I appreciate that not everyone is on Twitter—and frankly that’s probably for the best since it’s largely a toxic dumpster fire—but I did want to share this tweet/thread about a real situation unfolding at the American College of Radiology, the largest and most important radiology organization in the US. Among other things, the ACR sets standards for imaging center accreditation, creates the appropriateness criteria and incidental findings white papers we all love, influences reimbursement, and performs congressional lobbying on behalf of radiologists.
[Update: it looks like the ExitACR account got banned again. People involved in organized radiology like the ABR and ACR like to unfairly flag his/her content. The story shared in the thread was that RadPartner’s Associate Chief Medical Officer and head of Clinical Research and Education was elected to ACR leadership with his RP relationship functionally undisclosed to most voters.]
Insofar as anything involving organized radiology is newsworthy, this is news.
Who knows whether transparency here would have affected the election outcome. But we do know that this disclosure issue was debated fiercely a couple years ago, and this situation is exactly what people had in mind. I don’t know this radiologist, but it’s not just a paper relationship: he apparently went straight from the ACR annual meeting to be on stage at the RP Leadership Summit.
That said, this isn’t really a “private equity is just the worst” issue, because he apparently made the disclosures he had to make in order to follow the rules. It’s more of a problem/oversight with the ACR’s internal process compliance. However, it does reinforce how important these PE companies feel it is to infiltrate professional organizations (and especially to be high in the ACR leadership). It helps control the narrative and steer policy.
Every big democratic institution at least voices that it cares a lot about transparency and conflicts of interest. On that front, this is a big miss.