There is nothing that has unified U.S. physicians more than their distain for the American Board of Medical Specialties' (ABMS) unproven Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Unfortunately, portions of this program will be used as a physician reporting measure for the new "Doc Fix" legislation coming up for a vote before the Senate on Monday. Furthermore, the National Quality Forum, headed by the former director of the ABIM, Christine Cassel, MD, stands to receive $90 million to develop even more quality measures if this legislation is enacted (Section 207).
If there was ever a time to contact your Senator to voice your opinion on MOC, the time is now.
Unfortunately, most doctors have never contacted a senator, or they don't have time to research all of the nuances of an issue to sound like they know what they're talking about. As a result, most doctors shrug their shoulders because they feel there's nothing that can be done since the powerful special interests control Congress anyway.
Perhaps this is true.
But just as likely, Senators realize the foot soldiers on the ground who actually deliver care might just be an important voice if legislation is to work as it is intended. Senators are not deep in the weeds in health care and have physician lobbyists bending their ear, but not working physicians. It is up to us to educate THEM about what bothers working physicians, but we must act quickly.
You can find the contact information of your senators here.
To save time, here is a letter that you can download to add your name, contact information, and state of practice that does the heavy lifting for you. (You can get a Microsoft Word copy of it by clicking here). Read it. Fill in the blanks, and if it articulates your concerns about using portions of the ABIM/ABMS MOC requirements as physician reporting measures in the new bill, then send it to both of your state senators TODAY.
Thank you. I have no idea if this will make a difference, but at least we can say we tried.
PS: Be sure to forward this blog post to your colleagues!
PPS: If you want a more politically correct letter to send that addresses additional issues, consider this one instead.
ditto, just called my senators and emailed this letter, THANK YOU!!!!
ditto, called and wrote my senators, thank you Dr Wes!!!
Wes - I was able to edit the ACC Grassroots letter, including parts of the letters you referenced, to voice my objection, and have the ACC send it to my Senators on my behalf.
Clever solution. (ACC members might want to follow Tim's lead. The ACC grassroots website allows you to cut and paste portions of this letter and make it your own. The ACC then sends your letter to the appropriate representatives automatically).
Whatever works -
I created a hybrid of the letters, making it clear that I DO NOT CONSENT to government involvement in healthcare in any way, and that it's time to recognize they've failed in all of the purported goals by doing so, and demanded that they vote no on HR 2. I sent a copy to my (federal level) Senators and a copy to nearly every physician I know in my state with encouragement to do the same.
(Unfortunately, I had to labor through both Senators' websites to submit my "letter")
Done! Thank you! Everyone needs to do it NOW!
What is amazing is that most Doctors know nothing of this. Our organizations and societies really seem to be failing in keeping membership informed!
Agree with drbob, the key players ( MD's ,RN's ,many patients ) have ,over many years, dropped the ball on state / fed / certain professional societies " initiatives".
AMA , AARP, Pfizer , Medtronic --- all,seem to be in bed with these so called healthcare initiatives ( ie: Obamacare). I do hope that the above examples of docs getting involved is a new recognition of the need. You have the ultimate power -- still - the trust of patients ! Patients need to know , also ! Whether it is the 21% drop in medicare reimbursements, the claims about " keeping" your doctor , technology assessment committees, the large drop in class I FDA approvals , the effect on quality med school applicants --- !
Congrats on the above ! More needs to be done !
Sorry for the rant !
Thank you for helping us take a stand. 2 letters just sent to my Senators.
Keep up the fight!
Actually, I surrender. The Party concept was more visible in the old Soviet Union; but it lives every day in almost every autocracy, in Africa and Asia, in South America - why not here?
The big-man, the henchmen and his goons divide the country into two parts - a servile minority who are given benefits, if they will only lick the master's hand - and a vast majority of the lumpenproles who are not even invited to join the Glorious Party. It worked in Uganda, in Somalia, in Yemen, with ISIS. Why not the ABIM?
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