Radiologist files class-action lawsuit against American Board of Radiology alleging antitrust violations

A radiologist in Tennessee has filed a federal class action lawsuit against the American Board of Radiology (ABR) that alleges the ABR is in violation of antitrust laws. The lawsuit was filed Feb. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, home of the ABR’s Chicago testing center.

According to the lawsuit, the ABR has illegally tied its initial certifications to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, using “various anti-competitive, exclusionary, and unlawful actions” to promote the program.

The plaintiff, Sadhish K. Siva, MD, is seeking to “recover damages and for injunctive and other equitable relief on behalf of all radiologists required by ABR to purchase MOC to maintain their initial ABR certifications.” Siva has also demanded a trial by jury.

In addition, the ABR has been named as a co-conspirator in a recent class-action lawsuit that claims the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), American Board of Emergency Medicine and American Board of Anesthesiology violated federal antitrust laws.  

These lawsuits come as frustration continues to increase among a number of specialties, including radiology, over rapidly changing certification policies. In January, the American College of Radiology (ACR) crafted a letter addressing specific complaints with the ABR’s certification practices and agreeing with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies’ position that a “moratorium” is necessary until these complaints can be addressed.

“The ABMS and its member boards should carefully consider the antitrust implications for their actions,” read the letter, signed by Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, and William T. Thorwarth, Jr., MD, ACR CEO. The ACR declined to comment on the recent class action lawsuit. 

Radiology Business has reached out to the ABR for comment.