Tuesday, August 01, 2017

JAMA: The Certification Fees and Finances of US Medical Specialty Boards

Today in JAMA, a partial list of the fees and finances of the ABMS member boards were disclosed in a research letter to the editor from Brian C. Drolet, MD and Vickram J. Tandon, MD of the Departments of Plastic Surgery from Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan. Their summary of those finances is remarkable:
In total, the boards reported $701 million (85% CI, $644 million-$758 million) in assets and $65.6 million (95% CI, $60 million - $71 million) in liabilities (difference, $635 million (95% CI, $584 million - $687 million))(Table 2). Six boards reported no debt; and the remaining 18 held reported assets that substantially exceeded liabilities. Between 2003 and 2013, the change in net balance (ie, the difference of assets and liabilities) of the ABMS member boards grew from $237 million (85% CI, $232 million-241 million) to $635 million (95% CI, $584 million - $687 million). ... As a result of such margins, the member boards saw a mean annual growth rate of 10.4% during the decade studied.
Importantly, these financial assets are significantly underreported. As the authors mentioned in their letter:
This study is limited by the data source. Although IRS Form 990s includes major funding sources and amounts of revenue, expenses, liabilities, and assets, it does not contain complete and specific financial accounting for the ABMS member boards. Also, board subsidiaries and foundations were not included. (Emphasis mine).
Given these data, justification for Maintenenace of Certification for anything other than financial renumeration for the ABMS member boards and their supporting organizations is impossible to dispute. Their windfall is a direct result of the creation of Maintenance of Certification and their monopolization of the physician credentialing market by regulatory capture.

Please consider joining Practicing Physicians of America, Inc. to help end the extortion of practicing US physicians by the ABMS specialty boards and their collaborating organizations at the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education.


Reference: Drolet BC and Tandon VJ. Fees for Certification and Finances of the Medical Specialty Boards. JAMA 1 Aug 2017; 218(5): 477-479.

Update: (video via MedPageToday) Where Do all Those MOC Fees Go?

StatNews: Medical Boards Ring Up Big Margins by Charging Doctors High Examination Fees


Anonymous said...

Where did all that hidden money go?

Until a short while ago it was all hidden. We did not even know about the ABIM Foundation and all the money they stashed away from over-billing physicians on their certification fees. How much was it really they deposited in their big piggy bank? 70 million? Nobody really knows. Nobody knows how much they may have misappropriated for exiting CEO's and presidents. They over-billed so much, every time they sent a bill to physicians via the US postal service they potentially committed a federal crime. It's called mail fraud. Each offense a crime. That is a lot of potential crimes. Who is looking into that? That is clearly potential fraud.

The fraudulent money is all there in 'big Hank', 'dirty Harry', and 'Chris K's' big piggy bank. ABIM's Foundation. These folks are also known as the 17th floor gang, where Lynn Langdon helped hide more than just money over her four decades of holding executive positions with increasing responsibility and power.

Anonymous said...

The financial revelations of how much profit they actually are making and distributing to the executives adds even more fuel to this outrageous bonfire of illegitimate payouts to each other and having the boards approve. Add up the executive compensation over the past 10 years of the just the CEO's alone.

And tucked away in court documents such as ABIM v. Sarah von Muller v ABIM, one can even see the same mail fraud - over-billing and fraudulent financial documents created by the ABIM attorneys. When Judge Curtis Joyner showed his disapproval of ABIM's ruinous intentions toward Dr. Sarah von Muller, the judge lashed out at ABIM and Ballard Spahr about the over-billing, even double billing. Search online. It is all there without having to go through the court website. One lead attorney's billable hours did not even make it to the schedule of fees presented to the judge. Marc J. Weinstein. There has been no explanation given for that omission of esquire Weinstein's billable services on the public court document and in what manner, how much and when he was paid. No explanation given to date.

