the subprime financial crisis an accident or by design? Or opportunistic design springing out of an accident?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banks_acquired_or_bankrupted_during_the_Great_Recession

Anonymous said...

Regarding the 990's: Look at the contractor's list for more examples of conflicts of interest and gross negligence.
I marvel at the blatant conflicts of interest involving ABIM's Ce-city hefty payment of financial support for Chris Cassel's Premier, Inc., buyout target. Anything over a million dollars given to a company involved with the company of CEO Cassel should have been investigated/questioned by the board. This went on for several years. Who were the chairs at the time of these payments. I do not believe the ABIM can justify Ce-city's services and what they specialize in. It makes no sense. And look at the huge tax given to Ballard Spahr to keep everybody silent and the public in the dark.

Also mentioned in the 990 listed above is a payment to the "former COO" Lynn Langdon. This confirms that Langdon's departure should have been announced to the public. Why is nobody screaming about the fact that a former COO is on the take at ABIM for several hundreds of thousands of dollars. They do not say what that compensatory payout is for. Is Langdon still receiving money after all the criminal mischief she has been involved in. These are not ethical people. And I hope that nobody buys the phony public relations whitewash of their larceny and other violatory actions against physicians and the public.

No wonder Wes and others are screaming about the ABIM and ABMS! MOC is just part of the scam that funds the evil deeds they do to maintain their financial hold and political power. Just a side note after looking at the ABIM's tax filing from 2015, Bill Bremner is not even board certified in the areas of his practice. No MOC either. This is a clear violation of ABIM policy.

State Actors Entwined With Government, Political Agendas, and Corporate Special Interests said...

The ABIM has not disclosed the departure/termination of the former chief of staff Suzanne Biemiller for clear reasons. Are they hoping that the public has no interest in professional political operatives who inhabit the organization, serve political and corporate interests and then leave without disclosure. Biemiller was a democrat party fundraiser and city of Philadelphia chief of staff (and deputy chief) to the former White House cabinet hopeful Mayor Michael Nutter, who is now drawing a very, as the mob used to say "dolce retirement package" from the city of Philly to the tune of nearly $150,000 per year. Biemiller's husband is a prominent pharma executive with GlaxoSmithKline and that was not disclosed to the public by the communications officer at the suggestion of Dr. Richard Baron. The former lass Ms. Lorie Slass's departure was not announced either. Was she fed up with all the stonewalling and lying to the public. Probably was.

The new communications VP person now inhabiting the ABIM's Walnut Street executive floor suites has either been instructed to not disclose important executive terminations or she is just remiss in her duties. Another WHITEWASHER? I expect a greater degree of professionalism, complete transparency with full disclosures from the ABIM's executives. Not partial or selective lists. That kind of negligence can no longer be tolerated from the ABMS boards. Look at how much they are paid at the expense of hard-working physicians who are for cunning reasons excluded from being executives at the ABIM. The executive position is a fabrication invented by Thomas Brem and a corrupt bunch of medical sellouts who started the whole departure from following ethical and moral principles that should guide human behavior.

"Of the profession, for the public" is their motto at the ABIM. The ABIM is neither of the profession of medicine, nor does it serve the public. The ABIM with its own brand of corporate malfeasance has been serving corporate and government special interests for decades; at least since the time that ABIM chairman Thomas Brem stumped for big tobacco at the expense of medical science, human suffering and relevant deaths that his delay in stating clearly what the Surgeon General already stated in 1964. Tobacco use has sever health risk including cancers caused by its incessant and habitual use. Since Brem the ABIM has literally acted for special interests and has hired politicians and communications specialists to provide a mortician's makeover - a whitewash of the pain and yes EVEN DEATHS they have caused to the profession and the public. What court should handle that case!

