Thursday, March 01, 2018

Medical Subspecialty Societies Rush to Bail Out ABIM

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) are negotiating with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) on how best to preserve the Maintenance of Certification (MOC®) educational product for their mutual interests.

The ACC Board of Governors will be meeting at the ACC scientific sessions in Orlando in early March to decide how best to continue the educational and financial benefits of MOC® for their organizations. Each of these organizations have significant financial and political conflicts of interest with the unproven MOC® "continuous education" program that was foisted on physicians as a quality and patient safety measure above and beyond conventional Continuing Medical Education credits in 1990.

This is not the first time this discussion has occurred. The ACC has had a long history of attempting to provide educational content without having to  resort to the strongman testing tactics of the ABMS Board certification cartel propped up by the much richer and politically powerful member organizations of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). With ABIM's looming fiscal insolvency thanks to years of waste, fraud, and abuse of physicians' resources, the ACC must now weigh the benefits of maintaining their relationship with the ABMS versus the risk to the organization from ACGME fallout if it abandons their lucrative relationship. One only has to see the many MOC® offerings at this year's Scientific Sessions to see where the decision is likely to fall.

We should recall that the ACC was the organization that quickly came to ABIM's rescue when their financial scandal surfaced, issuing this public statement:
In addition, the ACC's accounting staff have reviewed and discussed the ABIM’s publically available financial statements with an outside accounting firm and have found the statements to be in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, as utilized by not-for-profit organizations in the United States.
While I am not an accountant, I am a Board certified diplomate of the ABIM that has worked tirelessly to uncover the financial and political shenannigans of the ABIM in an attempt to understand their motivations and conflicts. If the ACC sides with the corruption uncovered in this blog's pages without addressing head-on the financial benefits to themselves, they risk compromising their reputation as a credible scientific organization capable of transparently managing those conflicts. I would be a shame if they don't care.

ACC Board of Governors should vote to break ties with the ABIM completely and return to CME, lest they fall prey to the same forces that dissolved the ABIM: avarice, politics, and greed.

Early forecasts predict the odds of that heppening are close to zero.



The ABMS/ABIM/ACC House of Cards: MOC Influence/MOC Money said...

Presence of ABMS/ABIM MOC at ACC 2018

ABIM "Self-Assessment" Room 304 G (The ABIM have been given/leased their own room.)

Test Your Knowledge with Questions/Self-Assessment

During these 2.5 hour sessions, attendees use an audience response system to respond to multiple choice questions. Presenters discuss the correct answer in an open dialogue with attendees.

Self-Assessment, ARS: Pathway Special, CME 2.5, Dual CME/MOC 2.5

803: Test Your Knowledge: ABIM 2017 – 2018 Update in Cardiovascualar Disease
Room 304 GSession Type!/4496/session/585

805: Test Your Knowledge: ABIM 2017-2018 Update in Interventional Cardiology
Room 304 G!/4496/session/586

807: Test Your Knowledge: ABIM 2017 – 2018
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Room 304 G!/4496/session/587

814 - Test Your Knowledge: ABIM 2017-2018 Update in Cardiovascular Disease!/4496/session/642

817: Test Your Knowledge: ABIM 2017-2018 Update in Interventional Cardiology
Room 304 G!/4496/session/643

819: Test Your Knowledge: ABIM 2017 – 2018 Update
in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Room 304 G!/4496/session/644

ABIM "Lounge and Learn" Hall C "Clinical Judgement Station"

Personalized Skills Center (includes Drill and Practice; Hands-on Simulation; and Self-Directed Learning Modules)

Hone your auscultation skills with Heart Songs, test your expertise during simulations at the Clinical Judgment Station using Body Interact; improve your patient communication techniques at the Shared Decision-Making Station; challenge your acute heart failure care at the Immersive Station and practice your procedural skills.

In addition, you’ll find a quiet place to take and submit the MOC self-assessment question modules. Lounge & Learn, Hall C!/4496/session/590!/4496/session/591!/4496/session/592

Anonymous said...

You're right, Wes. The ABIM and ACC keep pretending as though everything is just fine.

Anonymous said...

The gas-lighting of physicians already suffering from Stockholm syndrome continues unabated at the ABMS and elsewhere.
Patients' right to care is in the cross hairs of corporate/public special interests and their cronies at the Medical Boards, ACGME, NCQA, and other quality Assurance NGOs and so-called "quality forums".

