Judge dismisses lawsuit against ABIM's maintenance-of-certification process

A class-action lawsuit alleging the American Board of Internal Medicine performed monopolistic actions related to its maintenance-of-certification exams was dismissed Sept. 26. 

Judge Robert Kelly, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety.

In his opinion, Mr. Kelly wrote: "We disagree with the plaintiffs and find that ABIM's initial certification and MOC products are part of a single product and do not occupy distinct markets. Not only are we unconvinced by plaintiffs' arguments, we find that plaintiffs' entire framing of the ABIM certification to be flawed."

Mr. Kelly said the plaintiffs' complaint "failed to set forth a claim as a matter of law." 

ABIM President and CEO Richard Baron, MD, said the dismissal was justified. The board also recently announced it was developing an alternative maintenance-of-certification option. 

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