ABIM Statement in Response to April 7 Newsweek Opinion Column
Philadelphia, PA, April 8, 2015 – On April 7, 2015, Newsweek posted an opinion column containing incorrect information about the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
ABIM Accounting Information
The opinion column inaccurately suggests that ABIM's decision to offer a new program with new payment options in 2014 was driven by financial considerations and also mischaracterizes ABIM's financial position. ABIM has always maintained a sufficient cash balance to meet the future commitments made to more than 90,000 diplomates who have paid “up front” and enrolled in its program for 10 years, and ABIM's accounting accurately reflects these future obligations.
ABIM's financial information is independently audited each year by one of the nation's most respected accounting firms. The most recent report, available on ABIM's website, resulted in an “unqualified opinion.” According to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the auditor “has the responsibility to evaluate whether there is substantial doubt about the entity's ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time” – if such doubt existed, they could not issue an unqualified opinion.
Efforts to Reduce Duplicative Reporting
In furtherance of its tax exempt purposes, ABIM is proud of its efforts to ensure that physicians meet high quality standards while simultaneously minimizing overly burdensome and duplicative reporting requirements. ABIM has been very supportive of public policies that enable physicians who participate in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) to fulfill other reporting requirements. ABIM has been transparent about these efforts and complies with the Internal Revenue Code and Internal Revenue Service rules applicable to organizations that are exempt from tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), including the rules regarding lobbying activities by such organizations.
On February 3, 2015, ABIM announced changes in its MOC program and a commitment to actively engage with the internal medicine community. Together, we will seek the best ways to fulfill our shared responsibility to be prepared to meet our patients' needs in a rapidly changing environment. We are in the early stages of those conversations and look forward to continued dialogue with the community we serve to create meaningful programs.
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ABIM Board Certified Doctors Make a Difference
Internists and subspecialists who earn and maintain board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) differentiate themselves every day through their specialized knowledge and commitment to continual learning in service of their patients. Established as an independent nonprofit more than 80 years ago, ABIM continues to be driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world. Visit ABIM's blog to learn more and follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.