Friday, June 28, 2019

The ABIM Tax Man Commeth... Again

Yesterday, lots of busy internists received email notices of another $140 check due to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Physician's "Maintenance of Certification (MOC) fees are now an annual tax internists must pay to practice medicine. Physicians should ask themselves why they must pay for this unproven "educational promise" tied to their initial board certification that "tells the public" they keep up with their continuing medical education.

No doubt many will pay, simply because they have to do so - they signed an "adhesion contract" that binds them to this annual tax despite the fact that their payment will go to a private, unaccountable organization that has shown years of financial and political mismanagement.

I would advise physicians consider balancing the extortion with a contribution of any size to our GoFundMe page that supports the plaintiffs who sued the ABIM for alleged antitrust, racketeering, and unjust enrichment claims. Opposition to the ABIM's Motion to Dismiss has been filed, and the ABIM is on the ropes like never before. Now is our chance. It's now or never. There is simply no free lunch - legal fees are considerable for a legal case of this complexity.

Wouldn't it be nice to end this monetary and professional injustice once and for all?



Taxed by Tax Dodgers/Cheats said...

A story of educational extortion, money laundering and padded executive incomes with the creation of personal corporate piggy banks. (Paid in full by captive clients' excessive payments and the taxpayer/public's ignorance of this ruinous decades-old healthcare scam.)

I see ABMS (MOC) extortion as theft, embezzlement and betrayal. Nobody really knows what these ABMS "professionals" should be called except cheaters. When you examine the facts closely, what else can you call those who "earn" their incomes from racketeering while creating secret offshore/domestic "piggy banks". It all starts with secret meetings where overpaid executives invent proprietary lies/corporate agenda. From investigating the medical specialty boards and their umbrella it's clear that non-disclosure/keeping silent/stonewalling regarding hard facts are all a large part of the continuous equation! The formula is extortion to the nth degree.

Part of the schema of lies is the bit about certification/MOC being voluntary. At the core of that lie is the stated belief/policy that the medical specialty boards and its "advisory board" (ABMS) are engaged in "self-regulation". What a crock of nasty brew to make docs and patients drink against their will.

Just read their tax forms for the past 20 or 30 years if you can get your hands on any of them. All of the medical specialty boards are the same sad corrupt story of extortion with ever greater payouts for those at the top of the Ponzi pyramid, and less and less accountability/disclosure to the profession and public.

I hate take-it-or-leave-it contracts said...

[ABIM Captured Clients'] TERMS & CONDITIONS . . .

By this application to the American Board of Internal Medicine ('ABIM'), I agree to be
bound by the terms, conditions, and rules set forth in ABIM's Policies and Procedures for
Certification and in this website, as they may be amended from time to time.
I understand that by applying, I am entering into a contract with ABIM to provide certain
health care operations services, including practice assessment and evaluations. The
ABIM HIPAA Business Associate Agreement is a part of this contract.

I agree to indemnify, release, and hold harmless ABIM, its employees, officers, directors,
members, agents, and those furnishing information about me to ABIM from any claims,
liability, or damage by reason of any of their acts or omissions, done in good faith, in
connection with: this application; information furnished to or by ABIM; the evaluation of
my qualifications; ABIM examinations; the enforcement of ABIM's Policies and
Procedures for Certification, and the policies for recertification outlined on ABIM's
website, as well as all terms, conditions, and rules set forth in this website, as they may
be amended from time to time; and any other action taken with respect to any certification
or recertification granted by ABIM.

I understand that all ABIM materials are protected by the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C.
§ 101, et seq. I further understand that ABIM examinations are trade secrets and are the
property of ABIM. Access to all such materials, as further detailed below, is strictly
conditioned upon agreement to abide by ABIM's rights under the Copyright Act and to
maintain examination confidentiality.

