In late 2018 through 2020, The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) was involved in a class action antitrust lawsuit for claims of illegal creation and maintenance of their monopoly power in the market for maintenance of certification (MOC). Even though there was an outpouring of physician support for the lawsuit from working physicians, the case did not survive massive legal efforts to kill the case on technical grounds before it went to trial.
Now, physicians are left with little choice but to cough up more money to pay the exorbitant salaries of the non-clinical academic elite who run the organization or risk losing their jobs. It is the tie that binds ABIM's their proprietary MOC continuing education product to physicians' initial subspecialty board certification that allows ABIM to raise their costs without any oversight because physicians require their initial board certification credential to maintain their hospital privileges or place on insurance companies' rosters.
It is particularly concerning that ABIM decided to raise their MOC fees 25% in 2022 when their own assets mushroomed 18% in 2021 alone to more than $168 million:
ABIM has constantly billed itself as a "physician-led" non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. From their About ABIM webpage:
"ABIM is a physician-led, non-profit, independent evaluation organization driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world."
But are they really? Who is really pulling the strings at ABIM?
We have already seen that the former CEO and President of ABIM, Christine Cassel, MD was serving as a board member of one of the largest Group Purchase Organizations, Premier, Inc, and serving on the Board of Kaisier Hospital and Health Systems while also serving as President and CEO of the ABIM - conflict that was never disclosed to physician-diplomates of the ABIM.
But now we see another concerning potential conflict that needs explanation, especially with the rate hike in fees physician must endure. Who are ABIM's "RESTRICTED" contributor(s) found buried on their latest IRS Form 990?
Might it be George Soros (since ABIM contributed to his Institute for Medical Professionalism in 2003 and 2008)?
Or might it be other members of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), like the American Medical Association (AMA) or American Hospital Association (AHA)? Who stands to profit from the control of physicians this way?
Physicians have a right to know what the heck is going on at ABIM and why are fees have gone up 25% in 2022 at a time when ABIM is more than flush with cash. We also deserve to know who their contributors are that are supporting his racket.
Unless, of course, the US is running the physician regulatory system like the mob.
PS: For those interested in staying abreast of our ongoing investigation, consider joining Practicing Physicians of America (it's free and allows us to know who wants further work in this arena).