Friday, February 16, 2018

Dealing With the Ol' ABIM Soft-shoe

Resolution 607 from the AMA House of Delegates, passed in June 2016, stated:
"Whereas, The ABIM Foundation uses the income of the $56 million for internal salaries, dubious research which consistently publishes data in support of MOC, and approximately $500,000 a year for high-end retreats at the county’s most expensive resorts; and

Whereas, The ABIM paid its President $2,774,000 for her final 30 months of employment (an annualized salary of $1.1 million dollars); and

Whereas, The ABIM President gave her First Assistant a raise of $103,000/year in 2011, $83,000/year in 2014, and a bonus of $313,000 in 2011 for total earnings well in excess of $500,000; and

Whereas, The ABIM purchased a condominium for $2.3 million and sold it for $1.7 million losing $600,000 in cash along with real estate sales and transfer fees adding another loss of approximately $200,000, and chose to house its out-of-town guests in the most expensive per square foot real estate in the city of Philadelphia as well as provide a chauffeur-driven limousine for their use; and

Whereas, The top employees at the ABIM are receiving retirement contributions of 18 percent per year (fully funded by the ABIM with no employee contributions) in contrast to the industry average of five percent; and

Whereas, There may well be many more undiscovered excessive expenses at the ABIM; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association, prior to the end of December 2016, formally, directly and openly ask the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) if they would allow an independent outside organization, representing ABIM physician stakeholders, to independently conduct an open audit of the finances of both the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization, and its Foundation (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

RESOLVED, That in its request, our AMA seek a formal and rapid reply from the ABIM so that issues of concern that currently exist between the ABIM and its Foundation and many members of the AMA and the physician community at large can be addressed in a timely, effective and efficient fashion (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association (AMA) share the response to this request, as well as the results of any subsequent analysis with our AMA House of Delegates and our membership at large as soon as it is available. (Directive to Take Action)"
In response to this resolution, the ABIM sent this response to the AMA, skirting the concerns outlined and directing diplomates to its webpage containing only its most recent financials, and to the President and CEO of the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Not only were the concerns raised by the AMA House of Delegates not addressed directly, the House of Delegates were asked to turn to the fox guarding the henhouse for answers.

Currently, the ABIM and the ABIM Foundation still haven't filed their non-profit 2017 Form 990 Federal tax forms for public inspection. We are quite aware they may have squandered over $78 million of our testing fees.

What should be diplomate physicians' response be to this previous ABIM soft-shoe tactic?

I believe the AMA should move to have the Internal Revenue Service investigate the ABIM and the ABIM Foundation on our behalf.

We have tried to be polite and self-regulate our regulators in a responsible, transparent way using accepted channels. It has gotten us nowhere. It's time proper authorities get involved to examine the evidence and, if appropriate, take action to end the years of deception and collusion, and to take corrective action in the name of the integrity of our profession.

-Wes

PS: A survey of Board-certified practicing physicians regarding MOC® is still being conducted. If you have not done so already, please complete the survey here and then email the link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PPA_MOCSurvey) to your colleagues. This is particularly important now that ABMS is performing their own survey that will ignore their conflicts of interest with "continuous certification."

13 comments:

  1. Wall Street Hall of ShameSat Feb 17, 03:36:00 AM CST

    The ABIM gets high marks from Wall Street money managers and brokerage house CEO's for their performance. They say that ABIM executives are some of the best in the industry at robbing their clients blind, while paying themselves exorbitant compensation packages, entertaining themselves at luxury retreats, and having their boards award them with additional perks and payouts. Too bad the ABIM is not a publicly traded company, the Securities and Exchange Commission in conjunction with the Department of Justice could go after this Ponzi Scheme and get some easy convictions.

    ReplyDelete

  2. The ABMS is one of the biggest jokes in town! Look how they appoint their executives.
    It's the old revolving door shuffle. Does anyone even take these people seriously?

    I guess so, they are raking in the money from some of the biggest suckers on the planet as the ABMS and AMA keep on investing the money to create personal wealth and ever increasing political power.

    There are more lawyers and investment bankers occupying the seats of power in the quality assurance cartel than practicing physicians.

    Lip service is the core value of the AMA inner circle that continues to propagate unhealthy health programs and dances around the truth perennially.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Topsy Turvy: Of the Payers for the Payers

    In the beginning the devil gave us Choosing Wisely as as companion for Healthcare Reform. Now the clever devil and his helpers have only gotten more sophisticated with their commercial and political shenanigans taking away all choice and wisdom with prior authorization forms as new norm for everything.

