As a follow-up of my earlier post on the American Board of Medical Specialties' (ABMS) Maintenance of Certification™(MOC™) program's tax on medical education, I was sent the "approved" responses of two different physicians that were required to answer questions to "earn" ABMS MOC™credits from the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) Scientific Sessions after the meeting. These responses were "approved" by an HRS "reviewer" so the doctors could apply these points to remain "Board certified" and employed with their hospital systems. Each doctor had to write between 50 and 100 words (no more, no less) in response to questions posed by the ABIM. Despite their different responses, each received the exact same "feedback" that included links to various Heart Rhythm Society, American College of Cardiology, AMA, ABMS and non-governmental organizations' policies and web pages.
(See Physician 1's responses here and Physician 2's responses here.)
Given these canned responses to these physicians feedback, how is this time-consuming, costly, and meaningless "feedback" exercise for "earning" MOC™ points anything but a self-paid advertorial for the HRS, ACC, AMA, ABMS, and other non-governmental organizations?
It is a sad commentary that our own subspecialty societies legitimize this corrupt process despite all that we know about it today.
What a scam. Greedy MOCSTERS at the ABMS and other NGOs should be tossed out on the street.
The ABMS has given diplomates and the tax-burdened public the distinct impression that they engage in discrimination against vulnerable physicians for political and financial purposes. We have witnessed how the ABIM/ABMS has used the media and judicial system to their advantage with power brokering and deceit to prosecute agendas in order to monopolize certification/testing markets and to degrade and abuse physicians to further that agenda. The ABMS is clearly in the business of monopoly and restraint of trade. They have demonstrated and it is documented in court records how they abused power to achieve their aims and suppressed incriminating data from reaching the public and the courts.
When it comes to their own roster of elite executives, they protect their and fail to do their duty to protect the public from these self-appointed political power brokers like Christine Cassel and Richard Baron. We have seen, with their self-dealing zealous pursuits and personal greed and and advancement, how avaricious power brokers can turn violations of ethics and laws guiding and governing the profession and non-profit organization into "politically dumb mistakes" through the use of political spin.
Nothing illustrates this self-dealing more than the purchase of a 2.3 million dollar condo for the private use of Christine Cassel and other elite executives and board members at the ABIM and ABIM Foundation with the media spin (after revealed by this blog) that this condo was used by "contractors" to save money on hotels. These perks to highly placed individuals, primarily Christine Cassel, the CEO, were not reported as far as I know on any of the tax filings where personal incomes/total compensation was reported.
If so it would have been disclosed in one of the schedules informing the public and IRS of this expense and compensation.
Furthermore, Christine Cassel's contract never granted her the purchase of private dwelling in the best part of Philadelphia with fabulous views, and former CEO to the best of my knowledge never claimed any of this form of compensation on her personal tax documents. Otherwise it would have been disclosed that they ABIM board promised Christine Cassel the best of the best to entice the former OHSU "dean" to come and work for the ABIM.
The ABIM Foundation, which Cassel was CEO/President of and former Chair also signed the scandalous and potentially fraudulent "second registration" of the ABIM Foundation in 1999, which puts this purchase of a luxury condo and compensation in a futher dark light. This kind of self-dealing conduct and ethical financial breaches are enough to indict most Americans for violations of tax law and the appearance of corruption. Such trangressions should be enough to sanction individuals in the profession of medicine, and possibly the loss of certification and medical licenses.
It is apparent to this observer that justice was not served in the extreme case of Christine Cassel and her ABIM cronies, Wachter and Baron, et al, as a result of lax enforcement of laws and codes, and the possible tamapering with our fair system of laws and enforcement of laws on several occassions. Laws are supposed to apply to everyone. Every school child learns this principle, but this fundamental rule of law in the United States has apparently not been applied to the ABMS and the quality assurance cartel they are a large part of.
Is it not corruption and violation of everything the ABIM is alleged to stand for when millions of dollars were paid to a political exponent to carry out political work that had nothing to to with the ABIM or ABIM Foundation. The ABIM even publicly admitted this. Furthermore much of that political work and regulatory capture found its way back to the ABIM and its Foundation in a further politicization and monetization of these organizations for partisan and personal uses.