Read Thomas Brems testimony to congress. Brem is entwined with government and the corporate world receiving money from both. Since its foundation the ABIM (and ABMS medical boards) have acted as state actors serving corporate special interests. Pay close attention to Brem's CV. It does not lie to the above facts but only confirms that the ABIM and ABMS medical boards are and have been operating as state actors.

https://cfrankdavis.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/thomas-brem-statement.pdf

Look through press releases of the ABIM and ABMS member boards for your own examples of how the profession and public are being defraduded and scammed. Not just by the ABMS but by a ntework of NGO's that appear to have no accountability. These NGO's are knots on the noose around the "profession" and the "public's" neck. They have total disregard for the public as they stuff their pockets in the people's cash investing the money even offshore where their tax boons further defraud the US government and the IRS' ability to collect any taxes on their profits that are due. How long can this go on with 21 trillion in national debt and shutdowns looming every year?

$1.15 million payment to LiqudHub said...

What does the ABIM need with the services of LiquidHub paying them $1,151,000. LiquidHub provides makeovers for healthcare insurers, managed care providers, and healthcare benefits claims corporations. (It's on the 2015 filings.) This is very suspect has nothing to due with a justifiable expense for the benefit of creating a better educational experience. An investigator should look into the relationship of the ABMS with healthcare insurers, managed care providers, and healthcare benefits claims mega-giants who help control the flow of care (or the lack of it) throughout the medical industrial complex. The squandering of physicians' fees on themselves and the propagation of political and industry objectives must cease. I would like to see an accounting of this and where the money actually went and what they got for it. Or do we have another liquid payout that escapes the scrutiny of the IRS and SEC - even possibly the attention of the HHS (Richard Baron worked for the CMS) and the offices of their OIG. How was this huge payout to an industry giant missed by auditors and the ABIM board!

From LIQUID HUB's website under healthcare industry services

"Customer experience is the fundamental key to success amidst the healthcare industry. Customers are more multi-dimensional and want to interact with their health insurance plans through traditional and digital channels. To survive and flourish in this market, healthcare payers must become more flexible and responsive, integrate across communication channels, have a strong foundational core administration platform, and re-create themselves with the customer being the center of the focus.

LiquidHub's knowledge of the business challenges faced by Healthcare Insurers, Managed Care Providers, and Benefits Managers serves our clients well as they navigate through the constantly shifting waters of healthcare benefits and claims. LiquidHub's experience in member and customer service systems, claims management and adjudication, payment and remittance systems, and government payment solutions all work together to give our clients the widest possible options, from applications development and integration, to outsourced systems and solutions, to architecture and planning giving them flexibility in a changing market."

Anonymous said...

Speaking of HR departments in healthcare. Physicians are now being asked to do screening more often and open themselves up for constant monitoring/surveillance. Background screening firms have been sued by the FTC and been charged with huge fines and settlements. HireRight, one of the biggest, has just settled for nearly 3 million dollars for their wronged clients whose rights and privacy were abused. Physicians are being asked to open up their personal lives every two years upon re-appointment and everytime insurers need to be reassured. Other folks who have patient contact are not being asked to do the same only submitting to a one-time only background screening. Is it just more controling forces from the same sources acting on the profession. If ever there was a need of an advocacy group like the PPA it is today as physicians rights, autonomy, ability to retain private practices and privacy are all eroding fast. I wonder what a company like HireRight and its investigatory arm Kroll does to the private practices in America. Kroll was known as the CIA of Wall Street collecting dirt of companies and banks executives to force mergers and acquisitions. In short it is corporate blackmail. Kroll even provided background checks for Ponzi scheme rackets and surprisingly recommended the schemes to the concerned clients. This was to the demise of their finances when the schemes were exposed. No money in their account.
Those certifications of HR managers and directors are all highly suspect. Just as suspect as the security certificates, background screening certificates held by convicted felons and crooks who populate the industry. Who will take back America when physicians don't even have the spine to step forward and take care of themselves.

