Our Agreements

Currently, most provisions of the 2011-18 AMA Agreement and the 2016-18 Amending Agreement remain in place.


The 2018-20 AMA Agreement

There are four documents comprising the package of the 2018-20 AMA Agreement.

Financial Matters

Financial provisions include:

  • Reconciliation of 2017-18 actual expenditures to available amounts, triggering payment of two payments owed to physicians from the last agreement:
    • Implement retroactive COLA adjustment effective April 1, 2017
    • Payout portion (45-50%) of the 2017 Retention Benefit

Regarding programs and benefits:

  • The Retention Benefit ends
  • All other Programs and Benefits continue

The rates for clinical services

  • Remain as adjusted by 2017-18 reconciliation noted above.
  • There are no other increases for 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • The increases apply to Schedule of Medical Benefits (SOMB) and Alternative Relationship Plan (ARP) rates.

The financial term is to March 31, 2020.

Non-Financial Matters

Benefits and Programs

In addition to the direct payment, physicians providing clinical services are eligible for benefits and programs. The great majority of benefits and programs now have evergreen status: they continue unless the parties agree otherwise. The four non-evergreen programs are supported with 12 month bridging past the term of the agreement to allow the parties to negotiate.

Evergreen

  • Continuing Medical Education
  • Medical Liability Reimbursement
  • Parental Leave
  • Physician and Family Support
  • Compassionate Expense
  • Physician Locums (Regular and Specialist)
  • Practice Management
  • Physician Learning
  • Toward Optimized Practice
  • ARP Program Management Offices

Bridge Provisions to 2021

  • Business Costs
  • Retention Benefit
  • Rural Remote Northern
  • PCN PMO also has bridge provision

ENDED

  • Retention Benefit

Other Provisions

No Compensation Risk:

The previous agreement included shared responsibility for the physician services budget. Some physician payments were put at risk subject to maintaining expenditures within the budget available.

The parties have taken steps to assist in the overall management of budget and promote value for patients. Examples of this include the commencement of the provincial physician resource planning process and the AMA’s educational efforts towards more appropriate billing through the Peer Review Process. Given these and other efforts, the risk sharing on the physician services budget will not be in effect for 2018-2020.

Recognition and Representation:

The AMA has had a long-term goal to ensure that the AMA remains recognized by payers and that physicians have rights to representation. The amended AMA Agreement now includes a recognition clause while the Strategic Agreement provides a mechanism where physicians paid by AHS to choose the AMA to represent them.

These provisions relate to basic recognition and representation. These will in the future reside in legislation (See Letter of Understanding). Other related concepts, such as the dispute resolution process, will continue to live in agreements.

Health System Initiatives:

The agreement contain several initiatives aimed at improving the system for patients and supporting physicians in providing care. These are contained in the Memorandum of Understanding on Health System Initiatives.


2016 Agreement to Amend the AMA Agreement

On October 14, 2016, AMA members voted to ratify a set of amendments to the 2011-18 AMA Agreement.

Amending the AMA Agreement: What, Why and Why Now?

The ratified amendments build on an already strong AMA Agreement. They introduce a shared budget responsibility model with an allocation of responsibility and authority. Some important and specific new provisions and strategies build on the existing general model of consultation with the profession.

The additional consultation is significant and goes well beyond simple commitments to work together. The amendments provide for enhanced data sharing, a mechanism (and physician ratification process) for a PCN framework, a needs-based physician resource plan and direct involvement in the provincial Academic Alternative Relationship Plan. There are other items, but the point is that the amended AMA Agreement is much more than a statement of “we want to partner.” It is a detailed and pragmatic description of the partnership and how it will work.

There is risk but it is limited. The amendments bring stability to current prices and most programs, but some future amounts/payments may now need to be applied to cover utilization.

This set of amendments is a proactive approach to some of the challenges facing Alberta, both in the economy and within the health care system. It puts some short-term cost savings measures in place and also launches key strategies for the long term. It positions the AMA and government for future negotiations, providing an 18-month window to implement and assess new approaches.

Learn More

  • Short Summary 
  • Backgrounder: This document addresses the reasons for and objectives of the amendments package.
  • Overview: The Overview is a plain-language framework describing the structure of the tentative amendments package and what the various elements do. It refers primarily to the amendments. For further background on the underlying AMA Agreement provisions, please see the 2011 document version.(LINK)

Amending Agreement Documents

A single signed PDF of the amendments that were ratified appears below. This is the documents on which members voted during the ratification. It includes the following items that amend the 2001-18 AMA Agreement.

  1. amendments to the main 2011-18 AMA Agreement
  2. amendments to the 2011-18 Primary Medical Care/Primary Care Networks Consultation Agreement
  3. a free-standing Strategic Agreement
  4. a new Integrated Care Consultation Agreement.

Some of these items are difficult to review in context because they show only the amendments and not the original text. Consolidated versions appear below for you convenience with the amendments in highlighted yellow text.


AMA Agreement 2011-18

"The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and Alberta Health (AH) now wish to create, through the provisions of this AMA Agreement, the principles, processes and agreement which will apply to and which will govern a long-term financial and working relationship between AH and Alberta’s physicians, as represented by the AMA."

Each section in this website area includes:

  • "What/how": A brief description of part of the AMA Agreement. 
  • "You might ask": Questions and (more importantly) answers from the AMA.
  • "AMA Agreement document reference": The relevant excerpt(s) from the AMA Agreement.

Overview elements

    1. Two-party agreement
    2. Term
    3. Scope and purpose
    4. AMA recognition
    5. Financial
    6. Evergreen term
    7. Governance
    8. Management Committee
    9. Physician Compensation Committee
    10. Dispute resolution
    11. Grant agreements
    12. Consultation Agreements
    13. Table: AMA Agreement Structure and Consultation Agreements Overview
    14. Table: Analysis of the AMA Agreement vs. AMA negotiations objectives
    15. In conclusion

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.