The American Medical Association is one of the oldest and largest physician advocacy organizations in the world. It provides health information to the public and advocates for its members. In addition, the organization publishes a variety of journals and books. They also help to shape governmental policy.
Although the American Medical Association is responsible for promoting the science of medicine, the AMA is not a government-sponsored health insurance plan. Instead, its mission is to protect public health and to promote the betterment of the medical profession. A wide range of topics is emphasized at the AMA, including patient safety, quality improvement, Medicare, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
In addition to its legislative advocacy, the AMA provides practice tools to physicians. Members can access electronic resources and data services. Also, the organization runs a number of public awareness campaigns on health issues.
The AMA’s support of Obamacare has cost some members. However, the group’s support has also helped to redress some healthcare inequities. As part of its strategic plan, the AMA is working to dismantle structural racism in the health care system. While many state medical associations would benefit from a stronger national body, the organization has been adamant that its influence lies in the states.
Physicians in the managed care environment face daily challenges. One issue is how to make a specialist’s expertise accessible to a patient without a doctor’s office visit. For example, a primary physician may call an orthopedic surgeon for back pain while a patient is in his or her office. If a specialist is involved in the process, the patient feels reassured that the physician has their best interest in mind.
Another problem is the increasing competition for doctors’ dues. At the end of 2016, the AMA lost nearly twelve thousand members. To combat the membership decline, the AMA has created a number of initiatives. These include establishing task forces that can encourage more physicians to join the organization.
There are also a number of tiers of membership with different fee structures and benefits. The organization is not for profit, and it is accountable to its members. Membership is open to residents and practicing physicians. Some of the advantages of membership are a voice in the organization’s strategic direction, participation in the AMA Journal, and access to data services.
The American Board of Medical Specialties sets the highest standards of professionalism for physicians. The AMA is also the sponsor of the Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee, which helps to determine the value of physicians’ labor in Medicare prices.
In addition to its advocacy for its members, the AMA is a key lobbying force in the US. It has contributed between $1.6 million and $3.4 million in election cycles from 1990 to 2020.
The AMA’s membership has declined in recent decades. Many factors have led to this. Among them are the increasing number of aspiring doctors pursuing a career in medicine, and the increased number of doctors seeking to join the AMA as independent members.