Who is providing criminal or background screens for the ABMS HR managers, psychometricians, board members, investigative directors and executives where the tradition is to just vet themselves?
The felon Mannes is a good example cited above. Who vetted him? Baron? Cassel? Wachter?

Anonymous said...

If the ABMS wants to be client-centric they could have saved bundles of cash by actually serving their clients and the public's needs by terminating their strong-arm tactics, collusion with other quality assurance NGO's, corporations and the government. The ABMS should LIQUIDATE their MOC collections department immediately. The ABIM's insistence on collecting revenues form DOCS annually for their mandatory MOC program is illegal imo and should be reported to the FTC, DOJ, IRS and various offices of the OIG until someone will act on it and not just pass the buck.

James McCarty said...

“From, a competition standpoint, occupational regulation can be especially worrisome when regulatory authority is delegated to a board composed of members of the occupation it regulates,” Commissioner Ohlhausen said.

This is not the problem. Professions should be self-regulating. The problem is when the regulatory authority is delegated to a subset of members of the occupation(e.g., academicians) who have little in common with the majority of members, and who stand to profit financially from their position as regulators.

It's apparent that the Commissioner has no real understanding of the problem. In her non-physician mind, a good remedy might be to have specialty boards and state medical boards comprising only non-physicians. We see this already, with attorneys and nurses, the sworn enemies of practicing physicians, being appointed to state boards of medicine.

Is it not curious that one never hears of a physician serving as a member of the Texas State Bar or the Texas State Nursing Board? Yet there are attorneys, business people, pharmacists, insurance people, and teachers on the Texas Medical Board. Is it any wonder that a practicing physician cannot get a fair hearing before these people who have never practiced medicine?

State Boards of Medicine and specialty boards should comprise practicing physicians, just as nursing boards should comprise nurses, and State Bars should comprise attorneys. If this were the case, it would be much easier to eliminate the curse of MOC.

Ian said...

Physicians must fight vigorously to end mandatory MOC in every state.

ABIM: CIA of the ABMS. Cassel and Schakowsky's countdown on fixing the system Chicago style said...

Caught on Candid Camera: Chris Cassel and Jan Schakowsky April 2, 2009

My name is Christine Cassel. I am a board-certified internist and geriatrician and president of the American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation.
ABIM certifies about one-third of all practicing physicians
in the United States. We have the largest of the 24 certifying
boards that constitute the American Board of Medical
Specialties. The certifying boards are independent, non-profits
that do not accept industry funding. We test, monitor, and
certify that individual physician specialists have the
knowledge and skills required to practice in their designated
specialty.
Because growing research demonstrates that higher standards
for doctors means better quality for patients, board
certification standards are recognized as an important
component of the accountability frameworks of both public and
private payers.
So I very much appreciate the committee's leadership in
examining the link between quality, cost, and value in our
healthcare system. I want to make three points in my testimony
today.
First, while there are abundant opportunities to improve
value across the healthcare system, the gap is widest and most
distressing among those with multiple chronic conditions and
those facing the end of life. Second, well-designed delivery
system innovations can help to close that gap, and third, the
success of delivery system innovations stands or falls in large
part on the shoulders of highly-trained and accountable
physicians and teams of healthcare professionals.
More than half of Americans have at least one chronic
illness, and chronic diseases as this committee knows accounts
for a third of the years of potential life loss before age 65
and is the single biggest challenge in our growing elderly
population. As we know, the problem is not the lack of
spending. More than 75 percent of our $2 trillion healthcare
bill is spent on chronic disease care. Too often the problem is
failure to deliver the right care at the right time and
importantly, to coordinate care across the complex care needs
involving multiple providers and settings in a patient-centered
way.
In fact, according to MedPAC, Medicare could save $12
billion a year by reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions,
improving care transitions and care coordination, and enhancing
primary care. A more patient-centered approach, especially to
palliative and end-of-life care could also contribute greater
value to our healthcare systems. Research shows that when
patients' needs and preferences are the focus of care
decisions, fewer resources are spent on aggressive and futile
technical interventions. Patients receive more timely referrals
to hospice care, and patients and their families have better
quality of life in the days that remain.
Payment reform needs to support the physician who has the
skills, the evidence base, and the relationship to make this
happen.
As this committee also knows models to improve care for
patients with chronic conditions and those at the end of life
are now being developed and tested, and we are hearing about
some of those today.

