Wednesday, April 23, 2014

American Board of Internal Medicine Policy Condones Keeping Conflicts of Interest Secret

This is very interesting how the American Boards regulate themselves (NOT) and have no trouble skirting all conflicts of interest!

for the full text!

The latest complication of the CareFusion/ Dr Denham/ NQF/ Dr Cassel/ ABIM case was the revelation that the current president of the NQF, Dr Christine Cassel, after resigning her position on the board of directors of for-profit publicly held group purchasing organization Premier Inc, was found to have been on the board of for-profit privately held predecessor of Premier Inc since 2008 (see post here).  Before Dr Cassel was CEO of NQF, she had been the president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine for 10 years.  So apparently she was on the board of the predecessor of Premier Inc for about five years while she was leading the ABIM.

This relationship appears to be as serious a conflict of interest for Dr Cassel in her previous role as leader of the ABIM as it was for her current role as leader of the NQF.  Since she had this conflict for so long as leader of the ABIM without public disclosure, it seems logical to ask whether she was a long-term violator of ABIM policy, and hence sort of a long-term rogue CEO?

To answer that, one needs to review the ABIM conflict of interest policy.

What Sort of Conflicts of Interest Does the ABIM Ban?

The official wording is: 

It is the policy of the Board that Directors, Subspecialty Board and Committee members, consultants and other individuals involved in developing ABIM products will not be employed (as staff or as a consultant) at greater than fifty percent by a commercial entity, except in such instances where explicit exceptions to the policy have been made by the Board. Unless a compelling reason is presented for granting an exception, such individuals will be asked to resign their position of service to the Board.

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