Definition

American Medical Association (AMA)

Contributor(s): Alex DelVecchio

The American Medical Association (AMA) is a professional group that publishes research to advance public health and advocates for the interests of registered physician-members. Topics of concern to the AMA include implementation of the Affordable Care Act, health information technology, Medicare, patient safety and quality improvement, and many others. Physicians, resident physicians and medical students can all apply for membership in the AMA.

The AMA has petitioned several government health agencies including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, on health IT issues. In the past, the association formally opposed changes to ICD-10 and requested alterations be made to the meaningful use and EHR certification programs. The AMA sometimes joins forces with other organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ask for changes or updates to existing health policies that affect the day-to-day work of American medical workers and patients.

In addition to its advocacy work, the AMA also publishes a collection of peer-reviewed medical journals, most notably the Journal of the American Medical Association, which has been in publication since 1883 and is the most circulated medical journal in the world. The journal includes articles on medicine, healthcare and health policy. Its mission is to inform physicians of advancements in a range of medical fields, enhance disease prevention and the delivery of healthcare to promote a healthier population.

Offshoots of the Journal of the American Medical Association include publications that cover medical specialties including dermatology, neurology, pediatrics and oncology. AMA members have complete access to all AMA publications. Educational tools to help answer physicians' medical coding questions and resources to aid their understanding of working with new healthcare payment models, such as the accountable care organization model, are among the other benefits available to AMA members.

This was last updated in March 2015

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