Ratified: AMA Amending Agreement

October 17, 2016

Dr. Padraic E. Carr, AMA President

Dear Member:

I am writing to let you know the results of the ratification vote by Alberta physicians on the package of amendments to the 2011-18 AMA Agreement. I am pleased to advise that the amendments were ratified, receiving a “Yes” vote from 74% of responding physicians. (Voter turnout was 29%, a bit lower than the average 38% for votes since 2003.)

The various amendments are complex, reflecting the environment in which we find ourselves. I want to thank every member who took the time to consider what was negotiated. I have enjoyed meeting and speaking with many of you and exchanging emails with those who made comments or asked questions. It is your participation that will ultimately make the agreement the most effective it can be.

In ratifying this Amending Agreement, you are helping us to move forward in some exciting new directions. We will now be assisting to moderate the rate of growth in physician expenditures, while maintaining quality of care. This we will do in collaboration with government, sharing risk and responsibility. The ratified amendments will bring a level of stability to the system in terms of how the parties will work together.

About implementation

The things we will do under the new amendments will set us on a road toward greater value for patients and long-term sustainability. We will be making many changes of different kinds that will contribute to a higher level of integration and increased efficiency in the system in the longer term. This is where the big wins will be.

The Board of Directors meets October 28 and we will be looking at implementation of the new amendments. In the meantime, though, due diligence has required that we be prepared to hit the ground running on some key initiatives.

Early next week, section presidents will receive an email regarding how to provide section input to the Schedule of Medical Benefits Rules Savings Initiative. Individual members will have the opportunity to participate also, either by working through their sections or individually via an online tool. I will tell you more about this next week.

In the next few days, there will also be information coming from the Section of General Practice and others about establishing demonstration projects for the voluntary blended capitation model for primary care.

Other news will follow. There is a lot of work ahead and I will keep you informed as we go. I look forward to your insight. Please email me anytime at president@albertadoctors.org or leave a comment below.

Yours truly,

Padraic E. Carr, BMedSc, MD, FRCPC, DABPN
President

2 comments

Commenting on this page is closed.

  • #1

    Richard D Bolduc

    Physician

    4:56 PM on October 21, 2016

    I have sevreal concerns about the limitations of CMV andGP codes. I typically use them for r eferral letters or spending an unusual period of time with the pt. Limiting their use will either have me charge the pt extra or bring them back for an extra visit or two. Inconvenient for the pt and false economy for the province.
    At 69, I enjoy what I do and I'm still really good at practicing medicine. I've had no thoughts of retiring but this could change things.

  • #2

    Doug Watson

    Physician

    5:27 PM on October 27, 2016

    The abysmal voter turnout is hard to understand, but it means that the Amending Agreement was ratified on a yes vote from about 21% of Alberta physicians - not the 75% reported by the popular media.
    For me, the likely loss of the Retention Benefit will bring my retirement a year or two closer. If there are many others of similar mind, I wonder about the impact on patient access.

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.