    And say hello to the new 'god of measure' to replace intelligence, love and integrity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 78 million dollars in testing to demonstrate low single-digit improvements in mammography (Dr. Baron's most recent claim when touting the value of an every-other-year high stakes exam). Also funding for an in house Anthropologist...

    ReplyDelete
  5. ABIM and all ABMS medical board affiliates are private enterprise businesses. They have no power or ordained federal, state, or local authority other than that which they and their associated NGO's and the healthcare industry have given to them for unscrupulous purposes.
    These purposes are money and political power that money brings.

    The ABIM and other medical boards do not file tax forms as educational entities, apparently, because the bulk of what they do is "other" than education. Look at their tax forms closely. MOC and certification are listed as not education but as "other" on their forms year after year. That "other" is comprised of making money and creating political power for themselves, healthcare elites and special interests that drives it all. The all do this through data collection, propaganda, and physician manipulation through means of deceptive certification practices and illicitly created coercive mandates. These highly profitable activities are the main enterprises of the ABMS and their related partner organizations.

    Look at the largest contractors listed on ABIM's 2015 returns for example and the tax code the ABIM provides to the IRS for certification and MOC and related activities. It is not education as it is proclaimed by their executives, but rather nebulous and obfuscated code, namely, "other". IRS tax code 900099 is used by the ABMS and other boards. This clearly demonstrates that the ABIM and the other medical boards are engaged primarily in activities that the IRS would deem as "other" if they were audited. The ABMS and related entities are not involved in education as they state in their declaration of mission and descriptive information to the IRS. It is time for the IRS to take a look at all these "quality organizations" and see what they really are and do. Their testing has nothing to do with measuring knowledge or capacity and has everything to do with "collection". Collection of money and raw data.

    MOC and certification have nothing to do with education, as we just stated and is quite clear from reading tax forms. Therefore, the IRS should investigate and revoke with prejudice the tax-exempt statuses of all the medical boards and their Chicago umbrella, which is little more than a protection racket when you open up their fancy MOC "violin case" to see how they are fiddling around with physicians through the heinous use of fear. They use fear and fear mongering as a consciously deployed tactic and chief weapon of choice. (See ABIM's Office of Investigations and its illicit activities for an example of this. A felon and unscrupulous legal partner were utilized throughout the medical boards to induce fear and strip physicians of their constitutional guarantees, privacy and civil liberties related to our constitution and bill of rights.)

    Let's state clearly what the ABMS does. They use fear of losing livelihood as the key instrument of power and persuasion. Certification and its annual forced conscription have nothing to do with voluntary self-regulation. It is all about the money and control.

    We have to see MOC for what it is. MOC, maintenance of control, is the proverbial gangland machine gun openly displayed in the ABMS violin case. And they use this weapon effectively along with thugs and attorneys at these medical testing companies. This fear and potential loss of livelihood maintains their stranglehold and monopoly over physicians and markets.

    Tax forms tell us a great deal of the corruption and conflicts of interest at the ABMS. They also inform even the casual observer how they dodge taxes in order to create huge paydays and perks for the executives and staff. They do buy luxury accommodations for their political elites with chauffeurs and concierge specialists. They invest offshore or gamble the markets. They buy land, office buildings, private lakes, and use the money to create Asian and European market places for themselves and partners. These are all for-profit enterprises.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tax forms show a glaring contradiction between declared mission and actual activities.

    Study pages 7, 8, and 9 of ABIM's 2015 as a reference. See who is responsible at the boards for this racketeering, how much that steal from physicians and the public in order to garnish their elite lives and make their dreams for power come true. Note what chief companies they contract with to carry out their "other" enterprises. Primarily, data collection software, bullying attorneys, advertising/propaganda, and many "others". It is noteworthy that the ABIM does not list their main contractor Pearson Vue/Pearson Plc on the list of main contractors anymore. Why is that? Have they become "for-profit" business partners?

    It appears so along with UpToDate parent Wolters Kluwer, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, GlaxoSmithKline, United Health Group, Blackstone, Elsevier, and many other for-profit health related enterprises.
    If it has to do with money, power as it relates to the healthcare industry, they all have their fingers co-mingled with the egregiously conflicted medical boards and their affiliates.

