"Whereas, The ABIM Foundation uses the income of the $56 million for internal salaries, dubious research which consistently publishes data in support of MOC, and approximately $500,000 a year for high-end retreats at the county’s most expensive resorts; andIn response to this resolution, the ABIM sent this response to the AMA, shirting the concerns outlined and directing diplomates to its webpage containing only its most recent financials, and to the President and CEO of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Whereas, The ABIM paid its President $2,774,000 for her final 30 months of employment (an annualized salary of $1.1 million dollars); and
Whereas, The ABIM President gave her First Assistant a raise of $103,000/year in 2011, $83,000/year in 2014, and a bonus of $313,000 in 2011 for total earnings well in excess of $500,000; and
Whereas, The ABIM purchased a condominium for $2.3 million and sold it for $1.7 million losing $600,000 in cash along with real estate sales and transfer fees adding another loss of approximately $200,000, and chose to house its out-of-town guests in the most expensive per square foot real estate in the city of Philadelphia as well as provide a chauffeur-driven limousine for their use; and
Whereas, The top employees at the ABIM are receiving retirement contributions of 18 percent per year (fully funded by the ABIM with no employee contributions) in contrast to the industry average of five percent; and
Whereas, There may well be many more undiscovered excessive expenses at the ABIM; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association, prior to the end of December 2016, formally, directly and openly ask the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) if they would allow an independent outside organization, representing ABIM physician stakeholders, to independently conduct an open audit of the finances of both the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization, and its Foundation (Directive to Take Action); and be it further
RESOLVED, That in its request, our AMA seek a formal and rapid reply from the ABIM so that issues of concern that currently exist between the ABIM and its Foundation and many members of the AMA and the physician community at large can be addressed in a timely, effective and efficient fashion (Directive to Take Action); and be it further
RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association (AMA) share the response to this request, as well as the results of any subsequent analysis with our AMA House of Delegates and our membership at large as soon as it is available. (Directive to Take Action)"
Not only were the concerns raised by the AMA House of Delegates not addressed directly, the House of Delegates were asked to turn to the fox guarding the henhouse for answers.
Currently, the ABIM and the ABIM Foundation still haven't filed their non-profit 2017 Form 990 Federal tax forms for public inspection. We are quite aware they may have squandered over $78 million of our testing fees.
What should be diplomate physicians' response be to this previous ABIM soft-shoe tactic?
I believe the AMA should move to have the Internal Revenue Service investigate the ABIM and the ABIM Foundation on our behalf.
We have tried to be polite and self-regulate our regulators in a responsible, transparent way using accepted channels. It has gotten us nowhere. It's time proper authorities get involved to examine the evidence and, if appropriate, take action to end the years of deception and collusion, and to take corrective action in the name of the integrity of our profession.
PS: A survey of Board-certified practicing physicians regarding MOC® is still being conducted. If you have not done so already, please complete the survey here and then email the link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PPA_MOCSurvey) to your colleagues. This is particularly important now that ABMS is performing their own survey that will ignore their conflicts of interest with "continuous certification."