Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why Didn't I Think of This?

What the public REALLY needs: a credentialer of the credentialers, based in Washington, DC!

These guys have it all: An Editorial Committee, an International Task Force, an External Stakeholder Development Task Force,  Public Member Development Task Force, Credentialing Careers Task Force, and Emerging Leaders Task Force - oh, and don't forget the Legal Action Fund to pay for hefty strongman tactics!

Sounds like the playbook for the American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, doesn't it?

Pure genius.

I feel so much safer now, don't you?



Anonymous said...

"a credentialer of the credentialers"

But don't they themselves need to be credentialed?

I volunteer - for a nominal fee.

Why does ICE use ABMS sponsored MOC maps created by ABMS risk management personnel? said...

What is the Institute for Credentialing Excellence - ICE (formerly known as NOCA)? http://www.noca.org/

How did they come into possession of ABMS maps (funded and compiled by ABMS-employed risk managers) showing the growing number of states sponsoring anti-MOC legislation?

In 1977 in cooperation with the federal government said...

The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) is one of the two main U.S. organizations that accredit personnel certifications or certificates.[2][nb 1] In November 2009 the ICE formally changed its name from the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA).[3]

ICE is an accredited standards developer by the American National Standards Institute. [ANSI] [1]


In cooperation with the federal government the National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies (NCHCA) was founded in 1977 in order to develop standards for voluntary certification programs.[4] In 1989, the NCHCA was expanded to developing certifications for all professions, becoming the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), and forming the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) as a membership association for credentialing bodies.[4] In 2009, the Board moved to change to a new name and became the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).[4]

National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is the accreditation body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. The NCCA's Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs exceed the requirements set forth by the American Psychological Association and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.[5] In the state of California all organizations that wish to be recognized as counselor certifying organizations must be accredited by the NCCA.[6]


In 1975 the ABIM changed its bylaws from being a "time-limited 50 year mission" becoming one that would entwine itself "forever" in corporate/government affairs and special interests. Then in 1977 the government sponsored/ngo National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies was born. To anticipate/accommodate this the new bylaws of 1975 would read "in perpetuity".

The problem of ABIM/ABMS MOC began in 1986 "financial and political planning meetings" ahead of the creation of the ABIM Foundation/Secret Investment Account. Ironically, the ABIM was scheduled to be administratively dissolved in 1986. It is not coincidental that in 1989 the National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies (NCHCA) expanded its scope to include all professions becoming the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. (NCCA).

Maintenance of Certification was already being tested and adopted prior to its adoption by the ABMS. Cross funding of marketing/lobbying between various NGO's created public pressure and a body of propaganda - some created even recently by powerful DC/International lobbying/marketing firms like "Susan Davis International."

With billions of dollars at stake, the ABMS, with its testing industry/testing security associates, will try to create new waves of propaganda and demonization of physicians clinical capacity targeting the physicians' anti-MOC movement enjoying unanimous success in various states. The ABMS umbrella and medical boards are very worried about the precedents that are being set. ABMS/ICE-related organizations/individual efforts, springing up with unknown funding sources, are already using the words "malicious accusations" in their campaign to characterize honest revelations concerning the absolute moral degradation and financial corruption of the entire ABMS, their executives and boards.

ICE ABMS and Caveon Partnership said...

I find it disturbing, but not surprising that ICE and ABMS share Caveon as a contractor. ICE's contractor/partner Caveon will track you from their secret internet spying locations. Caveon is comprised of unvetted third-party individuals in unregistered locations working from home in at least four states. Their web of spying spans out through many states and even the federal and state government. The ABMS should disclose the financially lucrative test spying relationship and coi on their 990's and discuss it in their Town Halls.

The ABMS contracts with this internet/testing spy company Caveon (consider the long-term relationship with ABP, ABR, ABIM, ABS and others). According to official contracts and other documents Caveon operates out of their secret headquarters-- get this--in a UPS store in Midvale, Utah. 6905 South 1300 East #468 Midvale UTAH 84047

ABIM's director of investigations, the double felon A Benjamin Mannes, also worked secretly as investigative manager out of their interstate postal box. Marc J. Weinstein (remember Weinstein for crushing civil liberties in ABIM versus Arora and all the other persecuted physician victims) is now Caveon's testing investigator/attorney. He also has a private corner in the little box in Midvale Utah, also. Caveon used to film their "corporate videos" of themselves in front of a nearby glassy office building. Now I believe they have spent some money upgrading to project their torturously unprofessional presentations in front of a "blue screen" backdrop.


October 21, 2015

Caveon Presents at the Institute for Credentialing Excellence Annual Conference

Caveon is pleased to announce participation in the Institute for Credentialing Excellence’s annual conference, which is being held October 27-30, 2015.