Additionally, I wonder if the judge follows this blog to learn how ABIM's "director of investigations" did a number on him along with Ballard Spahr attorneys in fabricating and exaggerating the need for an ex parte writ, which essentially destroyed the civil liberties of all Americans and not just Dr. Arora and thousands of persecuted physicians covering up their own crimes at the ABIM. Weinstein and the now infamous Mr Mannes teamed up with an assoiciation with an ABMS subcontractor Caveon. Another now infamous story of the violatory nature of the ABMS and their member boards.

Anonymous said...

They really wanted it all hidden at the ABMS and ABIM. By the way, did anyone know that the ABIM is accountable to the ABMS. In fact the ABMS has the power and authority and the moral obligation to put a member board on probation when they act so unethically as the ABIM has obviously done.

The ABIM, their partners at the ABMS, their attorneys and profiteering affiliate partners and friends all wanted it kept that way. Hidden. In fact, the finances have been hidden for years. That's why the ABIM has the highest legal fees at the ABMS. Not even the IRS looks at their shenanigans as far as we know.

No one at the ABMS or its member boards ever said publicly, here is what we are doing and here are our totally transparent financial activities and net assets. A naive idea that they would ever do so.

In fact, as far as I know, there was nobody looking at the finances of the ABMS, except individuals and organizations which they have put out of business or threaten in some way today; but some have proven too tenacious to be destroyed by such a monopoly. Lawsuits reflect just how blood-thirsty the ABMS dogs in the fight for supremacy of territory and money have become.

Nobody, outside a handful of people, who's livelihoods have been dramatically and detrimentally impacted by the unfair business practices of the ABMS, such as the AAPS and AOA physicians who are as we speak in an intense legal battle. (The AAPS lawsuit moved to Chicago has been quarantined by powerful entities with apparent sway over the Illinois and New Jersey federal courts.

No one in the media was questioning anything. The media had no interest in investigative research or reporting before Kurt Eichenwald's family got more than its toes stepped on by the unaccountable monster from hell otherwise known as the ABIM.

Not even curiosity from physician to dig and to ask, "jeez, where does all OUR MONEY go before a few years ago!"

I don't know of any congressional leader before Chuck Grassley in 2014 who was even looking at Christine Cassel to see how slanted toward profit, self-dealing and egregious self-inurement they had all become, with money, special interests and politics the aim and modus operandi at most of the non-profit NGOs looking after the regulation of healthcare.

Why? Why? And why not?

Anonymous said...

Whatever the political or financial weather, this ABMS bureaucratic nightmare and mess continues with a tour de force big bang right in front of us for all to see. It's a very loud educational Ponzi scheme and cover-up of the first magnitude; and the quick turnaround in physician and public coverage at the grassroots level is startling.

It is amazing to me that the DOJ is not looking at the loud and explosive supernovae popping out in the sky and follow the money trail to its sources.

The egregious revelations and scandalous facts have led to this: nobody trusts these perps at the ABMS anymore! No one in their right mind wants to willingly pay them or participate in their childish and selfish schemes. It has all become a fishbowl of larceny. Slippery fish and their treacherous attorneys swimming in expensive ponds of water, driving their fleets of luxury limousines. A transparent scam.

Highly paid contractors for life? Ships who carry too heavy a load that can never find safe harbor? said...

Lynn Langdon, former COO and boss of Ariel Benjamin Mannes (director of ABIM's bureau investigations) are you (or he) still there getting paid? They never formally said you left? Actually they never formally tell us anything except what the ABMS 'ministry of propaganda' wants to make us believe.

W.O.R.M. said...

With money hidden under the floorboards like that, is it any wonder the credentialing authority of the ABMS was codified in the ACA? Regulatory capture that goes hand in hand with the deaf, dumb and blind behavior of the DOJ and IRS. More than a provincial malady of the medical profession, it bears witness to a moribund representative democracy at the federal level. As in Oklahoma, the fight against the ABMS and their despicable allies must be taken to the States.