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Psychiatrists Sue Over MOC

03/29/2019

Psychiatrists Emily Lazarou, MD, and Aafaque Akhter, MD have filed a class action lawsuit against "nonprofit" American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. (ABPN) for running a monopoly in violation of anti-trust law, ramping up the opposition across many medical specialties to maintenance of certification (MOC).

Many employers and payers require board certification which costs physicians time as well as money with doubtful positive effect on the quality of care they deliver. Until recently no other avenue to certification existed outside the member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties. Although these boards have nonprofit status, according to their IRS Form 990 filed for 2016, ABPN compensated their CEO Larry Faulkner, MD a total of $958,494 in 2016.

To achieve certification, physicians must take time off from their clinical work to take expensive preparation courses and travel to take equally expensive examinations.

We need to break up the de facto monopoly of ABMS boards and introduce real competition in the market. 

State medical licensing boards already require continuing education for licensure. This should suffice.

I support Drs. Lazrou and Aakhter in their battle.