When are the state legislatures going to act responsibly and ban MOC completely without pressure from "the industry" and their lobbyists who dole out the money to maintain control.

When is the DOJ going to clean up these corrupt organizations such as the ABIM that continue to give the profession of medicine a black eye.

Anonymous said...

ABMS and ACC elites (along with other medical societies) continue to present themselves together with a total disregard for glaring conflicts of interests and issues with self-dealing and strong-arming, while thumbing their noses at everyone who raises serious concerns.

Anasyrma said...

The intended consequences of MOC (and Choosing Wisely)

MOC as Anasyrma - ABMS/ABIM/ACC at war with physicians: the evil thrust by ABMS professional medical politicians to curtail patients' right to care.

The ABMS and ACC are obviously flaunting themselves together in a very embarrassing and wicked way. Don't they see what they are doing? They appear to have some form of ancient mental illness/syndrome.

It's as if they were giving everyone the evil eye of MOC, and at the same time mooning the world with their confusing requirements for money and busywork, and their ever-changing versions of MOC madness/mandates/policy.

They really are mad or taken. And we are expected to just accept this sad state of affairs? I think not!

Take a hard look at what they are really doing and getting away with.

The ABMS/ABIM/ACC are mooning us with with their evil deeds, looks and now even vulgar gestures by doing it in unison with the ACC and HRS singing the MOC song in a chorus calling it/implying it is a "heart song." And they offer us modules to complete in quiet rooms in our illusory spare time. What bullshit!

This is the ABMS and ACC? Good night, it's as though we live in the dark ages!
Self-serving lunatics reign supreme among the ABMS/ACGME/ACCME quality assurance cartel elites! They sit on their arses collecting money while we work our tails off.

Take off the glasses of illusion. What are we really seeing?

What we are really seeing is that these greedy "so-and-so's" have money stuffed away up all their foreign and domestic cracks all the way to offshore accounts in the Caribbean. And these MOC jesters are profligate and nefarious puppets of the healthcare industry where they receive many of their kickbacks. (While denying it.)

Don't we get it yet?

The ABMS and their partners insist on flaunting this theft of our money and autonomy in our faces over and over until we say enough!

ABIM-Speak said...

Controlling the narrative through remaking the man and the brand with the use of propaganda.

Does anybody really believe that Richard Baron is a "champion for maintaining and elevating the standards and quality of medical care?"

Quote from introductory remarks to an interview with Dr. Rich Baron CEO of the ABIM conducted by ShoutEngine.

"Dr. Baron reminds me of the many dedicated, hard working, thoughtful primary care physician leaders whom I meet regularly. Like these high-integrity physicians, his focus is on the broader continuum of patient care - on patients & patient care, first & foremost; and then secondarily on sustaining providers. His vision is consistent with the "quadruple aim" of better health, better care experience, better value & better support for providers. He is an ardent champion for maintaining and elevating the standards & quality of medical care; and a vocal advocate for the critical central role of primary care in any value based healthcare system."


Most of the interview centered around payment systems and political platforms/healthcare reform expressing the ideals of Rich Baron/Christine Cassels' personal political schemes which they improperly imposed on the ABIM, physicians and patients.

Baron talks disingenuously about population health and relieving the suffering of patients.
If he wants to relieve suffering he could go a long way to announce the ending of MOC mandates.

Lord John Russell said...

At the end of the day, leadership of the ABIM and ACC all swim in the same pool. These are overwhelmingly academic physicians who have been incentivized to promotion through achieving such leadership positions. If one is a "mover and shaker" for the ABIM and ACC, promotion and tenure soon follow. Eventually when one is a senior leader, rewards of section chair, endowed professor, and perhaps even a stent as an academic dean soon follow. These plum jobs have fewer work requirements of patient care and they get the spoils of travel and prestige. These folks avoid being on call, avoid
seeing a bunch of patients in clinic, or face the pressures of performing procedures. I have observed through the decades a considerable overlap between the ABIM and ACC. This tribe would never cede the spoils of their vaunted place in society to go back to seeing chest pain admissions in the ED or otherwise doing honest work. Better to subject the masses of practicing physicians to the unproven madness of serialized exams than to disrupt their comfortable status quo. If one visits their sites of "engagement," it is clear that these people not only won't change their minds but rather dig their heels in deeper to maintain their lives of luxury. I'd doubt any of them have had a serious campaign of listening to an actual physician in many decades. They lack any sense of empathy and they work in a sphere that lacks accountability to the masses.