NBPAS Applauds FTC’s Initiative Against Healthcare Monopolies

Featured & Cover NBPAS Applauds FTC's Initiative Against Healthcare Monopolies

The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) commends the recent announcement made by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding their collaborative initiative to seek public input on anti-competitive and monopolistic practices within the healthcare sector.

Back in September, NBPAS formally approached the FTC seeking relief from what it perceives as an attempt by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its affiliated boards to utilize their monopolistic authority to exclude or eradicate competitors from the market for continuing certification. Of significant concern is the refusal of other segments of the medical community to engage with NBPAS, particularly given their shared board memberships and close economic ties to ABMS.

According to NBPAS, the existence of a monopoly that stifles competition not only burdens physicians but also inflates healthcare costs for consumers and exacerbates the ongoing physician shortage. Despite providing physicians with a more streamlined, less cumbersome, and cost-effective path for continuous board certification over the span of eight years, NBPAS has struggled to gain substantial traction in the market due to perceived obstacles to competition and unfair trade practices.

NBPAS founder and president, Dr. Paul Teirstein, emphasizes the importance of physicians affected by ABMS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) to voice their grievances. He asserts, “We urge every physician who has been harmed by ABMS MOC to speak now, speak loudly, and spread the word to every physician you know.” Dr. Teirstein expresses gratitude that the FTC, DOJ, and HHS are providing a platform for physicians and the public to express their concerns through the FTC’s new submission portal.

Dr. Teirstein underscores that the issue transcends NBPAS, stating, “At the end of the day, this is not about NBPAS.” He asserts that no single entity should wield unchecked authority over the lives and careers of physicians, as it ultimately impacts patient care. Taking a principled stance, NBPAS is proud to lead the charge on behalf of practicing physicians and future generations.

NBPAS emerged as a response to the demand for a continuous certification pathway founded on practice-relevant and specialty-specific Continuing Medical Education (CME). It adheres to national accreditation standards for hospitals and health plans and presently certifies over 13,000 physicians across more than two hundred institutions, including hospitals, academic medical centers, telemedicine firms, major insurers, and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system. NBPAS’ continuous board certification program aims to alleviate physician burnout and address the physician shortage by offering an evidence-driven, clinically relevant certification pathway.

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