this year's tax records of the ABIM Foundation (which is affiliated with and shares the same address as the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Philadelphia, PA) show the Foundation has total assets of $81,831,953 and moved some of its assets offshore to the Cayman Islands and Dublin, Ireland in the form of non-publicly traded investments.
Recall that the ABIM Foundation was created by secretly funneling $55 million in physician testing fees from the ABIM to their undisclosed "American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation" (later renamed the "ABIM Foundation" in 2009) from 1989 through 2008. Only after the name change with the IRS in 2009 was the ABIM Foundation revealed publicly.
According to this most Form 990, not only does the ABIM Foundation continue to hold their $2,356,267 Philadelphia condominium bought with practicing physician testing fees, we now find they have systematically transferred $6,516,936 of our fees offshore to ten different funds (nine in the Cayman Islands totaling $6,042, 336 and one in Dublin, Ireland totaling $474,600).
Meanwhile, younger physicians can't afford the fees for certification and re-certification mandated by the ABIM. We should also note that the President and CEO of the ABIM and ABIM Foundation, Richard Baron, MD, pocketed a cool $812,006 last year without night call or having to subject himself to any of the tough discussions with patients.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs to immediately revoke the non-profit status of the ABIM and its Foundation. Practicing physicians now realize these organizations are more about protecting and growing their assets than benefiting physicians, their patients, or the public.
Déjà vu! It's 1838 Investment Advisors all over again! Now the ABIM officially joins the ranks of the infamous elite investors, oligarchs, presidents, and prime ministers with their diabolical worship of money and keeping it in the "Horn of Plenty" family of offshore funds.
Overseas accounts..... I guess that's one of Baron's "SHARED VALUES" he tells to his "stakeholders".
Dr. Baron...can you say HYPOCRISY ?
Mutiny and the Bounty
The ABIM's age of plagiarism and professional hedge fund managing. What a heist! Professional publishing and pirating in the new millennium.
From ABIMF's publication of the "Physician Charter" in 2002 to chartering a boat for offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and Ireland in 2016. ABIM and the ABMS is a story of the pirating of phycians' funds and hiding a Hedge Fund's insider trades between the very thin pages of ABIMF's obvious plagiarism. (A distraction and 'cover' story.)
And then in 2007 and 2008 they were off to the races in the next risky phase of maintenance of the empire. MOC. MOControl for the MOCash, and control of the maintenance of it all by highering unvetted professional thugs to enforce the policy, and prosecute those who did not obey. Like Drs. Arora, von Muller and Salas Rushford. Each in our own way are fighting these ABMS pirates. Pushing back according to our ability.
What a ride they've taken us on. And what a heist of phycians dough, taking a boat- load of cash looted by Chris Cassel, Robert Wachter, Lynn Langdon, Rich Baron, Harry Kimball and John Benson. How many tens of millions of $$$ did that "Physician Charter" and partisan political professionalism cost us? 1989-2008. How much did that plagiaristic parroting of the Belmont Report cost? (Physician Charter) Up to 80 million dollars!
The Charter was after all just a poorly disguised cover story for the Langdon/Strozeski money transfers from the ABIM to 1838 Investment Advisors - which was formerly Drexel, Burnham, Lambert - to the ABIMF.
Imagine all that high stakes gambling with non-profit physicians' fees? It is outrageous. Langdon, Strozeski, Cassel and Kimball were addicted to the markets - the high of it and what it could achieve for them.
Toss in the $2.4 million luxury condo for lobbying out of town guests and your own out of town stays (Cassel, Wachter, et al)in 2007, add a Mercedes and you have a perfect storm of professional lobbyists and professional medical bureaucrats. It was and still is a potent base for power, money and politics.
And later the strong-arming of their clients to get physicians to participate in pay for play in the age of fear. Phycians are one of the most abused community of professionals at the present time thanks to neo-conservatives like Hillary Clinton and Chris Cassel. They got all this shit for free so they could support their political bullshit and destroy America with their technofascism.