I understand that ABIM examinations are confidential, in addition to being protected by
federal copyright and trade secret laws. I agree that I will not copy, reproduce, adapt,
disclose, solicit, use, review, consult or transmit ABIM examinations, in whole or in part,
before or after taking my examination, by any means now known or hereafter invented. I
further agree that I will not reconstruct examination content from memory, by dictation, or
by any other means or otherwise discuss examination content with others. I further
acknowledge that disclosure or any other use of ABIM examination content constitutes
professional misconduct and may expose me to criminal as well as civil liability, and may
also result in ABIM's imposition of penalties against me, including but not limited to,
invalidation of examination results, exclusion from future examinations, suspension,
revocation of certification, and other sanctions.

Certification is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. After being initially certified by ABIM, my certificate will remain valid only so long as it is maintained by meeting the
requirements of the Maintenance of Certification program.

With respect to ABIM's Medical Knowledge Modules and ABIM PIMs Practice
Improvement Modules®, I agree that I will not copy, reproduce or make any adaptations
of such materials in any manner; and will not assist someone else in the infringement or
misuse of these ABIM-copyrighted works.

I understand that ABIM utilizes data forensic techniques that use statistical analyses of
test-response data to identify patterns of test fraud, including cheating and piracy.
I also understand that ABIM may use my examination performance, training program
evaluations, self evaluations of knowledge and practice assessment, and other
information for research purposes, including collaboration with other research
investigators and scientific publications. In such research, ABIM will not identify specific individuals, hospitals, or practice associations. All practice assessment data is HIPAA compliant.

I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the information given in my application is
true and correct to the best of my knowledge and beliefs.

I agree to be legally bound by the foregoing.

[Unaccountably Yours,
ABIM's Executives, Officers and Board]

To Be Or Not To Be BC said...

ABIM: A New MOB for the New Millennium?

ABIM's "proprietary" terms and conditions don't sit well with me or anyone who reads them. The ABIM terms and conditions reads like a mafioso's manifesto stating that we must agree to participate in their MOC Ponzi scheme or lose one's certification.

They incorrectly state that certification is not a one-time event. Of course it is a one time event. Certification has always been a one-time event from the time of the creation of the ABIM by the "founding fathers".

Have these ABMS loony-tuners-of-new-formation become totally MOC-mad and money-crazed? Obviously they have gone off the deep end monetizing and politicizing all the ABMS medical specialty boards.

The ABIM, as the largest medical specialty board, is one of the worst offenders. MOC is totally voluntary", they say, but do it or else is the reality!

What kind of Orwellian double speak is that? Or should one just call it an outright lie?

The New MOB for the New Millennium at the ABMS/ABIM is drunk with (MOC) greed and high on their own self-dealing politics. These are the real "terms and conditions" that we are forced to accept, or we lose that once-upon-a-time "lifetime certification" and the right to work.

The Harmful Side-Effects of MOC said...

What They Knew And When They Knew It (The ill-effects of tobacco and MOC)

Just like the ABMS/ABIM relationship with BIG TOBACCO suppressing the science on the ill-effects of tobacco (Thomas Brem, MD ABIM/ABMS Officer), the ABMS/ABIM has suppressed/downplayed the knowledge of the ill effects of MOC on patients and physicians. This was reprehensible in previous decades with tobacco consumption and it is reprehensible with the forced "consumption" of MOC.

Before the ABMS forced MOC on everyone there should have been independent studies to examine the patently obvious ill effects of this bane on healthcare delivery (patients' rights) and the professionals (physicians' rights) who are trying to deliver that care.

There are known/expressed bad side effects from being forced to take the MOC pill, but they are still not being studied. What is even more alarming is that the proprietary ABMS-funded studies all show that the benefits of the "MOC innoculation" are nil/zero.

It's bad science and poor population health anyway you slice up the subjects/specimens. Instead of heads rolling as in any corporation or government agency, the ABMS is immune from their own bad medicine and intellectual malpractice. The CEO's are in fact rewarded instead of being sacked by giving them 10-year or more multi-million dollar contracts with golden parachutes that always open for them, no matter how egregious the conflicts of interest or transgressions.

Physician Harm from MOC