The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) holds the annual ICE Exchange every fall. Caveon Test Security, the industry leader in protecting high-stakes test programs, is pleased to have been selected to present several informational session on the program agenda. Caveon will share the stage with other well-known test security experts from a variety of educational institutions. Caveon’s sessions include:
•A Game Plan for Managing Test Security Incidents
•Overcoming the Threats and Risks of Testing Internationally
•Harnessing Data Forensics to Validate and Invalidate Test Scores

Caveon’s Vice President of Client Services, Dr. Jamie Mulkey said, “Caveon is glad to see the emphasis ICE has placed on test security in this year’s conference program. It’s a strong indicator that high-quality credentialing programs want to learn more about maintaining their program’s reputation through test integrity and valid test results.”

ICE is also offering a virtual conference option this year. Many of the sessions can be seen online, including Mulkey’s session, A Game Plan for Managing Test Security Incidents.

ICE advances credentialing through education, standards, research, and advocacy to ensure competence across professions and occupations. To learn more about ICE, visit www.credentialingexcellence.org. For more information about Caveon or the sessions we will present, visit caveon.com/conferences or email Richelle.gruber@caveon.com.

From Google's websites cache

ICE has created a secretive "protest movement" to counter the Anti-MOC movement said...

The growing anti-MOC sentiment gains traction, and some well-funded insider opposition groups to protect their financial cow--MOC.

ICE warns via their privately created 'grassroots' coalition, "we anticipate it is simply a matter of time before other health care professions will be targeted" [for anti-MOC state legislation].

"What is the Right To Safe Care Coalition?

The Right To Safe Care Coalition is a group of organizations and individuals who are concerned about legislation recently enacted in some states to undo current systems established to assure the public of the competence of health care professionals. Our goal is to educate stakeholders, including the public, about the importance of effective lifelong learning programs administered by voluntary credentialing organizations, health professional licensing boards, and hospitals and other health care delivery institutions. These programs protect the public, promote patient safety and help ensure high quality health care services for everyone. Legislation that will weaken the effectiveness of current competence programs has been passed in several states. To date, the legislation affects only physician practice; however, we anticipate it is simply a matter of time before other health care professions will be targeted."


ABMS builds "democracy" by destroying it said...

The ABMS, through ICE, has contracted informally with a local Chicago "citizen advocacy center". Have the risk assessment teams at the ABMS lost their minds to pollute the good hearts of interns and decent volunteer lawyers their with their false trumpeting. They will feed propaganda to good people who claim their roots are in the consumer-rights activism lineage of Ralph Nader?

Just look at the total hypocrisy of the ABIM and ICE. I just hope the CAC interns and "fake grassroots protestors" the ABMS hires to infiltrate the organization will have the capacity and strength to reason for themselves and see that MOC is such a consumer fraud issue that they will rebel against the greed and political strong-arming of the American Board of Medical Specialties and the initiatives stemming from the very conflicted self-interests of ICE.

This is so sad! The ABMS is truly evil and corrupt.

"The Citizen Advocacy Center (CAC) is an award winning, non-profit, non-partisan free community legal organization. Founded in 1994, CAC's mission is to build democracy for the 21st Century by strengthening the citizenry's capacities, resources, and institutions for self-governance."


ICE: improper use of NGO funds said...

ICE and the ABMS are giving us examples of how they improperly use employees of other affiliated medical institutions and "revolving door" politics by paying them, offering positions, or creating impossible internal conflicts where board members disagree on the appropriateness of betraying physicians and anti-MOC legislation. Anti-MOC legislation in the states, imo, does not go far enough, but at least restores the voluntary nature of MOC and certification as it should be. Coercion, mandates and threats are gone. That is something the ABMS cannot live without it seems. In this case of abusing another medical quality assurance NGO, ICE is misusing their influence/power by using the communications officer of a nursing certification NGO. (One of the board members recently resigned from the NBCRNA.)

Look below at the contact name and organization that ICE uses as their contact source.

"Will the 'right to safe care coalition' hire staff? (from ICE's website.)

No. All coalition activities will be performed by volunteers or by contract. Any and all contracts for services will be approved in advance by a majority vote of the steering committee.

For further information or to consider being a member of the Right to Safe Care Coalition, contact Lisa Kamen at lkamen@nbcrna.com."


Continued Professional said...

This is the NBCRNA Continued Professional Certification Committee Report put out by Susan Davis International in 2012. It shows how financially dependent these organization are on MOC money. It outlines the extreme efforts the NBCRNA went to sell recertification to nurses and others in a massive campaign throughout the United States. Who paid for all that? Their executives are well-compensated.

Anonymous said...

ABMS is deceitful and malicious. We never should have allowed ourselves to get into this position in the first place. Need to be more vigilant and proactive.

Anonymous said...

