Practicing Physicians of America

$301,645 of $400,000 goal

Raised by 1,603 people in 15 months
Created May 14, 2018
Westby G. Fisher
on behalf of Practicing Physicians of America
Dear Colleague,

My name is Westby Fisher, MD and I work as the Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at a large health care system in the Chicago Metro area. I am certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in three specialties: Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Cardiac Electrophysiology.  Because I am nearly 60 years of age, I have watched ABIM’s board certification go from a completely voluntary credential available at the start of our careers to the addition of an entirely new Maintenance of Certification (MOC®) requirement that is time-consuming and expensive with no established relationship to improved physician care or patient outcomes. 
 
Practicing Physicians of America (PPA) ( https://practicingphysician.org/ ) is sponsoring a campaign through GoFundMe to raise funds in support of three federal class action lawsuits seeking an end to MOC® pending against the ABIM , the American Board of Radiology (ABR), and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology  (ABPN). A video explaining why we feel this GoFundMe page is necessary is included below.

I was honored to be the very first person to commit to this campaign almost a year ago in the amount of $1,000, and have shown my continuing commitment by donating an additional $2,500 since then. Simply click on the “Donate” button above to make your donation. Our original goal of $150,000 in seed money was raised in under six months, with over 750 contributors. The goal is currently $400,000 to help support the next phase of litigation. The oppositions to the motions to dismiss filed by ABIM, ABR, and ABPN are filed and awaiting rulings. In the interim, we are continuing our outreach to the physician community concerning MOC, preparing for discovery, and consulting experts assisting with the litigation.

If you desire anonymity/privacy, you can designate your contribution as anonymous. 

You also have the option to add a “tip” to help maintain the GoFundMe platform; unlike other websites GoFundMe does not charge a fee to host our campaign. Any “tip” is entirely voluntary, goes directly to GoFundMe, and will not be counted toward our goal. One-hundred percent of your donation will be used to help offset costs and legal fees in the three lawsuits (other than any fee charged by third party payment processors).
 
For those wanting to donate by check, please note “Legal Fund” in the Memo and mail it to:

Practicing Physicians of America, Inc. 
876 Loop 337, Building 101
New Braunfels, TX 78130

With your ongoing support the fight against MOC® will continue to be vigorously pursued.

Westby G. Fisher, MD
Member, Executive Board
Practicing Physicians of America, Inc.

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As the summer winds on, I have been approached by more and more people who would like an update on where the litigation filed against the many member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties stand since the lawsuits were filed. I will do my best to briefly summarize the status of those lawsuits as I understand them.

The antitrust suit against the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) was originally filed 6 Dec 2018 and amended 23 Jan 2019 to include RICO charges, the antitrust lawsuit against the American Board of Radiology was filed 26 Feb 2019, and the antitrust lawsuit against the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) was filed 6 MAR 2019.

Each of the member boards are represented by different law firms.

Three of the specialty boards (ABIM, ABR, and ABPN) have appeared and, as expected, filed motions to dismiss with mostly overlapping arguments. The motion in the ABIM case was fully briefed a couple of months ago, the ABPN motion was fully briefed last month, and the briefing in the ABR case should be finished mid-August.

In the interim, a motion to consolidate the above cases which the plaintiffs in the ABIM, ABR, and ABPN cases opposed out of the concern that it might delay the cases and add to their cost, was denied. So these three cases (ABR, ABPN, and ABIM) will each continue on their own in the federal courts in Philadelphia (ABIM) and Chicago (ABR and ABPN).

It would not be unusual for the courts to take several months to decide the motions to dismiss, especially given their complexity and importance. Discovery for these cases will begin once the motions to dismiss are decided, which is hoped will be no later than the end of the year. As I am sure many of you have already observed, the litigation seems to be having a modest impact, as many specialty boards claim to be re-thinking their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, at least around the edges.

In summary, I believe the legal cases are progressing as expected and I remain convinced that, together, working physicians CAN end Maintenance of Certification's stranglehold on US physicians nationwide.
+ Read More
To all of our generous donors, a video has been created that explains the importance of this fund-raising effort to our profession. Please help share this video with your colleagues. Link here:
https://youtu.be/ajCzsIz24vk

Thank you.
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Two quick important updates for our donors and followers:

First, our official letter from the IRS designating Practicing Physicians of America, Inc. as a non-profit 501c6 organization was finally received! ( See http://www.medtees.com/PPA/PPA_IRS_501c6_Designation_Letter.pdf )

Second, if you haven't seen it already, please read the targeted rebuttal to ABIM's Motion to Dismiss that was filed 30 Apr 2019 (See http://drwes.blogspot.com/2019/05/physician-plaintiffs-counter-abims.html )

Thanks to all of our contributors! You are making a difference!

Please encourage your friends and colleagues to join this effort to end the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) nationwide for all physicians.
+ Read More
Dear Colleagues,

The Kenney v. ABIM complaint was amended earlier this week to add federal RICO Act claims and state law unjust enrichment claims. You can find a description of the claims and the full Amended Complaint at http://www.medtees.com/content/ABIMClassActionComplaintAmd.pdf .

Your generosity to date has been instrumental in getting us this far. As we enter this new stage of the litigation, any further assistance you can lend by clicking on the “Donate” button above will go 100% to keeping up the fight against MOC. I thank you and your fellow physicians thank you.

You can also check in on the status of the lawsuit at any time at http://www.abimlawsuit.com or by visiting this website and clicking on Updates.

Westby G. Fisher, MD
Executive Board Member
Practicing Physicians of America
+ Read More
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$301,645 of $400,000 goal

Raised by 1,603 people in 15 months
Created May 14, 2018
Westby G. Fisher
on behalf of Practicing Physicians of America
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