Element 3: Scope and purpose

What/how

The AMA Agreement is intended to govern a long-term financial working relationship between AH and Alberta’s physicians, as represented by the AMA. The scope of the agreement includes:

  • Physician compensation for insured medical services paid directly by AH, no matter where the service is provided.
  • Payment rates for the Schedule of Medical Benefits (SOMB) and alternative relationship plans (ARPs), including the clinical insured medical services component of academic ARPs (AARPs).
  • All programs and benefits currently available to physicians:
    • Physician Support Programs
      • Continuing Medical Education.
      • Medical Liability Insurance.
      • Parental Leave.
      • Physician and Family Support.
      • Compassionate Expense.
      • Physician Locums (Regular and Specialist).
      • Practice Management.
    • Physician Assistance Programs
      • Physician On-Call.
      • Physician Learning.
      • Program Management Offices.
      • Towards Optimized Practice.
      • Business Costs.
      • Retention Benefit.
      • Rural, Remote, Northern.

You might ask

Q3.1 Are the Business Costs Program and Retention Benefit continuing?

  • Yes. Both programs continue, as well as all others that physicians have had access to through the previous agreement.

Q3.2 Why are programs divided into two categories in the AMA Agreement: Physician Support Programs and Physician Assistance Programs?

  • The separate lists are to distinguish between those programs which are part of the evergreen term (Physician Support Programs) and those programs (Physician Assistance Programs) that are continued through the basic term of this AMA Agreement (to March 31, 2018), and whose future beyond March 31, 2018, will be decided prior to the end of the term.

Q3.3 Does this agreement cover compensation for insured medical services paid through AHS?

  • No. This AMA Agreement covers only payments for clinical services paid directly by AH. Where AHS is the payer (e.g., hospitalists under direct contract with AHS), those rates are not covered by the AMA Agreement. As always, the AMA will support physicians in negotiating these separate contractual arrangements when requested.

Q3.4 Does the main AMA Agreement cover Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and their funding?

Q3.5 Does the AMA Agreement cover Family Care Clinics (FCCs)?

  • The type of compensation model that each FCC uses for physician services will determine whether or not it is covered by the agreement. The AMA Agreement covers compensation for insured medical services when paid directly by AH. Physician compensation within FCCs, when paid directly by AH, will be covered by this AMA agreement.

Q3.6 How are clinical ARPs and AARPs affected by this agreement?

  • Clinical ARP service rates are covered under the AMA Agreement.
  • AARPs have two major components:
    • Clinical insured medical services. These are covered by the agreement.
    • Academic services (teaching, research, leadership/administration). These are not covered by the agreement since they are paid through other sources including conditional grant funding from AH to the universities.
  • New provisions in the AMA Agreement that involve the AMA in consultation on matters that touch and concern physicians may create more opportunity to be involved in supporting academic physicians.

AMA Agreement document reference

  • Pages 2-3, Section 3.

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