AMA Adopts Principles for Physician Employment

CHICAGO - Nov. 13, 2012 - The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted new guiding principles for physicians entering into employment and contractual arrangements. The principles address the unique challenges to professionalism and the practice of medicine arising from the physician employment trend and were adopted at the AMA’s semi-annual policy-making meeting.

“The AMA Principles for Physician Employment provide a broad framework to help guide physicians and their employers as they collaborate to provide safe, high-quality and cost-effective patient care,” said AMA Board Member Joseph P. Annis, M.D. “The guidelines reinforce that patient welfare must take priority in any situation where the interests of physicians and employers conflict.”

The principles address six potentially problematic aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including: conflicts of interest, advocacy, contracting, hospital-medical staff relations, peer review and performance evaluations, and payment agreement.

Physician employment trends are expected to continue with more physicians entering into employment and other contractual relationships with hospitals, group practices, and other health systems. Nearly one-third of final-year residents list hospital employment as their first choice of practice setting, according to physician recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins.

“The AMA is well positioned to help employed physicians address professional conflicts that may occur in the employer-employee relationship,” said Dr Annis. “The Principles for Physician Employment add to the AMA’s growing range of products and services that help physicians understand and manage their employment and contractual relationships.”

Physicians may find further guidance in the AMA model agreements for physician-hospital employment or physician-group practice employment.

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Media Contact:
Robert J. Mills
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-5970

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