What transcript has been redacted in the ABIM's ongoing legal harassment of Dr. Salas-Rushford? How many years are they going to take out of his life! Is this more suppression of evidence by the ABIM? More stonewalling? More costs hanging over Dr. Jimmy's head? Was Judge Hayden really present at this motion hearing? Or was it the magistrate? What's going on?

On pacer.gov I got this message connected to trying to read a February 2017 transcript listing.

"You do not have access to this transcript.
Transcript of Proceedings of a Motion Hearing held on 1/11/2017, before Judge Katharine S. Hayden. Court Reporter/Transcriber Ralph Florio (732-859-6255). NOTICE REGARDING REDACTION OF TRANSCRIPTS: The parties have seven (7) calendar days to file with the Court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction of this Transcript. Redaction Request due 2/22/2017. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 3/6/2017. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 5/2/2017. (Miller, S)"

Ed Rico said...

Why does ABIM's desire to hide evidence from external view outweigh Dr. Salas Rushford's right to a public hearing process? Looks suspiciously like ABIM would rather squander cash coerced from Diplomates on their Ballard Spahr dream team than to settle with Dr. Jimmy, which Dr. Baron and pals know is the ultimate outcome from this disaster. Even following settlement, Dr. Jimmy can never recover what ABIM took from him with their callous and selfish actions.

At the rate ABIM is burning through the Diplomates' cash, the inevitable future settlement check to Dr. Jimmy may have to be drawn from Dr. Baron and the ABIM insiders' personal assets, including those generous retirement accounts.

ICE/NCCA/AEA: Wizard Behind the Curtain said...

Denise Roosendaal and her "M Street" certification and evaluation companies operate out of the same suite number as ICE/NCCA/AEA offices in DC. Roosendaal and her "companies" keep their activities, specific managerial costs, and personal compensation and expenses hidden. ICE has a prominent American Board of Pediatrics psychometrician on its board revealing why ICE is concerned with ABMS MOC and the states introducing anti-MOC legislation.

Andrew Dwyer ABP executive and ICE board membership

The veil over ICE tax filings and the ABMS financial shroud/syndicate

ICE or the Institute for Certification Excellence and its sister organization American Evaluation Association appear to be shockingly hidden from public inspection just like the ABIM's hiding of evidence mentioned above. Their connection with the ABMS and healthcare certification in general is clear.
Both ICE/NCCA and AEA use Smith Bucklin of Chicago Il. for their management purposes. This is a clever way of keeping everything hidden as to actual executive compensation. Their 990 filings reveal only the amount paid to the management company Smith Bucklin. Very clever and raises a great deal of suspicion when we look at the "grassroots" movement to fight anti-MOC legislation paid for and endorsed by ICE inspired organizations and people.

Of particular interest the principal officer Denise Roosendaal involved at ICE/NCCA/AEA is a long term "past employee" and graduate of the management firm Smith Bucklin (based in Chicago). The "leaving" or termination of employment with Smith Bucklin and taking the positions at ICE and AEA coincide perfectly arousing suspicion of duality/plurality of conflicts of interest.


ICE/NCCA Bullying said...

MOC as illegal Maintenance of Control through an obtuse network of NGO's

Just try to sue the ICE/NCCA and their lawyers will do the same kind of quoting of "policy" that the ABIM does and the judge will not be able to object to the hard to argue with policies and contractual agreements. California for example requires that you are certified with the NCCA in order to be a certifying agency/school. Here is another heinous unjust means of maintaining control through bullying and legal strong-arming. It is most likely that ABMS member boards would not qualify for NCCA/ICE due to their egregious conflicts of interest. So one wonders why ICE would come to such an organization if they were not controlled somewhat/influenced by ABMS or its cronies. I believe that we have more conflicts and collusion in a vast racketeering scheme. They will hold on to it an not spare any expense to deceive, sanction and sue. Threaten your livelihood. ICE is closely linked to ANSI a huge international standards NGO.

Operating out of the same offices as ICE is AEA the American Evaluation Association at the same M Street address. "Principal officer" D. Roosendaal is the same for ICE and AEA as mentioned above. Smith Bucklin manages associations (like AEA) based out of Chicago with offices in DC and elsewhere. SB manages both ICE and AEA so they do circumvent disclosing any financial remuneration on their 990's to the "principal officer" or anyone else. They say they only have "interns" as staff. This is one of the most obtuse organizations I have come across in terms of disclosure. If you do want financial information you will have to be a member of ICE or AEA to request it from them, but no telling what selective items they will part with.


Who/What is Smith Bucklin (Chicago) said...

Smith Bucklin's acquisition spree and potpourri of related companies
See Wikipedia and references: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SmithBucklin

Outsourcing services to extend business activities (or possibly to keep them hidden)

SB company facts

And Smith Bucklin has business relationships with federal agencies like CMS and NIH.

