Monday, February 9, 2015

Five Questions for Richard Baron

First some background:

There is controversy of late regarding the ABIM (American Board of Internal Medicine) and its financial dealings. Allegations range from poor fiscal stewardship to worse. This includes the purchase (and now sale at a loss) of a 2+ million dollar condo in Philadelphia, etc.

Dr. Westby Fisher’s blog has many of the details and links:

Original piece on the condo:

Description of a Philadelphia medicine town hall meeting regarding ABIM and MOC, but also the condo, salaries, poor stewardship of funds at the ABIM, etc. featuring a debate between Charles Cutler (former chair ACP board of regents) and Richard Baron (CEO of ABIM):

Not to be missed is this excellent video of that debate:

All of which leads to my five questions for Richard Baron, CEO of ABIM:

1. Do you dispute Dr. Cutler’s facts from your recent debate with him in Philadelphia?

2. Were you the Treasurer of the ABIM at the time of the condo purchase?

3. What is the job description of the non-M.D. employee (assistant to the president) at ABIM who made $700,000 in one year?

4. As a follow-up to #3, do you stand by your reply to Dr. Cutler that “salaries get set as salaries get set?”

5. Depending on your replies to questions #1-4, how does ABIM have credibility when it comes to hectoring physicians on the cost-effective use of limited resources?