Let's review precisely what has taken place since time-limited certification was implemented by the ABIM in 1990:
- From 1936 to 1990, ABIM Board certification was a lifetime credential.
- From 1990 to 2005, ABIM ended lifetime certification, and began issuing only time-limited certification to physicians for those certified after January 1, 1990, requiring re-testing (and renewed payments to them valued at more than a thousand dollars) every 10 years.
- In 2006, "Maintenance of Certification," a product rebranded from "Continuous Professional Development" (note the similarities of these two linked webpages) was implemented. MOC was later trademarked by the American Board of Medical Specialties who stipulated programatic alignment from ALL physician subspecialty boards and required them to perform additional practice performance tasks and earn 100 "MOC points" AND re-take their board certification test every 10 years. Additional fees were often required to earn points from "MOC-eligible" courses.
- In 2013, the ABIM imposed more burdensome changes to MOC, not only having to re-take their examination every 10 years, but a "MOC activity" had to be completed every 2 years with patient safety, patient "voice", and survey modules or "Practice Improvement Modules" performed every 5 years and they also had to accumulate 100 MOC points every 5 years.
- Now the ABIM requires internists to pay not only an annual program fee to participate in MOC, but an "Assessment Fee" for MOC examinations. Internists can sign up for Knowledge Check-in examination every two years, or still take the 10 year examination.
Through self-serving rule changes, the ABIM has become a tax-exempt for-profit money machine that has placed physician bank accounts on high continuous suction. They coerce physicians by threatening them with the loss of their credentials or ability to receive insurance company payments to keep the money flowing.
We know why: thanks to their own hubris and avarice, they are failing financially. They have lost the trust of US physicians. And are a partisan organization beholden to the Medical Industrial Complex, not patients.
Given then above information, I believe the ABIM's tax-exempt status should be revoked. Their fees have skyrocketed from $795 to $2200 over 18 years (2000 to 2018) - or 276% - while providing the same product, "certification" of working internists since 1936, nothing more.