Who signed that latest 990 ABIM tax forms with RSM US LLP? The executives should be answering questions in IRS audit land not living high through investing in the Cayman Islands, but primarily off the backs of physicians.
How could you do this to us, Chris? Kennedy gave us a man on the moon? What did Obama just give us?
I wonder where Lynn Langdon and Christine Cassel have hidden all the millions they stole from physicians' overpayments. Offshore with her pal George Soros? Panama? Cayman? Dublin?
Question: which member board of the ABMS set the pace for higher and higher executive compensation. It's criminal what they have done like price fixing, hiding money for their own persona inurement. It really is terrible how much they got paid for administering a non-profit regulatory body. No government employee gets near it - not within a fraction of achieving their level of compensation. Many of us have family who work for the state or federal government and know that they may never be able to retire. Look at Christine Cassel. She's got all that money and she still wants to continue on hurting us rather than retiring and leaving us alone.
You can't be surprised. If you were the ABIM and the ABIMF you would hastily move bags of $$$ offshore. Right now, the legal liability the ABIM and the ABIMF is shouldering is at an all time high- and it will exponentially grow as physicians sharpen their pencils and start filing lawsuits against this corrupt organization. With a State Statute neutralizing MOC and more to follow, you can expect a contentious battle that will drag Rich Baron into many courtrooms whether he likes it or not.
Once local juries and jurists start doling out triple damages to physicians besmirched by the ABIM, Mr Kroll et al will notice that the ABIM will bleed money annually. Once the Trial Attorneys will sink their teeth into the ABIM money machine with Class Action Lawsuits, you can expect the ABIM gas tank to be full of fumes.
So what is their plan? Move the money offshore. Make it tough to seize in a lawsuit. You can bet these non publicly traded investments will be like a hedge fund investment. Very difficult to redeem and liquidate without a minimum amount of time on the order of years or decades.
DEFUND THE ABIM. DEFUND THE ABIM. DEFUND THE ABIM.
DEFUND THE ABIMF. DEFUND THE ABIMF. DEFUND THE ABIMF.
DIVEST THE ABMS. DIVEST THE ABMS. DIVEST THE ABMS.
According to Zillow.com the infamous ABIM pied a tierre has an offer.
I wonder, if we tallied the property taxes, the maintenance fees, transfer taxes, real estate commissions, attorney's fees, postage, FedEx bills, the condo owner's insurance, the utilities, what is the exact CAPITAL LOSS of this debacle?
My guess is , and Mr. Kroll can confirm, the ABIM will sell some of its assets at a Capital Gain to capture the tax advantages. Expect more passive income for Rich Baron to use to wine and dine his buddies at the ABMS and the AMA. Maybe more First Class flights for spouses?
From the time the ABIM and the ABIMF bought this obnoxious condo, one would roughly calculate it cost them $4M to hold ($2.3M plus all the carrying costs). Once they sell this at ~$1.5-1.6M, they will take home, after costs, ~$1.3M. Which means they lost $2.7M.
Any CEO or CFO that loses 58% of an investment like this usually gets fired.
Do you think the ABIM Diplomates will tolerate such poor financial stewardship?
How many residents did the ABIM rip off to pay off this "investment"?
By the way, Dr. Baron, will you release a log of activities for this Condo, or will you continue to bury the real activities that occurred in the condo- swag parties? Was driving home so burdensome you had to have your own private Crash Pad?
Keep leading the charge, Dr. Wes! You're a Paul Revere who is sounding the alarm! You're a true Muckraker that even Teddy Roosevelt would like! Kudos to you & #thankYOU!
Spinners & Sinners & Enablers of Wrong.
Chris, Rich, Harry, John, Jack and Tom.
"Dr. Baron, will you release a log of activities for this Condo, or will you continue to bury the real activities that occurred in the condo..."