In 2008 ABIM purged HR and hired a goon squad to monitor physicians said...

Preparing the office of investigations: strongman tactics of the ABIM

"In 2008, the American Board of Internal Medicine, along
with ten other specialties, began recognition of a new
specialty of medicine in palliative and hospice care so that
patients and payers could be more confident of the provider's
skills. Patient-centered medical homes also hold out the
potential to simultaneously reduce costs and improve quality.
The concept promotes efficient use of office practice design as
well as professional recognition and remuneration of the
primary care physicians and geriatricians who are needed to
manage and lead such practices.
However, these very same professionals are in very short
supply. A study last year showed that 2 percent of graduating
medical schools, graduating medical students expressed interest
in seeking careers in primary care internal medicine. Given
this reality medical homes and related models are going to need
to make the very best use of the generalist physician skills
that we can get to manage these complicated patients and to use
the talent and experience of other members of the clinical team
to support prevention and coordination. Those team skills are
also not in common supply in our medical world or in our
medical--or taught well in our medical schools.
The medical home model to date has focused mostly on
system-level improvements like health information technology.
These are necessary, but they are not sufficient. For the
medical home concept to deliver on its promise, the designers
have to create incentives for long-term relationships and
effective utilization of care between the highest-need patients
and their physicians.
Primary care and geriatric physicians will need the tools,
both incentives and accountabilities, skills, and experience to
support care coordination beyond the confines of their
practices. The seven to ten to 15 other specialists that the
patient is also seeing also need incentives to share the
information that they have with that medical home, and the
medical home also needs two-way communication, not just with
physician specialist, but with hospitals, nursing homes, rehab
centers, and other community resources.
Finally, I would like to suggest that specialty board
certification and maintenance certification offers a way to
enhance, improve the physician's skills and to ensure that they
can continue to keep up to date to manage complex patients.
What we require of physicians to maintain their certification
includes regular, formal skills testing, practice monitoring,
and self-evaluation and quality improvement, including tests of
diagnostic skills, clinical judgment, systems management, and
the translation of medical knowledge and evidence into
practice. All of these tools use national quality forum
endorsed measures where they exist.
Now all leading health plans put a premium on physicians
who participate in this process in their reward and recognition
programs. We have also been involved recently in discussions
with Senate staff to recognize this process of maintenance and
certification in the pathways within the Medicare PQRI Program,
and we look forward to working with you and would ask the House
leadership to give this idea similar consideration as a way of
reducing the burden on doctors of redundant measurement
requirements and a way of enhancing evidence-based approaches
to setting levels for quality of care.
So in conclusion stronger infrastructure, better
connectivity, and physician payment reform are all essential
elements of the patient center medical home, as well as
effective healthcare reform. But at the end of the day my
message to you is that the quality and value of healthcare for
complex patients also rests in great part on the skills and
judgment of the physician in relationship with the patient.
Thank you very much." - Chris Cassel April 2, 2009

Anonymous said...

Finding talent for her goon squad: the devious skill and poor judgement of Christine K Cassel
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/article/13032155/keeping-the-piece

Pretending not to be financially conflicted all these years said...


In the congressional hearing referenced above did Christine Cassel say, "The certifying boards are independent, non-profits that do not accept industry funding." Would Cassel be alleging in her testimony that she herself did not accept any industry funding, personally, on behalf of the industry, while she was CEO/President of the ABIM and ABIM Foundation? That testimony would have been delivered under oath.

"HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH
OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION, APRIL 2, 2009"

Did Christine Cassel lie to congress? Yes! Cassel has been involved in so many financial conflicts of interest and manipulating industry and politics over the years--so common for her in fact--Chris has become the status quo "coi cliche". Cassel is so transparently corrupt, she is "like a fish in water."
http://sternburgerwithfries.blogspot.com/2014/03/as-nuhw-exposes-scandal-top-kaiser.html

Did Christine Cassel lie about the date of formation for the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation was 1999. Yes, and they lied and "perjured themselves" with the government by saying the ABIM Foundation's legal state of domicile was Iowa on US federal tax forms. In fact Henry S., Lynn L. and Harry K. profited by the secret. Cassel/ABIM lied again when they said they were not lying, pretending badly that they were just shortening the legal name to an abbreviation.
http://drwes.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-american-board-of-internal.html

Christine K Cassel on April 2, 2009 said...

"We test, monitor, and certify that individual physician specialists have
the knowledge and skills required to practice in their designated specialty."

What are the liability issues the ABIM is getting into with such a statement. Can the ABIM be sued for malpractice if a physician makes a mistake. I'm not sure that the ABIM should place so much confidence in their hobby of certifications when they still have not managed to create a fair one that most physicians can pass. The first test in 1936. Everybody passed. and they paid almost nothing for that lifetime certification.

Today the only certain things that physicians get for themselves out of the certification process are stress, burnout, reduced bank accounts, distraction, or possibly a costly failure that must be reported every two years. Now the ABIM is mandating an even more perilous path for patient and physician. They want permanent states of fear, anxiety, distraction, more money down the tubes, as the ABMS harasses and bullies physicians through government and private agencies. Through an unkind collusion of greedy politicians and industrial conglomerates they all push, helping force MOC down physicians' throats.

Christine Cassel also said...

"I would like to suggest that specialty board
certification and maintenance certification offers a way to
enhance, improve the physician's skills and to ensure that they
can continue to keep up to date to manage complex patients.
What we require of physicians to maintain their certification
includes regular, formal skills testing, practice monitoring,
and self-evaluation and quality improvement, including tests of
diagnostic skills, clinical judgment, systems management, and
the translation of medical knowledge and evidence into
practice. All of these tools use national quality forum
endorsed measures where they exist."

Excuse me for pointing this out, but in Christine Cassel's sworn testimony she was not asserting, but rather "suggesting" to the congress subcommittee on healthcare reform that there was actual benefit to participating in maintenance of certification.

It would appear that her belief in certification was strongly stated, although not a shred of proof was provided there either regarding the multiple tests and onerous fingerprinting sessions. For the ABIM's CEO to use the word "suggest" shows that she had to speak more carefully about MOC because the ABMS did not have any statistical proof of MOC's efficacy or quality.

If the ABMS was wrong about trying to mandate MOC then the other coerced product might be suspect also. If MOC busywork, distraction and expense had real merit, such evidence would have been provided to the gentlemen and gentlewomen sitting before her in the spring of 2009.

Or perhaps the word "suggest" was just a pedantic bluff by a old manipulative non-clinical geriatrician that they should pass some damn legislation about it to force physicians into participating in MOC. The private and government payers won, because mandatory MOC and bundling it with "value incentives" is exactly what happened soon thereafter.

It was an unscientific bluff without proof of benefit or merit. Cassel testified on a Thursday in DC. Shouldn't she have been working to improve the quality of education and testing at the ABIM? And not lobbying congress for healthcare reform and regulatory capture of physicians. What was the next ABMS political action committee plan they would carry out a few months later in 2009?

Untouchables: Cassel and Schakowsky said...

FBI criminal investigatory files, dating back as far as 1998, exist on Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (mentioned above) and her husband Robert Creamer. We understand that these files are very incriminating. The people in the files have been protected by high ranking officials.
Christine Cassel has worked with Schakowsky and her staff for many years. Christine Cassel is politically speaking from Chicago. Cassel worked little on the core mission of the ABIM, which is to certify physicians. Both Cassel and Schakowsky share similar views on healthcare reform--single payer, and both support a bold globalist agenda. Chris and Jan are both shameless politicians.

