Played so badly it would make Goodfellas blush.
Remember these words?
"Dear Internal Medicine Community:Doctors thought this was because of the malfeasance that was discovered in the ABIM's dealings with purchasing $2.3 million condominium's with chauffeur-driven Mercedes S call town cars and systematically funneling $30.6 million of our testing fees to an obscure Foundation that markets some version of social justice "professionalism."
ABIM clearly got it wrong. We launched programs that weren't ready and we didn't deliver an MOC program that physicians found meaningful. We want to change that. …"
Wrong-o boys and girls.
The plan all along was to shift gears and make MOC integral to how Congress would permit the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Congress to calculate your "value" as a worker to the health care system. Just do your practice improvement modules and walk backwards and type of a keyboard so they can get paid.
Yes, Virginia, MOC wasn't ready because MOC wasn't part of the "Doc Fix" legislation (H.R. 2) yet, but now it is.
How do I know this? Because ABMS lobbied members of the Energy and Commerce Committee in Congress to have MOC included as part of the "Doc Fix" bill in June, 2013:
We recommend that ABMS MOC® serve as a reporting pathway in the future for more detailed data on performance across the competencies. Making it possible to report through MOC will reduce administrative burden on physicians participating in voluntary professional development activities, will help to assure that there are practice-relevant options for all specialties and that quality measurement will be tied to a disciplined improvement process.The ABIM wasn't sorry. The ABIM knew from the start that physician payment reform was on its way and a stand-alone MOC program wouldn't be needed because it would be part of the new law! Why else would they opt to "suspend" part IV for two years rather than remove it outright? (Maybe to preserve it just in case the SRG bill didn't pass?)
It's Time to Send the US Senate a Message from Front-line Working Physicians
On Monday before you start work, contact your state Senators by calling the US Capitol switchboard at 1-202-224-3121. Don't hang up until you speak with your senator or their aide. Tell them you have patients waiting. Tell them you're being held up from a meeting. But get through and don't hang up until you do. The switchboard is open 24-hours a day, but call in the morning, 8 AM EST if you can, to be sure your voice is heard. But get through.
Tell them you want all references to Section 1848 (k)(4) used as determinants of of a "value-based modifier" struck from the bill (Addendum: this is the section that authorizes the ABMS to use their MOC program - see comments below). Tell your Senator that if he or she can't do that, then they should vote "NO" because you'll have to pay hundreds of dollars representatives of the independent ABMS member boards every two years to practice medicine and take time away from patients to do meaningless and unproven busywork. The ABMS MOC® program should NOT be allowed to stand in the new SGR repeal legislation (H.R.2) in any form. Tell them that such a scheme represents taxation without representation.
It is time to send the message LOUD and CLEAR that doctors will not participate in a pay-to-play scheme with the ABMS, ABIM or any other member board every two years to practice our trade.
We MUST take action NOW.
Just do it.
For those skeptical that the ABMS MOC Program is in H.R.2, I have included a few highlighted examples: Page 27 and 28, Page 35, and page 51 as a few examples. Note that HR 2 modifies portions of Social Security Law 1848 that specifies how physicians are paid. Section (k)(4) of 1848 authorizes the American Board of Medical Specialties MOC program to be a medical registry for reporting quality data. No section of H.R.2 deletes this section and only solidifies MOC as a quality reporting registry.