"Tricky Dickey's Dacha"
Home size 2,658 square feet (negative -$1.15 per sq. ft. HOA+TAX)
Home Owners Association Fees Monthly $2655
Property Taxes Annual $4766 ($397 per-month)
TOTAL Assessed Value $343,962
Asking price $1,700,000 minus costs
Purchase Price $2,300,000 plus costs
Cost for Utilities Unknown $$$
Cost for Entertainment Unknown $$$
Cost for Repairs Unknown
Cost for Assessments Unknown
Cost for Keys and how many Unknown
Actual purpose and use of Condo Unknown
Wachterian public relations cost of "politically dumb" purchase (? negative value)
*Lobbying value, priceless
**Secret meets (Cassel-gate spies) value, priceless
***Entertainment value priceless
ABIM is the crown jewel of ABMS corruption. Involved in scandal after scandal ABIM's indecorous decades-long political and financial manipulations have been only partly revealed. This "certification corporation" has been connected with disgraceful affair after affair involving unethical business practices and public fraud. Now we see the decades of tax deceit.
Look at the past history. 1989-2004. 1838 Investment Advisors (Hedge fund Managers traded risky equities and high flying proprietary funds.) Then the ABIMF chilled out by putting the money in "Vanguard," after 1838 went broke on the risky investments. Then ABIM, we learn, goes back to the Cayman Islands and Ireland to offshore their money in "funds." 2004-present.(In lawsuits against a liable party it is harder to lay claim to this locked up offshore money. A possible legal ploy and tax dodge.)
It's beginning to look a lot like Memphis - 1993
The ABIM/ABMS is beginning to look more and more like John Grisham's book and movie with Tom Cruise entitled "The Firm." The Feds could not get the perps for their offshore shenanigans and underworld connections, but they ended up getting them for tax evasion.
The unvetted thugs the ABIM/ABMS - hired to protect their "Firm" -
are as dangerous as they come. They are attracted/addicted to harming/controlling physicians like they were on a drug.
Wes said, "We now find they have systematically transferred $6,516,936 of our fees offshore to ten different funds (nine in the Cayman Islands totaling $6,042,336 and one in Dublin, Ireland totaling $474,600)."
Who authorized these offshore money transfers from the ABIM Foundation? Rich Baron, Bob Wachter was on the board of directors and Holly Humphrey became the chair. July 1, 2014. Did the full board vote on these transfers or was it an executive action?
This transfer of funds over the 2014 tax year appears to be rife with conflicts of interest and possibly tax fraud. This should be investigated. "Addicted to gambling" and risky investments as someone suggested?
The risk went up and the annual fund cost went up. Fees everyone came with an annual fee more than they had. They increased their cost by at least $50,000 just paid to the offshore fund managers.
Did Bob Wachter not know that this was going to be scrutinized and viewed as tax fraud, a scandal for certain. This was not just "politically dumb" but tantamount to "political suicide!"
The same individuals presided over the ABIMF board from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. So there was a continuity of the same people Baron, Wachter and Humphrey and others.
Does this have anything to do with Richard Baron's five-year contract - with his deferred compensation and retirement parachute? Is this money possibly protected somehow from the IRS and litigation settlements, or insurance claims? Transferred to the offshore safety net to ensure there is the money to pay for it all.
Is Lynn Langdon, the non-profit queen of operations, still there? What's she have to say as COO. What's her take-away of the offshore money for her guiding the operations from the shadows? Is this for her retirement? This is a great showcase for the Foundation's charter and professionalism. And what NOT TO DO in terms of conflicts of interest. Are they nothing more than professional profiteers?
I find it extremely odd that the money transfers to the Cayman Islands totaled out to be around the same amount as their entire operational costs of 6.5 million for 2014.
Of interest also is the grant for 4.2 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Is the ABIM Foundation laundering money for Foundations? Or just for their own payroll padding. Their tax forms mention that "donations" come/solicited from other Foundations.
2014 tax filings ABIMF
More money spent by the ABIMF wasted on storytelling/propaganda - another six figures $$$ down the crapper!