    ANEXINET CORP
    4 SENTRY PARKWAY, BLUE BELL, PA 19422 SOFTWARE SERVICES 1,987,722.
    LIQUID HUB INC.
    PO BOX 62064, BALTIMORE, MD 21264 CONSULTING SERVICES 1,121,562.
    BALLARD SPAHR LLP
    1735 MARKET STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103 LEGAL SERVICES 947,441.
    CE CITY
    285 WATERFRONT DRIVE, HOMESTEAD, PA 15120 SOFTWARE SERVICES 880,000.
    PROJECT ASSISTANTS, INC.
    1521 CONCORD PIKE, WILMINGTON, DE 19803 CONSULTING SERVICES 652,153.

    http://www.abim.org/~/media/ABIM%20Public/Files/pdf/revenue-expenses/abim-990-form.pdf

    When are we going to see the actual log of who stayed at the ABIM "Green Acres" estate overlooking the most expensive views of Philadelphia. What did Bob Wachter, Rich Baron and Christine Cassel and the rest of the 17th floor gang really need that condo for?
    Who was paid to guard the door during after hours political and social activities/creative lobbying that was not accounted for on tax forms? How many contractors does the ABIM hire/pay for services but not list.

    http://www.phillyliving.com/listing/7047649-210-w-washington-sq-5e-philadelphia-pa-19106/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lord John Russel:
    The in-house social anthropologist you mention was hired to take ethnographic surveys, collect data on everyone, and other extraneous data collection. But we don't know what they do with that data and who they sell it to with. Like usual it it us paying for it along with the unwitting taxpayer. The public along with the over-burdened Internal Revenue Service give these crooks a free ride. For now anyway! Report this social burden, waste and abuse. They pay plenty to this full time social anthropologist for studying us as subjects andkeeping files on everyone/entering data/conducting surveys, etc., and yet do not list him on their tax forms for good reason. They keep much secret. It is part of the bulk of their "other activity" mentioned above by 20/20 in his/her analysis of the ABIM/ABMS as a crony cartel serving the insurers, big pharma, large institutions, CMS and on an on. Outrageous.

    Anybody know when they hired this guy? They never announced it in a press release. But then they never release such politically, socially and economically sensitive information. In fact, they are still stonewalling on almost every issue of concern to physicians and patients. They pay communications officers and propagandists, but we never hear a word from them of substance.

    The ABIM should be listed in the yellow pages/online company lists as an advertising agency as well as they have hired specialists from some of the top ad firms in the country.
    Again public and physicians end up paying for cleverly worded campaigns that only put money in their coffers for offshore accounts and personal investment accounts.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Benjamin J. Chesluk, etnographic studies/data collection of 860K pigeons in the ABMS MOC maze.
    https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Benjamin-Chesluk/1141124720

    ReplyDelete
  9. DR BARON. YOU HAVE A FEDERAL STATUTORY OBLIGATION TO RELEASE THE FORM 990S IN A TIMELY MANNER. PERHAPS A FEDERAL SUBPOENA CAN MOTIVATE YOU TO BE TRANSPARENT.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Don’t give a single dime to the ABIM. They refuse to release the Form 990 because they have embezzled more money to the Cayman Islands.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It now seems that recertification decreases access to health care. This could be something that all agencies to get behind as MOC is now against access of patients to physicians.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/02/26/how-can-remedy-shortage-health-providers/2qHhUHXOQcdgoNsdOIuzEO/story.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/02/26/how-can-remedy-shortage-health-providers/2qHhUHXOQcdgoNsdOIuzEO/story.html#comments

    In case the previous link is behind a payer or registration wall.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Missed OpportunitiesThu Mar 01, 02:44:00 AM CST

    ABMS mind games: corrupt and corrupting busy bodies -- greed and politics replacing charity

    The name of the game is controlling the flow of information. Dr Fisher and other professionals and patients involved in the anti-MOC/anti-corruption movement have the advantage of levying their support and cooperation from higher moral ground.

    The truth is reflected in a clear calm pool. The ABMS corruption and Ponzi scheme is exposed in the mirror of life and the pain and other ill consequences they cause others.

    What else can we say about the quality assurance cartel and their egregiously conflicted executives -- the professional medical politicians whose bank accounts and offshore investments get fatter by the day, while their hearts and souls wither away?

    The ABMS' main task it to obfuscate, misdirect and mislead in order to rob a percentage of the public of what is rightfully theirs, that is to say, denying them of their access to healthcare. They do this largely by controlling, manipulating and abusing physicians through illicit mandates imposed and never ending busy work. (As do the insurers with their injury through a thousand paper cuts.)

    The ABMS and their ilk ooze with dirty agitated water.

    They have lost touch with reality and turned their organizations into their opposites in the same way that many religions have fallen far short of their original message of faith, hope and love only to lead us into conflict and war. And fully justifying it.

    Greed and politics have replaced charity. That is the unfortunate reality on the ground in the Windy City (home of the Chicago mercantile exchange) and Philly (the noble birthplace of the Declaration of Independence).

    ReplyDelete