Florida AMA chapter threatens civil war

by dzieger on September 10, 2010

For those of us who have watched the American Medical Association over decades, it’s well known that the group is, well, unfraid of internal debate. In fact, gossip has it that the AMA-affiliated social media site Sermo is so roiled by debate — and dominated by the hotter-tempered conservatives in the room — that it’s practically collapsed under its own weight.

In any event, it doesn’t surprise me much that a state chapter of the AMA is angry enough to consider a divorce over the parent group’s positions on med mal and Medicare physician payment forumals.  While it stopped short of a divorce, the Florida Medical Association has issued a “letter of no confidence” claiming that the AMA had let its constituency down.

The letter demands that the AMA take “aggressive action” to pass legislation protecting patients who contract privately to see doctors.  The proposed legislation would see to it that patients wouldn’t sacrifice Medicare benefits by doing so. Specifically, the FDA wants to see the mothership “engage in a well funded public relations campaign to explain the benefits of giving Medicare patients the freedom to privately contract with the physicians  of their choosing.”

I don’t know whether AMA chapters commonly threaten to secede, or whether this is grandstanding, but it’s hard to deny that reform has created tense times.  I wo uldn’t be surprised if other state chapters make some big threats too.

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