Moving [healthcare] reform agenda forward outside and withing the beltway
http://npalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/NPA_2012_Current_Program1.pdf

Anonymous said...

http://npalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/NPA_2012_Current_Program1.pdf

Plenary Panel: Choosing Wisely® – Sparking a Movement Toward Value-Driven Health Care
Moderator: Stephen Smith, MD, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine, Warren Alpert
Medical School of Brown University
Panelists: Christine Cassel, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Board
of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation
Amanda Kost, MD, Family Medicine Advising Faculty, University of Washington,
NPA Good Stewardship Project Demonstration Practice Lead

Texas anti MOC legislation said...

The Texas legislature will soon pass an anti-mandatory MOC bill. This anti-discrimination bill needs to be presented and passed in every state and territory of the United States of America.

Singapore has fallen to the ABMS and ACGME said...

ABMS: A "certification company" or "business empire" giving big payouts to executives and franchisees? The ABMS is synonymous with the ACGME.

"ABMS added new subsidiaries in early 2012. ABMS Solutions, LLC
acquired Atlanta-based TMP Medical Listings, commonly known
as the CertiFACTS Online verification program, the only online
resource that provides daily database updates of physician Board
Certification. ABMS International, LLC was established to offer
international services relating to physician certification, with the
first examination in internal medicine given in April 2013 for the
Singapore Ministry of Health."

http://www.abms-i.org/about-abms-international/press-releases

Eric Holmboe and the revolving door business empire ABMS/ACGME
http://www.iaacourse.com/SIAAC%202016%20Flyer.pdf

Eric Holmboe, for misdeeds committed while at the ABIM (along a few other ABIM principles), are being counter-sued by Dr. Salas Rushford for $15,000,000. The ABIM violated his constitutional rights and created conditions that impinged on his ability to work.

Hype and hype with little hope said...

Why did Bob Wachter really go to the UK pretending to be an expert in IT? Doe Wachter have an IT engineering degree? He certainly does not, and never put together so much as a server - let alone an entire EHR for a country. What gives here?
Why did venture capitalists from San Francisco go along with Bob for the ride? Sounds more like a fleecing of the British people than anything else with Wachter in charge.

Look up the story: Bob Wachter advising on the design and roll-out the UK's electronic health record with UK's NHS (National Health Service) and Jeremy Hunt.

http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/uk-to-expand-digital-healthcare-services-following-recommendations-from-dr-bob-wachter.html

http://www.doctorsjustice.com/

Anonymous said...

Is the ABMS a certification company or a business front for self-dealing profiteers serving special interests? How does the ACGME play into the process of controlling physicians and the healthcare system?

It appears that the ABMS/ACGME has plans for globalist expansionism. Sound familiar? Singapore has recently succumbed to the nobbling of the ABMS and ACGME. The British system of medical education has been replaced by the US system under ABMS/ACGME control.

ACGME and ABMS gangup on Singapore; a very vulnerable aquisition for revolving door master Eric Holmboe- formerly with the ABIM and now with the ACGME.

http://www.iaacourse.com/SIAAC%202016%20Flyer.pdf

Who owns the AMA Masterfile data said...

CARTEL CHICAGO - "You can always check out, but you can never leave."

According to their website, "The AMA promotes the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health." But do they? It appears data may reflect that they promote primarily themselves and their own interests not the publics'. And nowhere does their motto reflect an advocacy for physicians.

Consider the following revelation about a new business partner of the AMA.