"With our dedicated Healthcare + Scientific Industry Practice devoted to serving healthcare and scientific associations and societies, SmithBucklin is uniquely positioned to help clinician, allied health, scientific and multi-disciplinary organizations achieve their missions and objectives. We leverage our unmatched depth of practice-specific knowledge and experience to help organizations thrive in today’s ever-changing healthcare environment. We create bodies of knowledge and corresponding development curricula, develop practice-management benchmark data, generate commercial support and achieve desired outcomes from interactions with federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). With a deep appreciation for the time and travel constraints of healthcare professionals, SmithBucklin also excels in efficient administration and application of leading practices, allowing volunteers to contribute in a meaningful, impactful and rewarding manner to their organization’s success and long-term vitality."


ICE/NCCA accredited certified programs said...

NCCA accredited certified programs

Anonymous said...

"The FMA took an early lead in fighting for state and national policies on Maintenance of Certification that would reduce physicians’ regulatory burdens. In anticipation of the 2017 Florida Legislative Session beginning Tuesday, March 7, our legislation to prohibit unnecessary MOC requirements has been filed in the House and Senate. The FMA worked closely with bill sponsors Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., and Sen. Jeff Brandes on drafting HB 723."


10 things I hate most about MOC and Choosing Wisely said...

Re anti-MOC legislation: I am confident that the "Citizen Advocacy Center" (in Chicago and DC) will not engage the anti-MOC movement proposed by ABMS and ICE.
The Citizen Advocacy Center has much better things to do. The CAC already knows what Ralph Nader knows, namely, that MOC is a consumer scam and ABMS is fraudulent.

Ralph Nader does not understand why "Consumer Reports" would get mixed up with the deceitful ABIM Foundation and their cronies exposing oneself to endless liability connected with Choosing Wisely.

CW is worse than a faulty Chevy Corvair with its exploding gas tank. Choosing Wisely is worse on seniors and children than the murderous metallic smack of a recalled passenger-side air bag.

Mr. Nader, help us recall MOC, the greatest educational scam ever perpetrated on woman and man.
Help us recall Choosing Wisely, the morbid, potentially deadly ABIMF healthcare rationing plan.
Help us, Ralph, to protect the consumer from the deleterious effect of MACRA as it decreases quality and slows the daily flow--creating demonstrably poorer outcomes in medicine.
What were they thinking!


Lisa said...

Choosing Wisely is actually a good guideline for a lot of things, so long as you do the opposite.

Michael West said...

Can't believe I just saw Ted E's name on ABIM task force 2020 panel. Why is this guy on the panel? Doesn't practice as far as I know. Family practice residency only, then straight to administrative positions it appears, not even IMED. Bet he is not doing any MOC or even direct patient care. Willing to be corrected here, but don't see it happening. See his blog to get a feel for what he spends his time on. People should really vet deeply members of these so called task force panels.

Anonymous said...

Protect this website, and have someone back up the entire content. Updating regularly.

ABIM not meeting ICE/NCCA expectations and standards said...

More negligence involving the ABIM's self-wheeling/self-dealing governance.

An ABMS risk assessment regarding executive certification non-compliance:

According to reliable sources ABIM's new Human Resource Department Executive Director at the ABIM, Judith Cassel, is not certified with the appropriate certifying agency.
ABMS has a strict policy that HR Managers must be certified by the "HR Certification Institute." HRCI is an accreditation company listed with the ICE/NCCA.

Dr. Rich Baron missed this important detail in his strict adherence to policy and ethical practice at the ABIM? This may be a sanctionable offence for the CEO/President and he may lose his board certifications in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.

Before I continue with my sardonic tale of the ABIM's HR certification woes--all true--we have to digress and mention how the ABIM sanctions its executives with a bit of tongue in cheek history.

Given the harsh penalties for irregular behavior and egregious conflicts of interest meted out to ABIM's executives in the past, it is highly likely that Dr. Baron will be sanctioned with a raise in his pay and a bonus for bringing two top Philadelphia politicians into the fold at the ABIM to cure the ills by covering up the corruptions and fraud there.

Just a few years ago Christine Cassel was handed a 1.7 million dollars "sanction" on top of her normal outrageous million dollar per-annum salary (adjusted for tax deferred compensation and travel perks for her husband). Dr. Baron and the "sanctions committee" at ABIM took this bold punitive action against Dr. Cassel (who never logged more than a few hours a year at the ABIM) after it was discovered by ProPublica and a California union boss who represented Kaiser Permanente employees, that Christine Cassel had egregious conflicts of interest while on the dole of Kaiser Permanente (foundation), Premier, Inc., the Obama White House, the ABIM and then the NQF.

