Thursday, May 26, 2016

WHY DOES THE AMERICAN BOARD OF INTERNAL MEDICINE FOUNDATION SHIFT ASSETS OVERSEAS?


More and more, healthcare is joining the industrial complex, read industrial-medical complex, similar to military-industrial complex, or, by way of abbreviation, MFF (Money First and Foremost).  Here's part of the inside story about ABIM: 

1) The ABIM founded the ABIM Foundation;
2) The ABIM Foundation shares its home address in Philadelphia with ABIM;
3) The ABIM Foundation's assets are recently reported to be $81,831,953;
4) The ABIM Foundation was initially funded by $55 million reportedly derived from examination and testing fees -- the $55 million came from the original ABIM which touted re-certification as though it were a public service or an effort to promote the public good by upgrading medical practice.
5) In effect, however, much of the money has been diverted into the waiting pockets of CEOs, board presidents, and other key officers and employees. By way of example, last year Dr. Richard Baron's remuneration was $812,000.  Meanwhile, countless physicians around the country were struggling to come up with enough money to "re-certify." To this extent, physicians with bona fide credentials were being squeezed out of practice in a form of trade restraint evidently not appreciated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Organizations operating under the 501(c)(3) banner such as ABIM now appear to be working for goals not distinguishable from for-profit entities.

That's not all: A CONDO HERE, AN OFFSHORE ACCOUNT THERE ... 

6) The ABIM Foundation owns and/or operates a $2,356,267 condominium in downtown Philadelphia. The money to buy same was derived entirely or in part from the fees charged to hapless physicians who believed they had to recertify to stay in practice.

7) Now as the heat gets hotter, we're advised that the ABIM Foundation has transferred about $6.5 million into offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and Dublin.

8) At a symposium in California about one year ago a document was distributed showing how one former ABIM physician officer was awarded stock options.

What's needed? HAS FTC AND IRS GIVEN PASSES TO ABMS ORGANIZATIONS? 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should determine whether or not trade is being restricted; IRS, meanwhile, should examine whether or not the ABIM Foundation meets IRS 501(c)(3) requirements. Are its earnings lining the pockets of private shareholders or individuals?

For many observers the answer is yes. The amount of money paid out in personal remuneration appears exorbitant if the ABIM Foundation is a non-profit or charitable organization. It appears to many observers, this one among them, that IRS needs to review the tax classification of the ABMS boards and their associated organizations. At the same time, FTC needs to assess to what extent the covenants of MOC (Maintenance of Certification) are trade restrictive. 

References

Dr. Wes: "Standing up for the practicing physician"

ABIM Foundation Moves Assets Offshore, 5/20/16 

Change Board Recertification

Anti-MOC

Op-eds, The Weinmann Report, since 2012



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