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
robert.mills@ama-assn.org

About the American Medical Association (AMA)
The American Medical Association helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional, public health and health policy issues. The nation’s largest physician organization plays a leading role in shaping the future of medicine. For more information on the AMA, please visit www.ama-assn.org.

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About the American Medical Association (AMA) Since 1847 the American Medical Association has had one mission: to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health. Today, the core strategy used to carry out this mission is our concerted effort to help doctors help patients. We do this by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues. In 2011 our strategic plan focuses on five areas that encompass the central elements in health system reform: Access to care Quality of care Cost of health care Prevention and wellness Payment models Vist the AMA's 2011 strategic plan at: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/strategic-issues.page These topics represent the major areas of emphasis in which the AMA carries out its mission in the current environment. Our proposed actions are not only directed at solving reform issues at the policy level, but also at helping physicians adapt to—and adopt—changes in a productive way. To learn more about how the AMA is moving medicine forward, read our flyer at: http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/about-ama/moving-medicine-forward.pdf.