Castle was forced to resign from lucrative board seats only because her crimes corresponded with the DOJ's ongoing investigation of the NQF and a safey committee scandal involving blatant 'plain-as-day' kickback schemes going on for years at the NQF. Just so you know the NQF has paying stakeholder members who pay because they want a voice at the table. One such stakeholder who had a product called ChloraPrep paid the NQF to favor the product in their recommendations to hospitals. When they got caught the chief instigator of the scam got caught, a Chuck Denham. Chuck was the NQF's chief chairman on the safety committee for years. Denham had strong relations with Bob Wachter, who made webinars with him, and Rich Baron who was on the NQF board at the time. And then in comes Christine Cassel and other of the special interest cronies to save the day. In advance of Cassel being named as CEO of the NQF, Chris moved her policy VP from the ABIM over to the NQF to keep a lid on things as best as she could.

To make a long story short Chuck Denham, the kickback king for the NQF, who made a few million dollars worth of videos and commercial webinars for the NQF, was fined one million dollars by the DOJ making his total profit in kickbacks--minus the webinars/NQF ads--stand at only a lousy 9-11 million dollars. Denham tucked away some of the money in a new beach house near San Diego. He already had one with his wife/secretary of the Texas Medical Institute, but needed one more big home. The story is all there if you read TMI 990 tax forms. It tells a different story than the DOJ and the NQF. It actually tells the truth, strange as it sounds. Chuck may have been a convenient scape goat, although obviously a main party to the crime.

Tale of two contradictory realities said...

Bob Wachter disavowed himself from the kickback king, Denham, as Wachter had his own kickback schemes going on at IPC, the Hopspitalist Company, where he served as the Safety Board Chairman there. (Sound familiar?) Bob got paid a monthly salary and board compensation and lucrative stock, while the Hospitalist teams he trained systematically over-billed Medicare, Tri-care and Railroad Retirees--who all lost a lot of financial chug over the scandal, while Wachter and company got rich. Very rich in fact.

The multi-millionaire IPC executives and handsomely rewarded board members managed to keep their names out of the press by quickly selling IPC for a staggering profit to Team Health. Team Health struggled with the massive debt IPC passed on to them in the merger/sale. (Ouch!) In October of 2016 Team Health sold the company to the Blackstone Group for 6.1 billion dollars. This was obviously negotiated in advance of taking on the IPC debt to have an exit plan. This is typical in business. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TeamHealth

So, what about the missing certification/necessary credential in the CV of Baron's new chief of staff/HR director/ethics chief, Judy Cassel? Will someone be sanctioned for that crime?

The exiting "director of ABIM's HR," Donna L. Campbell (2008-2016), who hired Ariel Benjamin Mannes--the two-time felon to bully physicians--had two HR certifications. Campbell had one HR certification from the HRCI.org to give her the proper clout to overlook Mannes gun violation felony that most likely was not on his application. And the other prestigious HR certification from the Society for Human Resource Managers gave Campbell the experience to know that she would not get caught for failing to record that Mannes was convicted of impersonating a DC police officer. Mannes used his skills of impersonation to the max against gullible and vulnerable physicians and board prep courses who were scammed big league. The ABIM's "dream team of thugs" exercised to precision this heist against physicians and the public. They did so with no class whatsoever in the execution of their well-planned syndicate-like white collar crimes and tampering with justice.



Anonymous said...

Who does the criminal background checks for the ABIM? Or do they screen themsleves?

Anonymous said...

In recent internal news copy for Kaiser's planned medical school there is NO mention of its dean's (Christine Cassel) past involvement in ABIM. All gone, all white washed away. Are they getting a clue that association with ABIM is a potential liability? How long before they decide Christine Cassel herself is a liability? Tainted beyond redemption. Cassel already embarassed the KP big board with her conflicts of interest. What will crawl out when investigators turn over the rocks?

Anonymous said...

The ABIM has still not announced the stepping down of Lynn O Langdon as COO of the largest medical board in the ABMS. Why the silence about Ms. Langdon? Langdon worked for the ABIM for over four decades. There was no announcement of departure. No press release related to a shift in job title or activities either. Has she found employment with the ABIM Foundation. What are we led to believe? Should we report Ms. Langdon as a missing person to the Chicago police department where she was last seen as an ABMS board member?

Philadelphia police have no reports of a Lynn O Langdon as a missing person or object of some foul crime. The Philadelphia obituaries have not mentioned any sad demise of her person or anyone associated with that name.

Due to all the other horror stories we have heard about the ABIM, we can only imagine Ms. Langdon being locked away somewhere where she cannot communicate with the outside world. Is this true? If so, Dr. Baron should be ashamed of himself for such dishonesty and total disrgard toward another person. I heard that some medical society members have tried to reach Lynn Langdon at the ABIM and the answers were contradictory. One person was put through to her voicemail after a lengthy discussion of who they were and what they wanted with Ms. Langdon. Others called directly to her phone and got a voice message. Others were told that Ms. Langdon no longer works for the ABIM. Still others were led to believe in vague terms that Lynn is still there. What is the truth? Why the long silence about Lynn Langdon, Dr. Baron?