What is DNV-GL? And what is DNV-GL Healthcare? What is this little known international healthcare division of theirs called DNV-GL Healthcare doing meddling in US affairs and profiting from it. What is the purpose of this international relationship between AMA, hospitals and a German/Norwegian business with mega-mergers under its belt and a strong appetite to keep acquiring revenues and politico/financial influence in divergent markets.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNV_GL

DNV-GL Healthcare and the AMA

Why does this German/Norwegian classification and certification conglomerate have anything to do with certifying US hospitals? But moreover why do they have a business relationship with the AMA? Can we see how transparent the AMA is and have some disclosure on this.

What is the ultimate purpose of the AMA Masterprofile? The AMS says this: "Uses -
The data are shared with other organizations and agencies who credential physicians and are used to identify individuals who attempt to fraudulently assume the credentials of deceased physicians."

Huge revenues tell us the reality is different. It is about the collection of money from the collection of data that was never approved of by physicians/medical students with proper disclosure agreements. Who disclosed anything about this to you in medical school or during residency when they give you those "free" and subsidized memberships. How about in professional life when AMA hits you up with countless offers that make them money including life insurance.

AMA Masterprofile revenues. (What a name - Masterprofile. The associations are rich.)

In 2000 the AMA made $20 million off selling this database information. Today it has doubled to $40 million, but some suspect that the total revenue of partner organizations should be disclosed with their profits as it is a jointly created revenue streams - a partnered project of several primary source verification services and credentialing agencies. In 2007 the data was sold to pharmaceutical companies.

Why DNV-GL?

What is the end goal of bringing in an unknown EU player into the Chicago crowd? Why the Germans, Dutch, Norwegians and so on. What is the new game that is afoot? Do the AMA, TJC, FHAP, ACGME, NCQA, URAC, ABMS, and others not have an obligation to disclose the whole scheme and mega-structure of their businesses and partnerships?

What rights do physicians have over ownership of their data and how can they address their concerns? To whom? What is the difference between what the AMA is doing and a hacker or consumer reporting agency that keeps a file on you and sells it for the rest of your life. and after you are dead and gone. The AMA has a database on deceased physicians as well. Several hundred thousand in fact.

Anonymous said...

The ABMS is extremely pernicious.

Anonymous said...

ABMS tax filings obfuscation - the ABMS flare for non-disclosure.

Why do physicians have to give every last detail of their lives looking for any gaps or irregular activities in their personal, educational and professional lives? Credentials are checked to the hilt over and over, NPI numbers scrutinized, DEA monitored constantly, state licenses checked, insurance history, court history looked for, even repeated screenings for criminal history. . . and yet the ABMS (ACP and AMA) are accountable to no one. They keep their real activities, key advisors/risk managers, and purposes close to the chest. They are a public trust organization and as such should open up everything to the public and clients. Yet they fall far short of any ideal of transparency and operate in almost complete secrecy. Even to the point of giving disinformation to throw the public off the trail of ascertaining facts.

If an average citizen calls the ABMS to inquire, they will not talk to you. Or they will literally hang up on you without explanation. Try it for yourself.

What are the facts and myths about the ABMS and MOC?

The truth is the ABMS falls very short of instilling trust and confidence in what they do, say or require. The relevancy of ABMS MOC is the latest myth they hide behind. There is no relevancy for physicians or the public. There is little doubt about this in spite of any conflicted research the ABMS or its member boards commission about MOC.

It is time for mandatory MOC to end. It harms the profession and creates distrust of the ABMS. Everyone knows this.

The ABMS will soon lose even their right to give "qualifying" feel-good certifications if they persist at maintaining their coerced maintenance of certification requirement. We see how many colluding organizations have a piece of the revenue pie chart.

How many MOC birds are baked into the pie is till unknown.
Conflicts of interest abound at the ABMS!

Anonymous said...

The story of the ABMS and the AMA is a tale of two cities - one seemingly good and open to the public, or so they say, and the other is something quite dark and one suspects even sinister.

For example: the ABMS is a business partner and offshoot of the AMA. Look at the conflicts of interest that are obvious when money--revenue generation--and political power are the ruling policies and aims. Expansion the aim above the core mission to serve the public and create viable certifications.

