Statement on the Dismissal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons v. the American Board of Medical Specialties
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is pleased with the recent ruling of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division dismissing with prejudice the lawsuit filed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in April 2013. For a second time, the Court dismissed this case on the pleadings, though it has now barred AAPS from refiling a new lawsuit based on the same erroneous claims. ABMS has consistently maintained that the allegations of AAPS in its lawsuit, both in the original and amended complaints, were without merit and the Court’s findings support this position.
The Court’s ruling validates the importance and value of board certification in supporting physicians throughout their careers, ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and proficiency to provide high quality specialty medical care. Moreover, the ruling rejected the claim that ABMS had engaged in an illegal conspiracy with hospitals or others with respect to their use of board certification. Instead it observes there are legitimate, alternative reasons for hospitals and insurers to require board certification, most notably the provision of useful information to the physician community as well as the patients, families, and communities we collectively serve.
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