Timeline for Justice: ABIM v Salas Rushford
A young resident physician, Jaime Salas Rushford MD, came to New Jersey from Puerto Rico to study for his initial American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) board certification examination with an ACGME-approved Arora "Unusual Board Review" course. He later took his examination and passed, making him officially board certified on 8/20/2009. Over three years later, he received a letter from Ms. (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - November 15, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

Is CMS's Value-Based Healthcare System Already Being Gamed?
Take a look at the address of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) that owns the Maintenance of Certification (MOC ®) trademark that is the subject of at least six anti-trust lawsuits (see here, here, and here for instance) underway because MOC binds physicians to their hospital privileges and insurance payments to made to hospitals on behalf of their employed physicians: Now look (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - November 12, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

MOC ®: It's All About Physician Data
The Facebook –Cambridge Analytica data scandal was a major political scandal in early 2018 when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of peoples' Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes. The scandal, first exposed by The Guardian in 2015, revealed that Cambridge Analytica had managed to obtain data on (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - November 9, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

What Gives?
WHAT GIVES the American Board of Internal Medicine the ability to take away years of schooling, mountains of prior testing, sleepless nights of residency, and months of study for initial Board certification that we all had to pass? WHAT GIVES the American Board of Internal Medicine the authority to magically un-certify physicians for not purchasing or their Maintenance of Certification (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - October 31, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

What Gives?
WHAT GIVES the American Board of Internal Medicine the ability to take away years of schooling, mountains of prior testing, sleepless nights of residency, and months of study for initial Board certification that we all had to pass? WHAT GIVES the American Board of Internal Medicine the authority to magically un-certify physicians for not purchasing or their Maintenance of Certification (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - October 30, 2019 Category: American Health Authors: DrWes Source Type: blogs

A Case Study in the Wrong Way to Fix Clinician Burnout
Asking the system to fix the system in regards to physician and nursing burnout is like asking the fox to watch the henhouse. They have no clue. Case in point: the recent article published online before print in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (where else?) preaching a "systems-based approach to clinician well-being and provide better patient care." What "system" is (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - October 25, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Tags: American Board of Medical Specialties MOC physician burnout Source Type: blogs

Plaintiffs to Appeal ABIM Class-Action Lawsuit in Full
With the time to amend the earlier class action antitrust and racketeering lawsuit against the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) past, this statement was issued by C. Phillip Curley, the Plaintiffs' lead attorney: “Plaintiffs plan to appeal in full the dismissal of their case. While we respect the district court, we believe it was wrong at this early stage of the litigation to dismiss (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - October 12, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Tags: ABIM American Board of Internal Medicine lawsuit Source Type: blogs

You Know There's a Problem with MOC When...
... yet another antitrust lawsuit is filed against ANOTHER American Board of Medical Specialties' member board.   This time, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery joined the antitrust litigation fray on September 11, 2019. Look for those Maintenance of Certification® (MOC®) fees to continue to skyrocket as the certification cartel extracts more fees from working stiffs doctors to help pay (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - October 5, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Tags: ABMS ABOS American Board of Medical Specialties American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Source Type: blogs

Why Working Physicians Deserve Their Day in Court
Ask any physician who shares 24-hour call with his colleagues: what time is the worst time to get called into the hospital? Most will tell you just before midnight. That's because you miss out on those most precious first few hours of deep sleep needed for the next day. For me, the call this particular evening came at 10:47PM. Seventy-nine years old. Complete heart block. Wide complex escape (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - October 2, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

Some Thoughts on the Recent ABIM Lawsuit Ruling
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax After researching, investigating, and writing about the activities and finances of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the ABIM Foundation for the past five year s, it would figure that a ruling on the class-action lawsuit challenging the ABIM Maintenance of (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - September 29, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

Some Thoughts on the Recent ABIM Lawsuit Ruling
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax After researching, investigating, and writing about the activities and finances of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the ABIM Foundation for the past five yea rs, it would figure that a ruling on the class-action lawsuit challenging the ABIM Maintenance of (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - September 29, 2019 Category: American Health Authors: DrWes Source Type: blogs

Federal Judge Dismisses MOC Class-Action Lawsuit, For Now
On 26 September 2019, a Pennsylvania judge has dismissed the current claims filed by the four internists challenging ABIM ’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program (The full opinion here). The judge, however, has invited the plaintiffs to file amended claims on the monopolization and racketeering claims in the lawsuit in the next 14 days and, in contrast to what the ABIM said in their public (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - September 28, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

ABMS's Vision: Doubling Down on MOC
Since the American Board of Medical Specialties' (ABMS) "Vision Commission" issued its corporate white-paper "final report," it has become abundantly clear that the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), medical subspecialty societies, and the entire Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (AAMC, AMA, AHA, etc), have no intention of ending mandated re-certification (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - September 24, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

How ABIM's MOC Product Ends Physician Careers
From Medical Economics:Mark Lopatin, MD, has been a vocal opponent of ABIM ’s MOC process for several years, but says that these new options are similar to changes he’d like to see in his subspecialty of rheumatology. His 1986 board certification in internal medicine is still considered valid, even though he hasn’t practiced in the field for 30 years, he says. But be cause rheumatology boards were (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - September 23, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

When the Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." - Aristole Since May 2018, over 1,600 physicians have made over 1900 contributions to our GoFundMe effort in support of physician plaintiffs involved in three class action antitrust lawsuits against the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the American Board of Radiology (ABR), and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - September 20, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