It is a literal tale of two cities for the AMA. I wonder, how you can have an AMA House of Delegates resolving to end mandatory MOC (in a very transparent manner) based on facts and concern for the profession and the public, and then some inner core of the AMA alters the resolution/outcome and ignores that clear resolve and vote to end mandatory MOC.

That resolution is a balm for the hurting medical community and for the public. Yet nothing happened as a result of this clear resolution. Nothing. Why? Who controls the AMA? Who! I can only imagine them, whoever it is, as some secret elite society of financially conflicted individuals who do not show their true cards. they are not honest, but rather dishonest and may be even nefarious individuals who lie through their teeth like many other politicians we have hovering over us making our lives worse rather than better. Am I wrong to reason this way?

Part of why I fear these imaginings are true is what we have learned about these organizations. They (AMA and ABMS) do not have the publics' best interest at heart. They are so flummoxing because they don't even file accurate clear tax returns. Neither do their various medical 24 boards? I can't accept this kind of deceit where trust must be the lode star of policy and action.

Anonymous said...

According to AMBS tax filings for 2012, 2013, and 2014 they invariably leave the question about lobbying blank. Why? We know they did lobbying from other reporting organizations and the federal government reports. If we look further into the nitty-gritty of their 990s the schedules on lobbying are also left blank. Then when you take a fine tooth comb to the forms and finally when your strained eyes come back into focus, and get your neck massaged, you see on obscure lines that they spent high five-figure numbers of dollars on lobbying and they even have carry-over expensing it on obscure isolated lines--questions about lobbying at the very end for several additional thousands of dollars.

How can they get away with this leaving out the data or hiding it. How can the ABMS expect physicians to be monitored by them by putting all these MOC testing ankle bracelets on us? Keeping physicians controlled and the public in the dark is a way of concealing their real activities and expenses.

In each of the available filings I saw on guide star the ABMS does not disclose their executives and board of directors where they should be at the beginning of the forms. This too is left blank or deleted in the most recent so you don't notice. They put the compensation figures in the back of the forms and they are eye-popping numbers. They pay compensation and deferred compensation even if the executive has left the company ("according to executive agreements").

They report paying hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxes but no explanation of what the income is that they are paying taxes on. Nearly $581,000 in tax in one filing. On which of their entities do they pay tax? What is going on in Atlanta that we are not being informed of. That is a lot of tax to pay out and not explain it to the public.

They don't show what their investments are either, but they list paying huge brokerage fees, again without explanation of who they paid the money to. Why the lack of transparency. What are they hiding?

To further discombobulate an average person's mind and thwart their efforts to ascertain facts about the ABMS, they just won't even pick up the phone or ever put you through to Lois Nora the CEO. What are they paying nearly a million dollars for to a woman that rarely speaks to the public or clients? How can that expense be justified when any call to Dr. Nora is not responded to. And the email just cannot be given out.

Many people tell me they have called and spoken with almost any CEO of any company and it is not unusual to do so. I have spoken with many CEO's cordially over many years with questions of financial concern looking at companies for investment or to relieve any suspicion of impropriety. Financial shenanigans are much more common on Wall Street than one might think. Yet a publicly accountable organization such as the ABMS umbrella does not give the public any cordial words of explanation at all. As a matter of fact they are quite defensive in almost every aspect of what they do--except talking about the glossy propaganda they put out, at their clients' expense, and for the public to consume.

Look at the tax filings and how much they spend on that "paid for hire" propaganda and who they pay out their clients' money to. Paying the ABMS member boards or allowing your (my) data to be sold is like paying a contractor to spy on, sell you out, and put a hit on you.

Bernie Goulet said...

This lawyer propping him up is no saint either - here is the document from when he lost his Notary Public Commission for commingling among other deceptions. https://docs.dos.ny.gov/ooah/decisions/notary/baumgart.pdf