What can the AMA do?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Olanzapine, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. Olanzapine

    Olanzapine Membership Revoked
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    With all this talk about resident working hours, I thought that you guys might be interested in reading this:
    <a href="http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/Living/reuters20020620_467.html" target="_blank">AMA Approves New Doc-In-Training Work Hour Rules</a>

    I have noticed that the AMA is always debating different issues and passing legislation as if it has some sort of authority. Does the AMA have any authority to do anything? I know that it's a big lobby organization, but they were debating this and I have noticed them debating other things as if they have any say in it.

    -AMA student member
     
  2. squeek

    squeek Senior Member
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    It is the fact that they are a lobbying organization that gives them power. The AMA is the largest unified voice of the American physician, and they use this voice to influence legislation in Washington--regarding things such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Patient's Bill of Rights, and more. Basically, you can bet that the AMA has had a say in almost any healthcare-related piece of legislature that's passed in the House and the Senate.

    The AMA passes "legislation" in order to define what items it will put it's political clout behind. A famous student example is this: a student AMA member proposed to the student body that they pass "legislation" requiring that there be no smoking in any airplane flying over the US. The student body passed this legislation, which means that it then went to the physician AMA. The physician AMA body ALSO "passed this legislation," indicating they found it to be a motion worthy of supporting in Washington.

    This AMA "legislation" was then presented to Congress, with the resulting federal action of prohibiting smoking in airplanes, federal legislation with which we are all familiar.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. surg

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    The AMA does indeed have an ability to make a huge difference in this debate. Beyond their large (though sometimes unfocused) lobbying abilities, they also appoint members to the boards of each of the Residency Review Committees that review residencies for compliance as well as the ACGME as a whole which oversees the RRCs and the JCAHO, which accredits hospitals. Notably the ACGME has made considerable strides since their 1st draft (I recently saw the latest draft dated June 11th) which is in no small part because of the desire of the AMA and the ACGME to come closer together in the final result (the final policy passed by the AMA is not identical to the draft, but they are now within spitting distance of each other, with the AMA's policy being slightly stricter).

    In short, the AMA passes policy (not "legislation") then puts its influence both through lobbying and administrative means together to make change. The policy directs the staff as to what to push for and at what priority.
     
  4. lrg

    lrg Junior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by squeek:
    <strong>
    The AMA passes "legislation" in order to define what items it will put it's political clout behind.
    ...
    This AMA "legislation" was then presented to Congress, with the resulting federal action of prohibiting smoking in airplanes, federal legislation with which we are all familiar.
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">It's precisely because they waste so much of their time on these issues that AMA membership is at an all time low and dropping lower. Doctors aren't stupid and they have seen their reimbursement decline, their insurance premiums skyrocket, and their autonomy subjugated by managed care bean counters with the AMA either unable or unwilling to fight for the profession. Personally, I think smoking is vile and am thrilled that it is banned on airplanes - I would love to see it banned in all public places. However, if the AMA wants to maintain its position as the unified physicians' voice, it has reconsolidate its efforts toward effecting change in areas that are destroying the profession.
     

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