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ABIM Policy on False or Inaccurate Medical Information Clarified

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In early September ABIM, along with the American Board of Pediatrics and American Board of Family Medicine issued a joint statement cautioning Board Certified physicians against spreading misinformation or falsehoods to their patients and public, and that doing so could put their certification at risk.

Community feedback indicated the majority of physicians supported the statement, though some asked for more clarity if the Boards would actually take action. In a follow up blog post ABIM President and CEO Richard J. Baron, MD, wrote:

“I want to state unequivocally that ABIM can and does take action, independent of state licensing boards, to remove certification from physicians for unprofessional and unethical behavior. The procedures are spelled out in ABIM’s Disciplinary Sanctions and Appeals policy.

At the most recent ABIM Board of Directors meeting in October the Board discussed how it can support Board Certified physicians who are continuing to provide the most timely and accurate information to their patients, especially during the pandemic. At the meeting a proposed clarification of ABIM’s Policies and Procedures was unanimously passed:

False or Inaccurate Medical Information

“While ABIM recognizes the importance of legitimate scientific debate, physicians have an ethical and professional responsibility to provide information that is factual, scientifically grounded, and consensus driven. Providing false or inaccurate information to patients or the public is unprofessional and unethical, and violates the trust that the profession of medicine and the public have in ABIM Board Certification. Therefore, such conduct constitutes grounds for disciplinary sanctions.”

Patients look to Board Certified physicians as experts in their field. Especially now, it is incumbent on all physicians to provide accurate medical information about COVID-19, treatments and vaccines. Thank you for all you are doing in caring for patients everywhere, and for your tireless efforts to bring this pandemic to an end.

PAC at Work

In response to the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, ACC worked with Congress and the Administration to achieve a 4 year phase-in of most scheduled cuts to cardiovascular-related services to help physicians adjust to the changes.

ACC has since worked with Representative Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) and 65 other congressional signatories on a letter sent to CMS urging them to phase-in reimbursement cuts to SPECT MPI.

ACC has worked with Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) to introduce legislation (H.R. 4371) addressing these cuts to cardiology. The bill currently has 125 co-sponsors.

Since January 1, 2009, ACCPAC has disbursed over $750,000 to over 200 congressional candidates and committees, $60,000 of which was disbursed to members of the California delegation.100 percent of personal contributions to the PAC from ACC members are used to fund such disbursements.

Between 2009 and 2010 so far, ACCPAC has arranged 80 private, personal meetings between FACCs and their members of Congress. Facilitating strong and lasting relationships between our members and their federal lawmakers is at the core of ACCPAC’s mission.

[January 11, 2013] Colorado Health Medical Group Cardiology (CHMG Cardiology).
Left to right: Joseph R. Lee, M.D., FACC, Jonathan Sherman, M.D., FACC, Congressman Doug Lamborn, Chris Kim, M.D., FACC, and David Rosenbaum, M.D. FACC

Get Involved in Grassroots

Through its advocacy efforts, the ACC builds relationships with Congress, federal government agencies, state legislative and regulatory bodies, private insurers and other policy making groups to advance the College’s mission of improving heart health.

In 2016, the College’s advocacy priorities include creating a value-driven health care system; ensuring patient access to care and cardiovascular practice stability; promoting the use of clinical data to improve care; fostering research and innovation in cardiovascular care; and improving population health and preventing cardiovascular disease.

Member participation in advocacy efforts is crucial to shaping the future of cardiology. See how ACC members are ensuring cardiology’s voice is heard at the local, state and national level. Now is the time to get involved! Find out how you can make a difference by visiting or contacting your Chapter Executive!

Colorado Chapter, American College of Cardiology
1685 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222
Phone: 1-253-525-5159  Fax: 253-265-3043

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