Thursday, August 01, 2019

AntiMOC Lawsuit Update

As the summer winds on, I have been approached by more and more people who would like an update on where the litigation filed against the many member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties stand since the lawsuits were filed. I will do my best to briefly summarize the status of those lawsuits as I understand them. (For background on why these lawsuits have been filed against so many of the American Board of Medical Specialties specialty boards, please review this video).

The antitrust suit against the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) was originally filed 6 Dec 2018 and amended 23 Jan 2019 to include RICO charges, the antitrust lawsuit against the American Board of Radiology was filed 26 Feb 2019, and the antitrust lawsuit against the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) was filed 6 MAR 2019. These cases were filed by a law firm based in Chicago. A fourth lawsuit was filed by a separate law firm in Southern District Court of California on 19 Feb 2019 against the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM), and the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).

Each of the member boards are represented by different law firms.

Three of the specialty boards (ABIM, ABR, and ABPN) have appeared and, as expected, filed motions to dismiss with mostly overlapping arguments. The motion in the ABIM case was fully briefed a couple of months ago (Motion to Dismiss here, Opposition for Motion Dismiss here), the ABPN motion was fully briefed last month (Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss here, Opposition to Motion to Dismiss here), and the briefing in the ABR case should be finished mid-August.

In the interim, a motion to consolidate the above cases (brought by the law firm representing the plaintiffs in the ABMS/ABEM/ABA case) which the plaintiffs in the ABIM, ABR, and ABPN cases opposed out of the concern that it might delay the cases and add to their cost, was denied. So these three cases (ABR, ABPN, and ABIM) will each continue on their own in the federal courts in Philadelphia (ABIM) and Chicago (ABR and ABPN).

It would not be unusual for the courts to take several months to decide the motions to dismiss, especially given their complexity and importance. Discovery for these cases will begin once the motions to dismiss are decided, which is hoped will be no later than the end of the year. As I am sure many of my readers have already observed, the litigation seems to be having a modest impact, as many specialty boards and specialty societies claim to be re-thinking their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, at least around the edges.

It is important that physicians continue to help fund the GoFundMe page sponsored by Practicing Physicians of America. (Remember, short of processing fees, every penny of those contributions will to toward these continuing legal efforts.)

In summary, I believe the legal cases are progressing as well as can be expected and I remain convinced that, together, working physicians CAN end Maintenance of Certification's stranglehold on US physicians nationwide.



Unknown said...

It is so good to see that the various legal nooses are now tightening around the scrawny ABMS neck. Reading the complaints makes it abundantly clear just what a total scam MOC is and the degree to which all US physicians have been harmed by it.

Anonymous said...

"Veritasiness" is the group-think word describing OPERATION MOC and ABMS' ongoing plans to invade physician/patient rights.

Control and Collect - the Heart of Corruption at the ABMS Medical Boards said...

MOC = the corporatization and monetization of professional medical education

From prostituting for big tobacco to pimping for big data the ABIM/ABMS sold out to the highest bidder (decades ago) marking the end of the era of "self-regulation".

ABMS/ABIM claims of "voluntary certification/re-certification" are patent lies. The word "voluntary" died with a trademarked lie. MOC®. Words matter. Truth matters.

What does this mean for physicians and patients? It means corruption rules at the ABMS. None of these greedy politicized trade associations (ABMS and 24 medical boards) are "of the profession" or "for the public". They are for themselves and the elites they serve.

Patients' rights (lives) matter. Physicians' rights (lives) matter. Better pass around the hat to help end this corruption with class action/individual lawsuits in federal court.

Thomas Brem ABMS/ABIM prostituting for big tobacco (under oath in Congress paid by slush corporate slush funds)

Christine Cassel ABIM/ABMS/NQF/Kaiser Permanente/Premiere, Inc. pimping for big data/payers/"industry"/Wall Street, etc. (under corporate contract and under oath of office in the White House PCAST)