AOA is at Critical Point in Its History

Stuart Damon, DO shares his recent correspondence with then-AOA President (now Immediate Past President) John Becher, DO:

From: Stuart Damon
Date: April 13, 2016
To: John Becher
Subject: Re: What makes you and me different?

Dr. Becher –

Thank you for your reply. I do appreciate your response.

With respect, a HOD resolution isn’t enough. From what I have heard so far, the ACOFP has forwarded a recommendation encouraging review of OCC. Tactically and strategically inadequate. OCC and recertification both need to be done away with by immediate action of the AOA leadership.

OCC and the manner in which came into being is a symptom of a larger problem (more to follow).

There are virtually no data that compare lifetime with time-limited diplomates; I have found two such studies. Neither involved a large sample space, and both demonstrated similar results: though the marker of quality was different between the two studies, there were no differences between lifetime and time-limited certification holders. Continue reading

Anti-Trust Class Action Filed Against AOA by Osteopathic Physicians

Update: For more details and contact info related to this ground-breaking suit:
http://www.duanemorris.com/site/osteopathclassaction.html

anit-oocA group of the nation’s osteopathic doctors – including IP4PI founder, Craig M Wax, DO, along with Albert A. Talone, DO,  Richard Renza, DO, and Roy Stoller, DO – filed suit against the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to recover millions of dollars in annual membership fees that the doctors have been forced to pay for years to the organization. The money is paid as a condition of obtaining and maintaining physicians’ board certification in any advanced medical specialty. The physicians—who have filed the suit as a class action—contend that the requirement that they purchase memberships is illegal, has no reasonable connection to the advanced certification and violates the antitrust laws.

Class-action lawsuit filed against American Osteopathic Association over membership fees Philadelphia Business Journal, August 2, 2016
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine in Certification Dispute Philadelphia Inquirer, August 2, 2016

Duane Morris Press Release: Osteopathic Physicians Sue to Recover Millions of Dollars in Membership Fees Paid to the AOA to Maintain Their Board Certifications

Class Action Complaint: Filed on August 1, 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

 

A Call for AOBA to Return to Lifetime Certification – No OCC

A friend of IP4PI writes in:

I would like to take few moments of your time and share with you some ideas on MOC/OCC and board re-certification exams. As a fellow physician and a Son of Dr. A.T. Still, we all share similar concerns. Our burden is to be true and faithful to our profession and to serve the needs of our patients honestly.

As an Osteopathic Physician like many in my situation, I completed my Osteopathic Internship, and participated in an ACGME anesthesia residency program which makes us uniquely qualified to be board certified by the AOA AOBA, ABMS ABA and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, FRCPC (Canada). All three are fully respected and recognized in the USA. As a matter of fact, in my training program at USC we had many doctors from Canada who were certified by the FRCPC and were fully incorporated with a full Professorship status. The FRCPC has always been a Life-Time board certification process. Now, recently, last year, ABA has also re-adopted the Life-Time board certification process and dropped the EVERY-10-YEARS re-certification exam. Continue reading

Free Advertising for ACCME Masquerading as Article in NEJM

Via Paul Kempen, MD, PhD:

Everyone should review this free article in NEJM from the CEO of the ACCME. Clearly  profit oriented propaganda for ACCME and MOC! I encourage EVERYONE to make a comment on this article! My comment is as follows-hopefully will be published!

See: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1515202

CLICK HERE to view the ACCME 990 form.

Paul

This article is concerning. It is free advertisement for the ACCME (a $12 million gross receipts a year “business”) as well as the increasingly suspicious ABMS MOC industry (earning over $400 million cumulatively each year) . The most recent IRS 990 form from 2014  lists the CEO salary at over $450K annually-whereby Graham McMahon is also listed as “principal officer” in 2014, yet without indication that any money was paid. This is 2016, He is CEO. Anyone reading this article MUST recognize it as a free advertisement for corporate products. While such “public service” to physicians is given 501-c tax free status, we must all recognize that physicians are forced to buy these products. True competition does not exist with such 501-c corporate monopolies! These monopolies are historic legacies and deserve serious consideration in this millennium, even though the AMA support reached back 100 years!

It is time to review the many corporate monopolies extorting payments from physicians without FREE choice! YES,  changes to post graduate education must ELIMINATE extortion of physicians to learn from corporate products. Non-profits must start offering FREE service or lose exempt status!!!

Oklahoma Governor Signs Anti MOC/OCC Legislation!

An Oklahoma physician writes in:

Yesterday, April 11, 2016 our Governor signed a bill preventing entities from using MOC or OCC as a condition for licensure, reimbursement, employment or admitting privileges at a hospital.

Click here to read SB 1148.

