Dr. Nagle: ASSH Will Lose Its Voice if AMA Membership Doesn't Increase
The ASSH has recently been contacted by the AMA regarding our continued participation in the House of Delegates. The AMA rules stipulate that in order to qualify for a seat in the AMA House of Delegates, 25% of our members must be AMA members. Currently, 18% of ASSH members are also members of the AMA. This shortfall poses a significant problem for the ASSH advocacy agenda.
The AMA is perceived as being the primary voice of organized medicine in the United States. Furthermore, AMA institutions such as the CPT Editorial Panel and the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) are vital to the best interests of our members.
Within the realm of physician reimbursement, theASSH would be significantly disadvantaged
should we lose our HOD seat. Our ability to have advisors to the AMA RUC and CPT processes is predicated on our having a seat in the AMA House of Delegates (HOD).
If we were to lose that seat, we would still be able to participate in these processes, but we would lose the political advantages associated with those positions (these processes are political; being a member of the "club" has significant value). We would lose our ability to interact with the AMA in regard to coding issues, as the AMA relies on its advisors for such input. We would not have access to the complete RUC database or to the other critical information that is contained in the agendas of the RUC and CPT Editorial Panel.
Practically, the loss of our HOD seat would force us to present our new RUC recommendations through the AAOS or ASPS. This would place us in a subordinate position vis-à-vis these organizations. New CPT codes can be brought forward by the ASSH without having a CPT Advisor, but we would lose the considerable political influence of our advisor.
I would urge you to consider joining the AMA
(or maintaining your membership), not because you embrace the entire AMA agenda, but because you understand the strategic importance of the ASSH maintaining its seat in the House of Delegates.
These are difficult times, and while we may not all agree with everything the AMA has done, our seat in the AMA HOD gives us access to the bargaining table. And remember: "If we are not at the table, we will be on the menu!"
Thank you for considering this request