It is highly irregular when we witness blatant forms of corruption and patent manifestations of political and personal self-dealing ignored by the DOJ and IRS and OIG of the HHS.
The same outrageous processes of self-dealing and obscene compensatory packages continue at the ABMS, ABIM and the other medical boards. The entire system of "self-regulation" at the ABMS has become a farce. It is fake because there is no representation of the medical profession anymore. It is a corporate-driven enterprise with bureaucratic politicians, Wall Street brokers, and shady lawyers raking in money and funneling it to themselves. Law firms have made market for themselves out of enforcing copyright laws claiming violation even when there was insufficient evidence or outright twisting of statute of limitations laws to prosecute political and financial agendas at the taxpayers'/physicians' expense.
One wonders how these alleged "government actors" can justify themselves when it is clear that their MOC taxation plan is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, and the entire ABMS is a protection racket for the quality assurance cartel. This is becoming common knowledge even among state legilators who shake their head at the level of corruption exhibited by these tax havens for the elite executives who represent not the public or the profession but only themselves and some shadowy corporate agenda.
Lobbying activities at the state capitols informs us who some of the corporate actors are that benefit from the continuance of the MOC Ponzi scheme and the "greening" of the ABMS with its offshore Hedgefunds and Cayman Island/Emerald Isle tax-advanataged accounts.
MOC's Goliath versus the profession of medicine - monetary boons for elite execs versus public safety - it's a disgrace and a disaster
How the ABMS treats vulnerable populations in their client base and rich elite members of their own private club - in short, the discriminatory practices of the ABMS
Consider the case of ABMS MOC poster boy Carmen Puliafito, the disgraced former dean of USC's Keck School of Medicine. Dean Puliafito has been issued a walk by the ABMS / ABO medical board when others have had their certifications revoked/ reputations impuned in the blink of an eye by media statements/paid info commericals for the ABMS' own financial and political purposes.
Compare elite MOC status member, Carmen Puliafito, the ABMS has been ignoring a man with suspended license and facing possible indictments for wrongdoing involving drug use and distrubtion of meth and other illicit drugs to minors. Look at how the ABMS and their crony affiliates treat their political targets, by way of comparison with physicians like the following Puerto Rican doctor whose life and profession were maligned by the ABIM.
How can anyone forget how the ABMS opereates behind closed doors with the creation of an illicit power structure with the intent of control/manipulation of a professional work force. If we look at the facts the analisis points to corporate corruption and the creation of an unaccountable insdustry-serving corporate "deep state" that protects its own but prosecutes their carefully-culled political and financial targets - ones they hoped had little means to fight back.
The ABIM debacle is a failed attempt at a dynastic power grab and power transfer without the permission of the physicians that make up its membership. That is why it is a moral and ethical imperative the ABMS and the ABIM are exposed to natural Darwinian evolutionary forces in the form of market competition.
Just like any other business, the ABIM should be forced to reduce its overhead by slashing its payroll and moving out of Walnut Street. Both organizations should be actively defunded until they both realize they are seriously and dangerously in a very volatile political environment that they created. The ABIM is in a precarious position of having its operations handicapped and disabled by a long list of impending Civil, Local and Federal complaints.
Now that statutes reside on the books of many States, individual physicians can now leverage their sovereign State Attorney Generals to swing a heavy stick against the forehead of the corrupt ABIM leadership.
Tragically, the ABIM was given dozens of chances to reform and evolve as an organization. It is clinging to a delusional pseudo-philosophy that was viable 15 years ago. It was an ABIM delusional that was tragically constructed with hubris, greed, ignorance, and overt stupidity.
The ABIM and the ABMS are diseased legacy organizations who will be taken down brick by brick from the combined forces of social media, hard working clinicians, lawsuits, the Court of Public opinion and our National sense of outrage against manifest waste, abuse and evil on Walnut Street.
The game clock is approaching the 2 minute warning Dr. Baron.
Where are the Form 990s?
Oh that is just beyond pathetic. I'm surprised they didn't try to enforce a confidentiality/non-disclosure clause to prevent comparision of the pathetic "personlized and tailored" Next Steps. What a farce. No better than the Fortune Teller machine in the penny arcade! The only people they are fooling are fools.
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