Anonymous said...

Another mystery executive that may or may not still be working for the ABIM

Nkanta Hines was announced as VP of operations over two years ago and his employment with the ABIM was terminated sometime after that. We cannot determine how long Hines was there as "chief of operations" because there has never been an announcement of Nick's departure.

Inquiries by phone about Mr. Hines or other concerning matters are directed to an email account info@abim.org.

What is going on at the ABIM that they think they can just hire and fire at will and not announce important executive changes. How can we trust them or their certification process if they are not transparent in every aspect of their activities, meetings, and operations. They don't even make their minutes available for the board meetings as any transparent not-for-profit charitable organization should.

We understand Mr. Hines found employment elsewhere, somewhere on the east coast, but Dr. Baron still refuses to announce Hines' departure from the organization. Why? What are they trying to cover-up by doing this. It just does not look good. Do they have a retention problem. Or are new employees asked to do things which they cannot in good conscience do or fulfill. Or do the new executives discover moral ills or financial conflicts of interest that are too powerful to ignore or participate in in good faith.

Dr Baron's promised - but elusive - transparency is a puzzle. We cannot detect even a trace of transparency anywhere. It is as though the ABIM was operating in total darkness. No light can get in, because obviously no real light is getting out. Except the false light that their PR managers are creating for them.

ABIM's risk assessors and legal experts have Dr. Baron in an unusually tight dark box.

Ed Rico said...

Anyone with a 40-year history at ABIM knows lots of closets with stashed skeletons. How soon before some ambitious Federal prosecutor under DOJ offers immunity to Ms. Langdon in exchange for the full story from an ABIM lifetime insider? Don't wait too long, she may have a reservation to dine with Jimmy Hoffa.

Anonymous said...

Question for ABIM's new HR Director and CFO. Has the term "contractor" on ABIM's payroll deposits ever equated to payments for "strong-arming," "hush money," "employee/client intimidation," "protection," "spying," "illegal/unethical investigations," "legal bullying", "judicial tampering," "more than routine file deletion," or "cover-up activities?"

There is the negative reputation that the ABIM is creating for itself and the entire ABMS--that the organization is a protection racket for corrupt corporations and run-amok elements of the government. Even serious comments that appear like bizarre jokes hit at the core of truth.

Anonymous said...

What does "contractor" really mean? Who is a contractor for the ABIM. Are there any disclosures that the ABIM can provide? Can we have a list of contractors who stayed at the Ayer building condo? It would be appropriate for Dr. Baron, Mr. Mandes, and Judi Cassel to provide the receipts for condo expenses and financial logs of who stayed there and how they balanced the expenses versus staying in a hotel. Food and entertainment expenses itemized for purview. Were any of the contractors unpaid? Or volunteers? The public has a right to know considering the extraordinary and shocking facts that have emerged about the ABIM so far.

The ABIM (ABMS umbrella and other member boards) have a category of employment called contractor. They usually list their contractors' expenses under the heading "OTHER EXPENSES" on their 990 IRS tax filings. I understand several key ABIM full-time employees have recently been reshuffled to be made to not appear on public documents. Technically ABIM's CFO should list these employed service/advisory providers under contractors, but they do not choose to reveal things to the public that has every right to be informed. Consumers need a higher standard of disclosure.

But ABIM may not be so proud of their malfeasance and deceitful practices preferring to keep their extracurricular activities hidden. I can't imagine why. You would think Dr. Baron would be chomping at the bit to show how much they do for their physician clients' education and how they are always devising new ways of making patients safer. It's all about coloring in the financial pie chart where it is clear to everyone that the executives are robbing the organization blind.

Bob Wachter mentions such unidentified/unspecified contractors as frequent visitors to the "not-really-a-scandal-but-just-politically-dumb-luxury-condo." This ABIM Foundation jewel, Wachter refers to as a polished gem, which he approved of, for their investment portfolio. The Ayer building "mansion" was a financial boondoggle losing easily a couple of million bucks after expenses. It is comically referred to by some critics as "Christine's Castle," "Dickey's Dacha," or just "The ABMS Playhouse." I have even heard it called "Cassel's Hobby Lobby."

If you want to find a reference ABIM's contractors, a 10 year veteran ABIM board member and trustee wrote about them. He wrote a lengthy treatise to justify the contractors' use of their luxury mansion with discreet vetted chauffeur to all the local risque entertainment hot spots--plus AAA day-or-night concierge room service. It is all mentioned in Dr. Robert Wachter's lengthy dissertation on Wiley's blogsite. Actually it was a classic apology for the ABIM's nefarious activities called (I don't remember the title exactly) "Something Good, Something Bad, And Something Absolutely Ugly About The ABIM--AND Why I Feel The Need To speak Out."

