On June 11 we posted that the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) had immediately suspended the board certifications of 139 physicians. Since that time, our office has submitted a series of written submissions and had other communications with the ABIM’s counsel in order to clarify that the “suspensions” were actually non-final recommended actions rather than immediate suspensions. In our June 18 blog entry, we announced that the notation, “Under Appeal – Suspension is not final” had been added to each of the affected physician’s entries on the ABIM website. Although this was a significant advancement, we remained concerned that ABIM’s language could cause irreparable damage to our clients’ staff privileges, employment agreements, fellowship programs and relationships with third party payors.
As a result of our efforts on behalf of our clients, last Friday (July 2), ABIM clarified the affected physicians’ entries on its website. Now these entries clearly state “Suspension Recommended” with the comment “Under Appeal – Suspension is not final.” We believe that this clarification will allow our clients to pursue their appeals without the threat of immediate loss of employment or loss of payor relationships. We are encouraged by this advancement and will continue to strive for a positive solution through communication with ABIM.
If you have received a notice of suspension by ABIM and would like assistance with the ABIM appeals process, please contact Andrew B. Wachler, Laura C. Range, or Alicia B. Chandler at 248-544-0888.