Internists file antitrust suit against American Board of Internal Medicine's maintenance of certification program — 6 insights

Four internists filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the American Board of Internal Medicine was performing monopolistic actions related to ABIM's maintenance of certification exams, Medscape reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. The suit alleges ABIM tied its maintenance of certification exams to prevent competition.

2. "To drive sales of MOC and to monopolize the market for MOC, the ABIM has forced physicians to purchase maintenance of certification, charged inflated monopoly prices for MOC and thwarted competition in the market for maintenance of certification," the suit reads.

3. The four internists represent more than 100,000 internal medicine physicians across the U.S.

4. ABIM made almost $57 million in fiscal year 2015 from its certification and MOC program.

5. The suit alleged ABIM has limited the power of competing organizations to offer MOC programs. The suit cites the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons, who were established in January 2015 to provide a competing MOC product. ABIM refused to recognize the National Board's MOC exams.

6. ABIM released a statement responding to the suit. They said, "ABIM is disappointed to learn of a lawsuit filed on behalf of four diplomates...ABIM leadership, volunteers, and staff have spent the last several years working with broad segments of the diverse internal medicine community to make ABIM's program better and enhance the value of ABIM certification to diplomates and the public."

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