According to ABIM Foundation tax forms for 2014 they spent money $116,000 to a "web design" company Delphic Digital - marketing the "brand and culture" of the ABIM/ABIMF through "storytelling and technology to build a bridge between (ABIMF's) brand and customers."
It is humorous to the extreme but then strikes one as tragic how this Philly advertising company markets the ABIMF with a straight face with all that we know of the underlying public fraud and financial deceit rampant at the ABIMF and parent organization the ABIM.
Does not the ABIM have high paid executives and communications officers and subordinates capable of doing this storytelling and branding to their customers? Lorie Slass with her big executive salary could have done it. What was she and the other communications Public Relations people doing. Does the ABIM hire anyone with skills other than harming folks and deceiving them. I am as mad as hell about this huge wasted expense. Just another example of redundant expenses and profligacy. Our stolen physician fee money transferred to ABIMF. More money down the toilet.
As a matter of fact, Delphic Digital personnel use their serious digital chops as storytellers for American Standard - the folks who make toilets.
Delphic has a list of other "high profile" clients on their website. We are not disparaging the company, but when spinning a story or pushing a brand it would be good to know the shit load of karma they may carry with them for participating in ABIMF Bull Sh*t.
"Tricky Dickey's Dacha" (ABIM Foundation at your service.)
"Home size 2,658 square feet (negative -$1.15 per sq. ft. HOA+TAX)"
That appears to be a loss just from HOA and Tax alone of a loss of -$13.80 per square foot, every year since they purchased it.
A hefty $37,000 paid out each year just for home owners dues and property tax. If they could sell it for $1.7 million that would be a loss of $500,000. I am surprise the assessed value is under $350K and yet Robert Wachter paid $2.33 million for the overpriced view of the city and ride to and from the airport or entertainment clubs.
I doubt if they use the gym much.
Tax forms for 2014 show they ABIM Foundation writes off around $45,000 a year. Are we to assume that insurance and utilities, etc are covered by the 12,000 dollar difference. $1000 per month on utilities, cable, movies, insurance, cleaning. I wonder how accurate that is? I wonder how accurate "other" "is?"
I find the losses all understated - where is the other "other?" And what is it?
Open the logs and the cook books, Rich!
Dissent in the New Millennium (A New Physician Charter)
For every propagandistic, financial, political, policy change, and legal bomb dropped on physicians and the public thousands of new dissenters have been born.
There can be no order out of the chaos which is imposed on society by the ABMS and their powerful affiliates. The ABIM is imploding thankfully because the executives have violated the public trust over and over. And the silence is filled not with truth but with shallow responses and erroneous fixes that are even more onerous for physicians and profitable for the ABMS.
Ed Murrow, a very great journalist whose name is abused often these days by granting awards to journalists who could never walk in his shoes. The awards are often given as bribes to those who follow the government and mainstream press which is virtually all bought out today. It is astounding to see. Without a truly free press we have a profession of prostitutes and a nation of oligarchic, spreading corruption.
We have ended up with a nation of thieves controlled by oligarchs using monopolization of corporate and powerful political special interests. Or an even more troubling disease emerges - the worse elements of our deep state bureaucracy which is killing our constitution and democracy. And ignoring international laws and sovereignty. This is unfortunate for American citizens when government and leaders overlook our own people and their needs - a populace that hungers for real freedom and democracy - not the lip service kind offered by all our politicians.
Every election cycle, no matter who is running has little to do with we the people, except for the money we spend and the outpouring of emotion and parroting of the sensationalizing media.
Perhaps only the people can deliver democracy and freedom - not an immoral government. This is true of a relationship with a powerful regulatory agency like the ABMS. Physicians and all citizens need to wake up and play their role in changing the order of our institutions, which have been corrupted or we are doomed.
Physicians are already becoming "employed" or "ployed" by institutions with self interest and egregious conflicts of interest and corruption. It is no wonder that the ABMS is so powerful. One can have little time to think for oneself as a physician with the extra fears/control associated with working for an insurer/hospital/corporate/hybrid model.