This is HUGE!!! We essentially blocked ABMS and AOA lobbying efforts and hopefully blocked the Interstate Compact law (which we successfully squashed for this year’s legislative efforts).

This may be a model to squash MOC and OCC forever.

Note: This victory follows Kentucky’s anti-MOC, bill SB 17, passed earlier this year.

Educating Legislators about Dangers of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Is your state considering entering the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact?  Educate your legislators about why this is a bad idea. Below is a sample letter you can use to assist your outreach efforts.  Even if your state isn’t yet a target start educating your legislators and colleagues today!

Dear Members of the Colorado House of Representatives,

Thank you for your dedicated service to the citizens of Colorado.

We are writing to voice concerns about HB 16-1047 which, if passed, will sign Colorado on to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact “may seem like a positive step” at first glance, warns CATO adjunct scholar Shirley Svorny, PhD.  She continues, “[t]he compact is being promoted, disingenuously, as addressing license portability and access to interstate telemedicine…. Adding the Compact Commission creates another layer of bureaucracy and costs.”

States that are closely looking at the Compact are increasingly rejecting it and exploring other state-controlled policy options to better accomplish the goal of license portability. Continue reading

Maryland Rejects Interstate Medical Licensure Compact … Again

Maryland’s Compact bill (SB0446) was withdrawn for 2nd year in a row after an unfavorable Senate committee recommendation. http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&stab=02&id=sb0446&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS

The Maryland State Medical Society testified that they are concerned about disciplinary provisions in compact. Since the Compact can’t be amended the society suggests fixing reciprocity problem at the state level. There are two bills pending that address license portability on a state level in lieu of joining the Compact: SB 1020 & HB 998.

The Maryland Medical Board testified against compact. There are too many details yet to be worked out. “We are worried about the bureaucracy.” The board also expressed concerns about the “extensive” disciplinary threats. “Fees could become quite excessive.” We are in wait and see mode. Physicians could get a license through the Compact without meeting Maryland’s licensing criteria. The board supports state-based reciprocity bills outside of the Compact.
http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/mga/play/d0306176-a3eb-4e70-bbeb-0c81c918dcca/?catalog/03e481c7-8a42-4438-a7da-93ff74bdaa4c&playfrom=1075000

For more on what’s being said about the Compact in other states see: https://goo.gl/obwZe3

Recertification: a test publisher’s attempt to take over authority in medicine

Guest post from Carlisle Holland, D.O.

The change to requiring recertification was demanded at the time by the younger generation of graduates, not the idea of those who had board certification for life. The cut off of requiring it was cited as unfair at the time, but the ‘higher standards’ were deemed worth the period of adjustment to such a change, as board certification was considered an intellectual achievement in itself, and worthy of the credit for knowing the information that well, a credential.

The recertification was a change in the intent of board certification itself and a perversion of its meaning. And it does not prove proficiency nor competency in a specialty to pass retesting every few years. What if they pass it and do not keep retaking it? Board Certified no more? And it confuses the meaning of Board Certified and changes it from a Lifetime Achievement like a Medical Degree, a CREDENTIAL, into a Temporary Pass, which is not an intellectual achievement, but a carrot-stick to force physicians to attend medical
meetings these organizations run. Continue reading

Resolved: End Re-certification Abuse

Resolution on Re-Certification Sent to NJAOPS HOD

To:       Robert Bowen, Executive Director, NJAOPS

Paul Morris, D.O. Speaker of the House, NJAOPS
Robert Pedowitz, D.O.,President, NJAOPS
Michelina Desantis, D.O., President-Elect, NJAOPS
Ira Monka, D.O., Member, AOA Board of Trustees
Al Talone, D.O., Chairman, JOPAC

Re:        Proposed Resolution on Re-Certification

Date:    Feb 10, 2016

RESOLUTION

Whereas Board Certification was always intended to be a one time accomplishment based upon completion of a course of intensive training, clinical experience and study, followed by an examination and Continue reading

Total betrayal by AOA of ALL its members.

Your AOA dues are hard at work promoting the Interstate Medical License Compact.  This will mean mandatory certification for all new graduates before obtaining a license.  And the claim that OCC isn’t required for licensure through the Compact is pure smokescreen.  Does the AOA underestimate the intelligence of its members? Or perhaps AOA staff overestimates their own?

Is OCC required for licensure through the Compact?  “The answer to this question is ‘no,'” states the Commission. Yet a few sentences later they explain, “a physician must demonstrate current certification to be eligible for licensure via the Compact.”

Except for “grandfathers,” osteopathic physicians must pay in time and dollars for OCC compliance if they want to maintain their certification. OCC IS required for Compact participation.  Q.E.D. Continue reading