April 5, 2017
Dear Senators and Representatives of Texas,
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) posts its address as 400 Fuller Wiser Road Euless, TX 76039 and 1300 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 500 Washington, D.C. 20036. This Federation states its purpose as protecting the public through licensure and regulation and makes its money through licensure and regulation of medical professionals. Currently, physicians receive their license to practice medicine from the State of Texas. The regulation and discipline of physicians is under the auspices of the Texas Medical Board (TMB). The FSMB has been aggressively pursuing Texas, through the TMB, to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact designed by the FSMB, and if HB3040 and SB315 pass, Texas will become a part of this alliance. Reportedly, there is a lot of power behind these bills, including the support of the TMA.
Interestingly, Humayun Chaudhry, D.O. a former New York Health Commissioner and President/CEO of the FSMB, is now the Chair of the International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities (IAMRA). According to Dr. Chaudhry, IAMRA was put together by the FSMB in the 1990’s, so everyone around the world can share “best practices” and “continued competence of physicians.” Describing themselves as “globally inclusive”, they even have a working group currently working on finding the best way to exchange information about physicians among medical regulatory authorities internationally. Dr. Chaudhry boasts of IAMRA’s regulation authorities in 46 countries and even says they are pursuing associating with China, among other such countries. The FSMB is also proud of its journal, The Journal of Medical Regulation, its pursuit of Maintenance of Licensure efforts, and its services including credentialing, regulating, and disciplinary alert services of and about physicians (all of which make lots of money for this private entity and its leaders-on the backs of the patients and physicians of Texas.) The FSMB is certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a powerful agency intertwined in the Affordable Care Act, and is affiliated with largely progressive, left-leaning, federal government-centric/loving entities and people- and if Dr. Chaudhry’s dream comes true as he articulates, soon it will be associated with China.
Dear Texas, my beloved Lone Star State, what in the world are we doing affiliating with such an entity. Please, maintain our sovereignty and retain the power to license, regulate, and discipline our State’s physicians solely to the State of Texas. Do not relinquish or diminish this critical power by affiliating with and empowering such a private, non-profit organization. There is absolutely nothing to gain from this alliance and everything to lose. When the number of patients needing medical care and the cost of providing medical care is skyrocketing amidst a looming and growing physician shortage, why would we complicate the process and inflate the cost of physician licensure? What do we have to gain by comingling with other states and countries as envisioned by the FSMB visionary and now IAMRA Chair, Dr. Chaudhry. I encourage you to investigate the finances and conflicts of interests of such groups, their stakeholders, and more importantly, the associated moral hazard. I for one, as a Texas physician, will need more than a little guarantee of protection of my right of conscience and protection from the corporate and global practice of medicine. China, with its one child policy, and the ABIM (American Board of Internal Medicine), with its recent financial indiscretions and physician abuses related to Maintenance of Certification testing-for-profit schemes, serve as prime examples of the slippery slope to which I am referring.
I implore our esteemed State legislators to reject siding with the Federation of State Medical Boards. Please, remove any wording related to FSMB, its Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, and the largely unaccountable Interstate Medical Licensure Commission, from HB3040 an SB315. We have done and will continue to do well by the people of Texas without such potentially destructive, abusive, punitive, expensive, and morally hazardous association with the FSMB.
Kristin S. Held, M.D.
325 Sonterra Blvd, Suite 100
San Antonio, Texas 78258