Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Medical Societies Side with ABIM at the Expense of Their Members

Yesterday in a coordinated blow, the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Society for Cardiovascular Interventions (SCAI), the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) turned to their marketing muscle, funded in large part by the medical device industry, to issue a joint letter to their respective physician memberships that they stand with the nations' consolidating hospital systems in requiring Maintenance of Certification (MOC) for working physicians:
Dear Member:

We are writing to provide information of interest regarding cardiologists' American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification status.

On Jan. 1, 2014, ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements changed. In addition to the 10-year assessment requirement, diplomates wanting to maintain their certification are required to complete 100 MOC points every five years. The end of the first five-year period for many diplomates was Dec. 31, 2018.

Early in 2018, ABIM noted that a number of diplomates were at risk of missing the 100-point requirement. ABIM initiated an intense effort to communicate with these diplomates. This resulted in a high percentage of cardiologists across all specialties obtaining enough points to remain certified before ABIM updated its public reporting in February 2019. When looked at through the lens of specific certificates, 94 percent of cardiovascular medicine certificates, 88 percent of electrophysiology certificates, 84 percent of interventional certificates and 100 percent of heart failure certificates were held by diplomates who met the 100-point threshold. Additionally, physicians who had not met their points requirement saw their certification status change to "Not Certified."

The leadership of the four major cardiovascular specialty societies – the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), and Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) – realized that many cardiologists who had intended to remain certified were somehow unaware of the new process and missed the deadline. Therefore, they initiated a call with the ABIM leadership to discuss opportunities for those cardiologists to bring their certification into good standing.

If you are one of those whose certification status has changed – or if you'd like to confirm what you need to do next – please follow these steps...
This letter was issued despite physicians losing their ability to practice medicine solely because they did not complete "MOC points" before an arbitrary five-year deadline imposed by the ABIM. Physicians across the country are receiving letters from their hospital systems threatening them with "automatic retirement" for allowing their board certification to "expire." Worse still, some of those letters were issued in states where anti-MOC legislation exists, thanks to loopholes conveniently added by hospital lobbyists.

So what do our specialty societies recommend physicians do? Ask the monopoly ring-leader for a letter:
If your hospital, payer or employer credentialing committees have raised concerns, ABIM will work with you to provide a letter that can be shared with them outlining what you need to remedy any temporary loss of certification. To discuss such a letter with ABIM, please see the contact information below.
In other words, pay up, get your MOC points, or shut up and lose your job.


Please donate to the GoFundMe page created by Practicing Physicians of America to end this discriminatory educational monopoly and racketeering. It is clear now that state legislation created to outlaw MOC in most states means nothing to our nation's consolidating hospital systems.

Addendum: 29 May 2019 @ 1:18 PM CST - Link to physician letter fixed.


Gummed Up Economies and Monopolistic Practices said...

Quality Chasm: How Physicians Are Being Herded Over the Quality Cliff by Monopolists and Myth-makers

Monopolies are being reinforced by monopolists. Rampant racketeering, coercive practices that squeeze out independent businesses. All of this is most prevalent. We are not seeing the principles of a free market economy with "creative destruction" in play. In fact just the opposite. Physicians are forced to cough up money to support what is essentially a medical racket that supports medical monopolies. This is so obvious, but the victime are too immersed and plagued buy the situation to see it. Or they feel helpless and do nothing.

The extraction of money from physicians by the ABMS medical specialty boards (and supporting societies) is not unlike the central bank being forced to print money for the large corporations in order for them to hoard the cash for their balance sheets, or use it to buy-out stressed companies. Or buy back stock to boost share price or grow the already inflated/bloated executive compensation.

The medical corporations/institutions need government insiders and not-for-profit pseudo-regulatory companies like the ABMS/ABIM to destroy physician autonomy in order to consolidate their gains. Mergers, acquisitions, high expenses have put doctors out of private practice/group practice and herded them into a shoe box or box canyon. It is the moral and social equivalent of being sent to the back of the bus.

Doctors, as a result of being captured clients, are now found to be furthest in history from being able to make independent decisions or suggestions to the the drivers/owners of the powerful buses that roll over everyone and gobble up everything they want in their path/corporate agendas. The drivers are the stakeholders or owners of the bus. The owners are the corporations and elite entities who own the buses or heavily invested in them.

In other words ethics, oaths, economic freedom, independent scientific thinking, even personal constitutionally guaranteed liberties have been replaced by corporate mandate via proxy companies, whose existence is being and should be questioned. They are highly suspect. The corporate tax returns and personal returns/activities of executives may reveal fraud and abuse of power/authority if they were scrutinized by the DOJ and IRS as they should be.

The lawsuits/complaints of monopolist behavior, self-enrichment, racketeering against the ABMS and medical specialty boards are fully justified. The ongoing revelations prove collusion/partnerships with the highly lucrative medical societies and sundry NGOs/individuals in charge when we see their corporate, economic and political ties in total.

Anonymous said...