"Unionization", which is more properly just organizing in order to work is perhaps needed at this time. The creation of a strong protective organization with powerful litigators may be the only way to protect physician and patient rights in the future. The system of healthcare was hijacked by special interests with lies, promises and deception. I don't speak as member of any political party. Only looking at what is and how patients suffer and doctors suffer from that controlling hierarchy that ones served physicians and patients and now all serve it. Thoreau warned us against such where roads no longer serve the people, but people serve the super highway of special interests. Machines no longer serve but become the masters of our time, money and energy.
The ABMS is one of those machines, a shadow governments that John Fitzgerald Kennedy warned us about before he was assassinated. Kennedy was an idealist that we can admire, but he was a threat and offended many that wanted to keep the status quo of the arms race and bigotry alive. The ABMS only rose to power beginning around 1965 from what I have gathered.
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
― Edward R. Murrow
“We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”
― Edward R. Murrow
"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”
― Edward R. Murrow
A blogger wrote, "They claim our intellectual property. They claim our patient data bases. They will soon want your clinic office and buildings as well. No private property in the Philly style USSR. No Freedom of Speech. No Fourth Amendment. They claim our lives.
Not fascism. It is Crony Communism!"
Is it 1984?
Is the ABMS and other medical NGOs supplanting truth with propaganda? Who do they really work for? The public? Hardly! The profession? Not in the slightest!
Here's a litlle know historical fact about "George Orwell" author of "Animal farm" and his last work "1984". He wrote this work from his island farm in the Inner Hebrides. He suffered from poor health dying in the late 1940's from a lung condition aggravated by TB. He passed away at the age of 46.
During the 2nd World War Orwell worked for the war effort from the BBC engaging in propaganda and moral efforts. Many of the terms which Orwell used in his book such as "Cold War", "New Speak" and "Big Brother" were aimed at the Soviet Union. (He claimed to hate Stalin.)I don't know if the book "1984" was subsidized by anyone, but the success of "Animal Farm" gave him the freedom to write it.
Regardless, Orwell played his part in instigating the new "Cold War" that would persist until Reagan ended it.
After World War II Churchill wanted the US to use nuclear weapons against its recent ally the Soviet Union. Authors such as Bertrand Russell echoed that sentiment for the British and American public.
I submit that the ABMS and its executives are not working in the best interest of the public or physicians. In fact they are rewarded so well for their betrayal that they may not even feel the wrong that they do. Are they protected by the government and powerful special interests. I don't think that anyone doubts the corruption and protections schemes that protect the various organizations. It is important to be informed of facts, not propaganda disseminated to influence, direct, or just lull us to sleep enough so nobody cares anymore about what is happening in the world. The world is on fire in case one did not notice. Nato and warmongers are bringing back the cold war and repeating slogans and misconstruing facts about the nature of the threats to the United States and EU.
Is the ABMS with its governance a threat from without or a threat from within?
Do elements in our government act in the same unlawful fashion as the ABMS. Do they get away with it. The ABMS and Chris Cassel are examples of the deep bureaucracy that needs to go away. The "deep bureaucracy" that does not conduct referendums or let us know what they are doing perhaps grew out of the seeds of organizations and bureaus that have gotten out of hand. This terrible condition will only get worse unless there is clear diagnosis and cure.
The doomsday clock is ticking again and the ABMS contributes to it with its role of control and propaganda. Healthcare attrition directed at physicians and patients. It is not just about the money. It is about control through a network of powerful NGOs. A thousand books could not cover the history of this subject.
Greed for money is just one of the means of control. Richard Baron and Christine Cassel are good examples of this. They are bought out and controlled. In exchange for a piece of the controlling mechanism. Does this sound familiar? Ring true. Look simply and directly, honestly. It is a protection scheme as well.
The IRS will not be interested.
