"Grandfathers” may voluntarily buy MOC, but those who do so and fail to satisfy MOC’s requirements do not have their certifications revoked by ABIM."
May 4, 2020 Appeal against ABIM
Dear Practicing Physician,
We hope you are all healthy and safe. Thank you for being on the frontlines and continuing to take care of our community.
Although HB1449 did not go through this session, I highly encourage you to watch the testimony of the bill in the Labor and Commerce subcommittee. If you don’t watch anything else, watch the opposition comments that start at minute 11:52. MOC still remains an issue. The utter irrelevancy of MOC is clearly evident by the “accommodations” statements that have been sent to diplomats. They are ready to accept your payment anytime, you can take it “later” or not, or in person, or, X, depending on your board. The fact that you cannot choose what education best suites the needs of your patients and your education, after practicing medicine for over a decade is incredibly frustrating.
Fortunately, an appeal has been filed in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals against the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) regarding MOC. See sidebar(if you are viewing this on your computer) or scroll down (for cell phone) for the 78 page document. If you'd like to contribute to the ongoing lawsuit, click here.
COVID-19 The Virginia Coalition on MOC Reform has worked with physicians to introduce multiple solutions to the Governor’s administration on ways to support practicing physicians during this pandemic. We were also we were able to facilitate a call for physicians in private practice in the 7th district, with Representative Abigail Spanberger so they could voice their concerns and needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to value our frontline healthcare workers, in particular, physicians. It has also exposed what practicing physicians have known for decades about the true nature of where hospital priorities are in relation to their employees, where patient care and saving lives is left to those on the frontlines, but for the administrators and C-suite executives working from home, do everything they can to protect their large salaries, all the while furloughing and even terminating physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers for speaking up and protecting their patients or even themselves. Where is hospitals' duty of care now?
TELEMEDICINE, MOC AND THE VIRGINIA BOARD OF MEDICINE Due to COVID-19, telemedicine has been a lifeline for private practices and has helped them stay afloat, however just as CMS has relaxed the unnecessary restrictions on telemedicine, “nonprofit” organizations like the ABMS, ABIM (and the other 23 other subspecialty boards), and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) are rushing in to exploit you and your career for their profit.
The FSMB with $41.5 million in cash and investments, and $22.4 million in retirement benefits stashed away, and a purchase of the former 27 bedroom Colombian embassy in Washington, D.C. for $4,150,000 -- $650,000 above list value, has been working “hard” to push for the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) which requires MOC.
Virginia’s Board of Medicine, in 2016 asked the members to consider the overall purpose of IMLC and whether or not it would be beneficial to the Commonwealth.
“Mr. Heaberlin advised that he ran a statistical report on approximately 110 license applicants and found that only 37 would have been eligible to participate in the Compact. He recalls at the introduction of the process being told that 80% of applicants would benefit from this option. Mr. Heaberlin noted that he does not see participation in the Compact as beneficial for Virginia. He also pointed out that with so many postgraduate programs in Virginia, the intern/residents would not be eligible for Compact licensure because they are not board certified. Mr. Heaberlin also noted that he reviews a significant percentage of applications that have “criminal convictions” for incidents that occurred, usually prior to or in medical school, such as DUI, reckless driving, cursing in public, and even one for dogs running loose without dog tags. He questioned whether such offenses should prevent eligibility for an expedited licensure process. -- Department of Health Professions Board of Medicine Legislative Committee Minutes: 05/20/2016
In 2018, Virginia also implemented their own reciprocity procedure in lieu of joining the Compact. So it seems like our state was not in favor of this back then. Now however, FSMB, armed with $2.5 million from the $20 million that HHS awarded to increase telehealth services, the push for IMLC is much more aggressive. FSMB has joined forces with the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) and on April 24th, 2020, ERIC sent a letter to Governor Northam urging Virginia to sign on to the IMLC. Additionally, the February 20, 2020 Virginia Board of Medicine minutes denotes that, FSMB has reiterated “interest” in having Virginia sign on.
You have to wonder why these organizations are lobbying for MOC, but you only have to follow the money to understand. ERIC’s membership is made up of exclusively large employers and therefore, represents 100 national corporations. This makes it easier for plans to steer patients to preferred"providers" across state lines, instead of letting employees choose their own local physician.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? 1) Keep an eye out on what is going on at the Board of Medicine. The agenda and minutes are posted here. Right now, meetings have been cancelled due to COVID-19. The Board of Medicine is subject to FOIA and therefore, (unlike ABMS, ABIM etc) transparency and disclosure rules apply to them.
2)You can voice your concerns about the 2/20/20 Board of Medicine to Dr. William Harp, MD Executive Director of the Virginia Board of Medicine via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Let us know what else we can do to help you. We will continue to try and keep you up to date on MOC and other related issues. If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out.