Plaintiff Lawyer Explains ABMS Medical Board Lawsuits
This past Saturday, A Zoom video conference sponsored by Citizen Health.io was held with the members of Practicing Physicians of America's (PPA) board and an invited speaker, Laura Feldman, one of the plaintiff attorneys with Robinson Curley, P.C. - the law firm that has brought suits against several American Board of Medical Specialty (ABMS) member boards. For my reader's convenience, I took the (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - September 19, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

American Board of Emergency Medicine Resorts to Adhesion Contract to Limit Its Liability and Legal Costs
A question posed recently by a physician on Facebook: Can anyone tell me if this is legal? I have to check the American Board of Emergency Medicine's website for info regarding MOC and the Concert Exam. In order to have access, I have to agree to this statement. This leaves me no choice, yet MOC is mandatory. It feels like blackmail. And would this b e enforceable in a class action lawsuit? (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - August 29, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

ACP Supports ABIM Plans for More Continuous Certification
Yesterday, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued a press release in support of the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) plans to develop a new "longitudinal continuous certification" educational product to maintain their initial board certification. In that press release, they confirmed that this "option" was in response the the American Board of Medical Specialties' (ABMS) (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - August 29, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

American Board of Emergency Medicine Resorts to Adhesion Contract to Limit Its Liability and Legal Costs
A question posed recently by a physician on Facebook: Can anyone tell me if this is legal? I have to check the American Board of Emergency Medicine's website for info regarding MOC and the Concert Exam. In order to have access, I have to agree to this statement. This leaves me no choice, yet MOC is mandatory. It feels like blackmail. And would this b e enforceable in a class action lawsuit? (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - August 29, 2019 Category: American Health Authors: DrWes Source Type: blogs

Assuring Longitudinal Physician Exploitation and Burnout
ABIM Email Notification His day started at 07:15 AM with two planned atrial fibrillation ablation procedures and an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) implantation scheduled. As the day progressed, another unscheduled ICD was added, then three emergent pacemakers had to be implanted. Squeezed between the cases were rounds, inpatient consults, phone calls, post-op checks, emails, EMR (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - August 25, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

Assuring Longitudinal Physician Exploitation and Burnout
ABIM Email Notification His day started at 07:15 AM with two planned atrial fibrillation ablation procedures and an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) implantation scheduled. As the day progressed, another unscheduled ICD was added, then three emergent pacemakers had to be implanted. Squeez ed between the cases were rounds, inpatient consults, phone calls, post-op checks, emails, EMR (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - August 25, 2019 Category: American Health Authors: DrWes Source Type: blogs

MOC Issue Embroils EP Community
After I circulated my fund-raising video two weeks ago to the Electrophysiology Community via the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) closed message board, a firestorm of challenges to the HRS leadership have erupted online. At their core, the HRS is now under increasing pressure to decide with whom they side: (1) their physician membership or (2) other corporate interests. The exchange has become so (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - August 15, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

AntiMOC Lawsuit Update
As the summer winds on, I have been approached by more and more people who would like an update on where the litigation filed against the many member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties stand since the lawsuits were filed. I will do my best to briefly summarize the status of those lawsuits as I understand them. (For background on why these lawsuits have been filed against so (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - August 1, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Tags: American Board of Internal Medicine lawsuit Source Type: blogs

Why the U.S. Specialty Boards Were Sued and Why Those Lawsuits Are Important
I hope every working U.S. physician takes 9 minutes to view this video on why the lawsuits against   the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member boards were filed and why those lawsuits are so important to our profession. Please view and share with your colleagues. An update on the status of those lawsuits will appear on this blog's pages soon. -Wes (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - July 30, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Tags: ABIM ABMS American Board of Internal Medicine board certification GoFundMe lawsuit Maintenance of Certification MOC physicians Source Type: blogs

Subject of Major Lawsuit, ABIM Struggles to Fill Positions
Seventy-three positions are needed for the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to fulfill "a new governance structure," the ABIM announced on its blog July 2, 2019. True to form for this private organization: the need for a "new governance structure" and how that structure will impact working physicians is not disclosed. Will the ABIM have difficulty filling their positions? It is lost on (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - July 5, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

MOC's Incredible Price Growth
The chart above by Mark J. Perry, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus, was recently published demonstrating the rise in healthcare prices in government services affected by bureaucratic regulatory capture (red) and those that were not so affected (blue). Physicians are directly feeling the brunt of (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - July 1, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

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 (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - June 28, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

Re-Defining Medical Professionalism
In 1999 we were told a new organization was created by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to "improve healthcare through the advancement of medical professionalism." That organization then created a workgroup to create a white paper on "medical professionalism co-published simultaneously in the Annals of Internal Medicine and Lancet called "Medical Professionalism in the New (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - June 24, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs

"Nothing Else. Promise!"
From Sermo: There is no evidence that recertification makes better doctors. All evidence points to a process that merely enriches the boards that impose their wills upon us. I was one of the first classes to not be "grandfathered". Those who came before me said "Everyone needs to recertify, except us, we're special." But don't worry, they said, it'll just be an open-book, take-home exam every 10 (Source: Dr. Wes)
Source: Dr. Wes - June 15, 2019 Category: Cardiology Authors: Westby G. Fisher, MD Source Type: blogs