The use of offshore investments by Non Profits Organizations is totally legal as long as they use the funds to promote their societal cause. In fact, there is no doubt they are making a mint off these investments and to add insult to injury, the profits are tax exempt.
In fact, if the ABIM had any financial sense they should use these Cayman Island funds to offset the massive loss on their Philadelphia Condo debacle. And the whole $2.3M should be returned as a refund to the residents and fellows and Diplomate that they ripped off.
Which brings us to the question- Where is the Log of Activities for the Condo? How many swanky private parties were held there Dr. Baron?
I agree, let's have a look at the condo's activity logs. For all we know "Dickey's Dacha" may in fact just be also an extension of the ABIM Foundation, which is nothing but a hedge fund - "Cassel's Casino." It is apparent Christine Cassel took a big political and legal risk when she signed the PA registration of the "bastard Iowa Foundation" in 1999. She did this in exchange perhaps for a not-so-distant future position as first woman CEO/President of the ABIM.
Anyone who accepts the "standard 990 form lie" as told to the IRS that ABIM is a non-profit humanitarian corporation is simply wrong. We need to re-examine everything we know about the ABIM corporation.
This holds true for all of the ABMS umbrella organizations as well.
The ABIM Foundation was created to serve the entire cartel of specialty boards comprising the ABMS as well as the parent organizations ACP and AMA.
ABIMF Cayman Island Offshore Funds.
Legal or not the appearance of coi like this are a slap in the face for Dr. Baron. It is not really a wake up call, because this happened on Rich's watch with his full approval and blessing.
The prime minister of Iceland resigned over a similar shocking appearance of conflicts of interest over the Panama Papers. Should Richard Baron and others involved resign over this, and should the IRS revoke ABIM/ABIMF's non-profit status?
Executives should be held to a higher ethical standard. Physician executives even higher.
I am disappointed in Dr. Baron with every new fact that emerges. In total they should have their IRS tax boon taken back and need to be investigated thoroughly.
It is interesting that in ABIM v. Salas-Rushford v. ABIM, the local attorney in New Jersey for ABIM specializes in representing casinos!
I wonder if the ABIM mentioned to their new counsel that they have a once well-kept secret Foundation full of gamblers and winkers.
We are being milked and bilked by the ABIM! Offshore THEM to Panama!
I remember the first time I heard about the ABIM. Without knowing anything about the organization ABIM gave me the heebie jeebies! The ACGME gave me the creepy crawlers!
Propaganda, hubristic tone, everything. That monotone disinterested aloof voice message with the three options for certification, MOC, or other. They probably did not pay the person enough to sound enthusiastic. Or they realized what a scam the ABMS was and were just biding time waiting for a another low-paying job to open up.
Maybe they keep that dead-pan voice and overall aloof Baronesque approach and attitude toward callers to discourage contact and real inquiries. Maybe the voice and message was the result of an expansive ABIM Rand study designed to study the best ways to keep the physician-sheep asleep.
Now the ABIM brings me into a state of rage? I would like to offshore THEM -- the entire ABIM including that damn ABMS. They are all just awful. Send them to Panama!
Do they think physicians are their cash cow-sheep to milk and bilk forever?
Forget it! Bon Voyage ABIM!
What is Richard Baron's responsibility to respond to all questions relating to his past and present actions as officer and executive at the ABIM?
There are many questionable financial dealings and possible egregious ethical violations, and other conflict of interests which we have read about or have actually see in documents which are publicly accessible. One important question related to the persecution and prosecution of physicians for participating in the ABIM's unscientific testing laboratory: What was Baron's role in the hiring of security employees, secret police, spies and strongmen to destroy competing board review courses and crush/ruin physicians who would dare attend such a financially independent course? What was his role in the fear-mongering that occurred in 2008 to present?
ABIM sent strong messages through internal press releases, email, the mainstream media that one should not attend such an independent courses and at the same time impressed on candidates and diplomates they should not even think of "crossing the ABIM's lines" by discussing medical science that might resemble an actual ABIM/ABMS test question as a large group, in private, a small study group, over the phone, with the use of emails, etc.
