Monday, February 16, 2015

Under Pressure, ABIM Posts Missing Financials

When the American Board of Internal Medicine initially posted their 2014 audited financial report, they neglected to publish the itemization of how finances were split between the ABIM and its Foundation with the most recent financial disclosure.

Now it seems the most recent ABIM consolidated financial statement was revised and posted online. The breakdowns that were neglected offer additional insights into the lavish spending of the ABIM, including over $20 million of their $54.5 million physician-paid revenues on salaries (37% of annual revenues and far different than disclosed on their webpage), a $591,389 fee for "recruiting and employment agency fees," a $348,060 "special severance payment" (page 25, perhaps for Dr. Cassel's departure from the organization in 2013?), $2,677,600 in payments to consultants (page 24), and $234,884 paid to "publications and subscriptions" - page 24).

I would like to commend the ABIM for taking this action.  However, this action does little to quell the concerns of the practicing physician community of the legitimacy of the ABIM's MOC program in improving patient outcomes and opens additional concerns regarding tactics used to promote their MOC product for which they, themselves, provide little to no educational content.


h/t: MedCity News


Anonymous said...

Where is all the money to the lobbyists to link MOC to quality based purchasing? The insurance companies experience jubilation when physician fees are cut by CMS since private insurance contracts are a percentage of Medicare rates.
ABIM is getting smarter with their new strategy-- targeting blue states filled with their group think regulatory buddies. Expect California, New York, Massachusetts, etc. to implement a requirement of MOC to get MOL. Those states will push this on other unsuspecting states as a feel good measure ensuring better quality.
You can see this coming a mile away.

Anonymous said...

Questions still remain:
1)Why is the ABIM trying to duplicate the role of a politically accountable medical board that exists in all states?
2)States are already experiencing a shortage of physicians. Why persure policies that create further shortages, especially if there is no data supporting that this is a patient care issue?
3)Why does the ABIM board only refer to the ABMS website if a physician is not listed as board certified? Why not also refer to the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons? ABMS should not have a monopoly on the concept of "board certification."
4)It is doubtful the ABIM will reform due to a sense of rediscoverd ethics. Only continued pressure will work.

I spent this weekend giving $170 to the NBPaS, another $500 to Change Board Certification and another $500 to the AAPS legal fund. I don't agree with all the things these organizations stand for either, but they are the ones that seem to be putting pressure on the ABMS/ABIM. $1200 doesn't come easy for me, but it comes a lot easier than allowing an Intervener, Non-accountable 3rd party claim they can "assess the attidues necesseary for high quality care."

Valerie said...

I'm really glad that the ABIM revised the online posting and accounted for their finances. They should be held to a higher standard especially when they expect us to trust them. It's hard to expect everyday people to be accountable for their actions when organizations like ABIM are not. Glad they revised the posting.