Bob has never written a word since on his commercially-funded "Society of Hospital Medicine/Wiley, Inc. blog. Why?

Anonymous said...

Here's a question for the critical evidence-seeking people who read this blog?

Did anyone ask the ABIM CEO/President, CMO, CFO, CoS, board, or its Foundation officers if the "luxury condo" was perhaps not sold to a third party of one of their "contractors" or maybe a third party of an ABMS "affiliate" that wanted to hold on to "Dickey's Dacha" in order to have access to its continued use for ABIM or ABMS associates?

Who in their right mind would actually be willing to pay $2.3 million, or even $1.8 million for a three bedroom apartment that has HOA dues of over two thousand dollars a month plus expenses? Perhaps only some third party who thinks that $2 million dollars is chump change.

Perhaps there was some secretive committee's unanimous consent, people who's names cannot be revealed, who thought it was a good idea to create a shadow government and spy ring out of the ABMS. When are they going to stop creating a prison for physicians and end mandatory MOC. The elite members saw monetary value in a "politically dumb" idea-the condo purchase. And they obviously recognized they could make a lot of valuable political hay from having a private space for meets. And because they covered it up it and fibbed about it, it became a worse scandal.

It is obvious that Christine Cassel used the condo for personal use and for political convenience/advantage unrelated to the ABIM mission of providing certifications to physicians. That was her modus operandi for several decades. And yes Cassel is a liability to Kaiser Permanente for her financial conflicts of interest and continuous back-channel political cheating, cunning cartel-like mind with the inevitable abuse of power that such a mind unleashes on the world.

We second the motion above for more investigation of the ABIM and for a seasoned team of DOJ officers and FBI agents to put up the yellow tape and seize their computers.

I want to know, if the condo was actually sold, how did they expense the money for the apartment? Let's see the who's who list in the ABIM Foundation's logs and the accompnaying receipts.

When can we have some disclosure about the use of the condo and its sale proceeds. Perhaps Ms. Langdon and Rich Baron would like to explain how it was used as staging area for their sting operation against physician's who had competing board prep courses. And how it was an asset in the "month-long investigation," raid, violation of thousands of physicians privacy and civil liberties, and the unacceptable persecution of many more when the ABIM and Ballard Spahr went fishing in violation of federal laws and even ABIM's ethics and privacy policies.

Did anyone buy another piece of real estate on behalf of ABIM or for an affiliates' use. Or is there any private use of someone's home for ABIM related or unrelated political activities? These people work from home and really can't be trusted based on clear evidence of past bad behavior.

VRW said...

The ABIM Foundation purchased the Ayer Building condo. What does utilization of the Ayer Building condo for ABIM executive's personal use or even official purposes have to do with the ABIM Foundation's own clearly-defined "supportive mission" involving the advancement of professionalism?

Anonymous said...

What is the ABIM Foundation? How are those millions of dollars of accumulated profits from excessive physician fees used? Interesting ideas are emerging about the improper use of funds provided to the ABIM from the ABIM Foundation. Who approved those expenditures and compensation expenses. And why aren't they tax forms accurate in so many aspects. I really is more than sloppiness the more we understand about the ABIM and their dynastic regimes.

Question? Shouldn't there be separate tax treatment of expenses for ABIM's mission of creating certifications for medical specialists and sub-specialists and the ABIMF's advancement of professionalism?

Otherwise the ABIM can be yet again accused of being involved in more unreported money transfers--in this case millions of dollars in improperly assigned or perhaps even unreported expenses funneled back to the ABIM--FROM THE FOUNDATION!

Hold all my calls. . . said...

I hope the ABIM contractors, directors, and visiting executives were "choosing wisely" and not creating a confusing, sloppy co-mingling of ABIM and ABIMF expenses. I can see the IRS red flags going up already.

"You will need to embrace change and adapt to it," Christine Cassel said...

Professional medical bureaucrats' coi - like a fish in water . . .

The Foundation is a liability for the ABIM, just like Christine Cassel's egregious financial conflicts of interest were for years. Her conflicts of interest have become even more so today, as she puts her soul into advertising the "rivers of change" that her corrupt corporate cronies want to bring.

For Cassel, Kaiser Permanente and the ilk they represent, it is not about advancing humanistic philosophy or egalitarian medical practice it is all about money and hegemonic healthcare agenda where patient choice and physician autonomy disappear.

Ten million reasons to be mad said...

