Monday, January 07, 2019

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Why does a physician who is strong-armed into participating in Maintenance of Certification (MOC®), pays for MOC®-eligible educational materials, studies and performs the online testing to receive "MOC®-points" from the American Board of Internal Medicine, not get credit for the work completed?

I received a threatening notice from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) with the loss of my ABMS board certification credential in November 2018 via mail if I did not acquire 100 MOC points by 12/31/2018.

Given the ramifications to my ability to retain credentials at my hospital system that requires "ABMS Board Certification" for its credentials, I did not feel I could risk the implications of this change to my original understanding of MOC® when I originally purchased the product in 2013. Consequently, I tried to find enough educational materials with sufficient MOC® points to meet that requirement in the short time I had left to complete this requirement that was appropriate for my subspecialty. Unfortunately, only the ACCSAP-9 had enough MOC® points (at about $10 per point) to reach that goal, so I spent $1600 to purchase their product.

I began working on ACCSAP9, spending hours reading and answering the questions provided so I might be able to acquire enough "points" to reach 100 by the deadline. Needless to say, because of clinical and family demands, I didn't reach that goal.

I never received "credit" for rounding at four hospitals before 12/31/2018.

I never received "credit" for spending time with my kids and only remaining father-in-law before 12/31/2018.

I never received "credit" for trying to balance work and family life before 12/31/2018.

And despite completing 100 points on 1 January 2019 (the day after they were due), I now find I didn't received "credit" for the hours spent completing even more questions on the one day I had off from work on 1 January 2019:

Documentation of work performed for MOC® 1 Jan 2019
Documentation on ABIM Physician Portal that no credit was received for MOC®
points earned on 1 Jan 2019, despite itemized list above.
Nor did my family receive "credit" from the ABIM for my time spent in front of my computer at home on New Years' Day 2019.

But at least I'm still "certified" by the ABIM and "participating" in MOC® despite their threats and not completing 100 MOC® points by 12/31/2018!

* * *

It is clear to me by all that has transpired in this latest shakedown of physicians by ABIM, that they could care less about MOC® points, they just want our money will stop at nothing to secure funds for themselves and their collaborating professional societies.

That's why I'd like to give "credit" to the four physicians who bravely filed suit against the ABIM in December.

I'd like to give "credit" to the one Puerto Rican physician who still has a pending countersuit against the ABIM that still has not had a chance have his case heard in court.

I'd like to give "credit" to the 750 physicians, many of whom remain "anonymous" out of fear of retribution, and helped fund the investigation that led to the antitrust suit filed against the ABIM in just over four months.

And I'd like to announce that an additional $250,000 is being sought to continue our investigation against the ABIM to consider additional claims against them (see "Update 18").

It's time to give credit where credit is due: to the working physicians who continue to try to do their job caring for patients without coercive education tactics for funds that result in no credit of any kind to them.

Please give generously to our new campaign to end this corruption.

It is time to end, once and for all, the deceptive ABMS "continuous certification" scam for all physicians nationwide.



Anonymous said...

ABIM is understaffed!
They don't update immediately. Better call them if you can get through, or email concerns and arugue your "points" to make sure that the business year did not start until January 2nd.
Must argue that the 1st is a non-business day and should be included in 2018.
Do they have a rigid policy on this? I don't know.
Fyi, many who did not test in 2018 for underlying internal medicine (keeping 2nd specialty cert. only) will be purged when the staff gets to it. Note these are also still listed as certified.

Argue with them before anything bad happens: ask them for a manual inclusion of your points if your book/questions cannot be retroactively applied somehow. Have the medical society of your book argue for you as well.

Anonymous said...

You’re an experienced EP cardiologist being blackmailed and you’re consenting to it. Put an end to it. Fight your hospital body as this is a blatant shakedown for your money and time. We are human and entering (or solidly within the bounds) of middle age, there is no more bullshit to be taken in. I’ve made a stand and have ceased participating in MOC and let the chips fall where they may. I’m fortunate to be NOT hospital affiliated in any way, strictly outpatient internal medicine. I’m recovering from a hysterectomy and I will never again be a pawn in this toxic racketeering. F*&$ you MOC, ABMS and the whole mafia tied with this.

Anonymous said...

The class action lawsuit, viewable via the link included, is a valiant attempt to break the baseless monopoly of ABIM. We should all give money to this effort!