How absurd to limit physicians constitutional rights with fear tactics. There was no proven cheating? There was not big corporation competing with the ABIM taking their market share as indicated by court documents. Press releases refer to ABR "operators" as though it was a large franchise. Legal documents imply the same, yet are more careful in wording only to imply it was a national organization that offered courses in several locations with many employees/physicians involved in a vast network of employees/physicians involved in Dr. Arora's cheating circle and enterprise.
Yet the ABR employees or JOHN DOE 50 were not part of a national ABR franchise or organized cheating circle at all. Press releases and court documents suggested that there was a network of paid employees/informants stealing copyrighted information and disseminating it in ABR lectures, which was mostly just reading board-like questions and discussion of the medical science, etc.
What studies have been done to examine the impact such "ongoing investigations" and attacks on companies like Frontrunners and ABR had with the thousands of physicians demeaned and demoralized and destroyed. What effect did this have on the entire physician community as a whole - how many hundreds of thousands did it effect and in what way? How did it effect their lives and finances. How about personal psychology, desire or ability to continue as a physician under the regimen of the ABMS?
How does the persecution of physicians in the media and in court effect a physician's thought about certification and MOC? How did ABIM/ABMS repressions, sanctions, lawsuits, etc., effect a physicians political involvement particularly in political campaigns, participation in government, medical societies with lobbying power? How did it effect voting, lobbying for or against healthcare reform? This would apply to all physicians not just immediately effected docs who were "punished" for assumed guilt without real due process. Some are claimed to have confessed to the ABIM security police as reported by Christine Cassel in the media based on a secret letter of reprimand and threat of sanctions. Were there real confessions or were these for the press to relate to physicians and instill the fear of possibly never working again? Did this effect physicians with loans and residency status more than others. These latter are a big part of the base that makes up physician ranks today.
Going forward after being violated in terms of constitutional guarantees and ABIM's proprietary processes of intimidation and threat, what can we expect in terms of privacy and constitutional guarantees from the ABIM or any member of the ABMS? What is the written policy on ABMS's responsibility and obligation of conforming to federal law pertaining to privacy and violations of constitutional rights, if these rights are compromised or places a physician in peril for taking a voluntary test of any kind?
Should physicians create a strict pledge (a legally binding agreement) against the ABMS boards to hold them accountable for their actions. A contract written up by physician advocacy attorneys and have all executives, board members and council participants sign such an agreement regarding what physicians expect from the ABIM or any board member.
How would ABIM/ABMS officers act if any violation were grounds for immediate threat of dismissal, sanction and possibly face civil and criminal charges? This is how a democracy should run with checks and balances ensuring accountability. At present the ABMS and its member boards are accountable to no one.
Doctor Richard Baron's remuneration facilitated by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and by the ABIM Foundation was reported as $812,000 last year. At the same time, we are advised that the ABIM Foundation funneled $6,516,963 into Off-Shore accounts in the Cayman Islands and Dublin. Meanwhile, many less well-heeled physicians cannot afford the recertification fees that are needed to keep Baron's pay-day as high as it is. The situation suggests that the non-profit ABIM & company is engaging in conduct restricting trade. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should show more interest in this situation than it has done to date. Meanwhile IRS should review ABIM's non-profit status. Once a non-profit company behaves as though it were a for-profit business entity it is no longer eligible for non-profit status by IRS. Do we think FTC and IRS are waiting for invitations?
Robert L. Weinmann, MD, Editor, the Weinmann Report, www.politicsofhealthcare.com
Chair, Committee on Legislation, California Neurology Society
Formerly, president, UAPD, 1989-2006
not surprised at all these people who profess to look after us and the general public are the power drunk charlatans who are milking all of us via the ABIM and we are letting them do it
Not any more, Ranjan Paul. Not any more!
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