Objectively speaking, one must view Cassel's outrageous compensation packages at the ABMS' powerful jewel in the crown (ABIM) as nothing more than illegal transfers from the ABIM and ABIMF into her own and husband Michael McCauley's, personal investment accounts--and even their legacy trusts. http://www.psr.org/support/ways-to-donate/legacy-society/mccally-and-cassel.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

Complicit and defunct Chicago firms said...

What is maddening about all this is ABIM's CEO Dr. Baron, and other ABMS executives have grown to expect such outrageous compensation packages. They even determine that these myriads of ABMS personally prearranged money transfers involving self-dealing compensation contracts are legally permissible--even audited by national accounting firms. But how many certified auditors have gone out of business under closer scrutiny of their audits. Consider Enron and their sham audits by the most respected of firms Arthur Anderson. Both are now just sad wisps of a corrupt history.

Yet Christine Cassel, Lois Nora, Richard Baron, and Robert Wachter are and were the very one's deciding for the boards on the exact numbers for these outlandish compensation packages they receive. In fact the best way to describe is the silver cloud linings and golden parachutes which they give to each other as they fly higher than any other physician on the ground working for a living.

In the case of Chris Cassel, a women who did nothing good for the ABIM, we must step back and question all of that she did.

Cassel only wrought evil and brought harm to physicians, while the public trust in the boards and physicians eroded. Cassel destroyed the gold standard of certification forever with her political shenanigans, sting operations, MOC propaganda and thugs she and Rich Baron hired to enforce it all through fear and demonization.

Cassel helped propagate a blind insistence on including rationing into the realm of professionalism, where it did not belong. This alone was enough to debase and ruin the reputation of the ABIM and place it and its complicit partners in bed "voluntarily" with the CMS.

ABIM's Rich BC said...

Note on the questionable history, birth date and legacy funds of the ABIMF.
***ABIM's rich "bastard child" -B.C. - the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation. Born in 1989 (Parents unknown, left on the doorstep of Henri Strozeski with a basket full of cash, bonds and stock and an "in/care of PO Box" @ 1838 Investment Advisors, aka, Drexel, Burnham, Lambert.)
ABIM's BC was happily adopted in 1999 by the ABIM and Christine Cassel and baptized as the ABIM Foundation. (Exact state of registration unknown, but ABIM's Cassel, Kimball and others dipped into the money basket gladly. Now it is a favorite pastime and ritual of executives and board members there at the ABIM to double dip into the treasury of the BC on justifying their compensation by claiming to be one of the BC grandfathers.)

Anonymous said...

Look at the ABIMF's reputation and history. It is a shady affair of secrecy and lying on documents to avoid IRS, physician, or public scrutiny. The smoke and shadow play worked in the beginning years, but not anymore.

Now the ABIM Foundation, although flush with investments, is a huge liability for the ABIM. It is not an asset in the same way that Christine K. Cassel was not an asset for the ABIM, but primarily a bane. The irony of ironies is that the ABIM Foundation's money does not even belong to them. It belongs to physicians. I would hope one of the actions of the "Practicing Physicians of America" (PPA) would be a class action lawsuit to recover this money to pay back the practicing physicians whose money it is. Or create a strong union for practicing physicians to make them whole again.

The Foundation needs to close. It has caused too much harm to the public and physicians. Money the accumulated was not over a hundred year period as Bob Wachter stated. Most of the money was from over-billing and price-fixing between the various monopolistic boards and the ABMS who gouged vulnerable physicians. MOC brought in even more revenue. After all, Mr. Wachter, how can you have a hundred years of cash stashed when you are just celebrating 80 years of existence (as of February, 2016). So you see, the hundred-year lie just doesn't fly.

The ABIM (and all the ABMS member boards) have literally scammed physicians out of millions and millions of dollars. It is time that elites like Cassel, Baron, Nora and the ABIM Foundation give the money they improperly took back to practicing physicians. It belongs to backbone physicians--not money managers, real joint estate investiture, speculative investment hedge funds, offshore tax havens, personal bank accounts, or retirement funds.

What is wrong with this picture? Corruption.

It is not just sloppy paint splattered on everyone it is the lethal toxin of fraud. And it is not a game. Everyone is affected. We have deceptive practices at the ABMS and its partners which are no different than that which organized crime mobsters create and maintain. It is a pay or "I'll break your knuckles" affair.

Almost everything goes to the top few in the organizations to enhance their political standing and generate personal wealth. Everyone is afraid of getting their knuckles broken, so you are forced to pay, because you can't work without your knuckles.

Physicians need protection. If I get any money back from the ABIM from their illicit MOC and over-billing, I will donate it to the PPA. I need protection from this extortion racket.

Thank you for all that you and others do and intend to do to make the profession safer from those like the ABIM who are out to harm us, and as sick as it sounds extract a tax every year to keep on doing it.