Patient Support & Advocacy

AMA advocacy efforts

AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians-Advocacy
Physician checking in on patient in bed

The American Medical Association is your powerful ally in patient care and unprecedented times require bold action. We are proud to share how we are fighting for you. Some of those advocacy initiatives form part of the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians, including:

Your Powerful Ally

The AMA helps physicians build a better future for medicine, advocating in the courts and on the Hill to remove obstacles to patient care and confront today’s greatest health crises.

Since launching its five-part Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians in 2022, the American Medical Association has achieved significant wins in these—and other—areas critical to health care. Download the progress report (PDF) for more details as we continue #FightingForDocs in 2024. 

Leading the charge to reform Medicare and defending physicians against future cuts.

  • Achieved consensus across medicine to pursue four pillars of Medicare payment reform:
    • Establish an annual inflation-based payment update for Medicare physician payments.
      • Revise policies and processes used to adjust payments to maintain budget neutrality.
      • Simplify and improve the clinical relevancy reporting programs under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.
      • Extend policies that support practices wanting to transition to value-based payment systems.
  • Secured introduction of H.R. 2474 to apply an automatic inflation update to Medicare physician payments by tying the Medicare physician fee schedule to the Medicare Economic Index.
  • Secured introduction of H.R. 6371 to revise budget neutrality policies to mitigate inappropriate payment schedule conversion factor cuts and minimize revenue instability.
  • Launched a grassroots campaign and website,, in June that to date has had 288,000+ contacts to Congress.

Learn more

The AMA actively works to advance discussion and solutions on key issues in medicine. Learn about how you can take part in the fight to fix Medicare on behalf of your patients and practices at the AMA's Fix Medicare Now website and how the AMA is reforming Medicare payment nationally. 

Challenging insurance companies to eliminate care delays, patient harms and practice hassles.

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  • Secured a CMS final rule that requires government-regulated health plans to reduce the timeframes for prior authorization decisions and to publicly report program metrics, which will reduce care delays and improve transparency. These plans will also be required to offer electronic prior authorization technology that directly integrates with EHRs, significantly reducing unnecessary burden for physicians. These changes build on new regulatory requirements that went into effect in Jan. 2024 that ensure validity of prior authorization clinical criteria and protections for care continuity in Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Advocated for the advancement of provisions that closely mirror the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, as well as the reintroduction of the GOLD Card Act of 2023.
  • Working in partnership with state medical associations across the country to enact prior authorization reform using AMA model legislation, data, testimony and other resources. More than 30 states introduced legislation in 2023 alone, and ten new state laws were enacted. Over 90 bills have been introduced in 10 states already in 2024
  • Facilitated United Healthcare and Cigna reducing the volume of their prior authorization requirements by 20% and 25%, respectively.

Learn more

The AMA actively works to advance discussion and solutions on key issues in medicine. Learn more about how the AMA is fixing prior authorization nationally.

Vigorously defending the practice of medicine against scope of practice expansions that threaten patient safety.

  • Helped defeat legislation across the country that would have allowed:
    • Physician assistants to practice independently without physician oversight.
    • Pharmacists to prescribe medications.
    • Optometrists to perform surgery.
    • Scope of practice expansion for nurse practitioners and other APRNs.
  • Worked with multiple state medical associations to introduce new or strengthen existing Truth in Advertising laws. Two states enacted laws in 2023.
  • Leading AMA Scope of Practice Partnership, which has provided more than $3.9 million in grants since its inception to support state medical association and specialty society efforts.
  • Achieved more than 100 state-level victories in 2023 in partnership with state medical associations and national medical specialty societies. Working with medical associations to oppose inappropriate scope expansions in 25+ states so far in 2024.

Learn more

The AMA actively works to advance discussion and solutions on key issues in medicine. Learn more about how the AMA is fighting scope creep nationally.

Pushing for legislative and other solutions to support physicians, residents and medical students to seek confidential care for wellness, burnout, fatigue and depression.

  • Working closely with the Federation of State Medical Boards and Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation to urge state medical boards, credentialing bodies, and others to remove from their applications stigmatizing and potentially discriminatory questions that may deter physicians from seeking care—multiple boards and health systems have changed their applications after consultations with AMA.
  • AMA efforts with partners have led to statewide changes in Massachusetts and Virginia, as well as changes at more than 26 states and 320 hospitals, urgent care centers and other facilities—having a positive impact on hundreds of thousands of physicians.
  • Advocated for and supported new laws and policies in over a dozen states that protect physicians who seek care for wellness and burnout, and working to implement the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.
  • Supporting state physician health programs to help ensure that physicians seeking care have important confidentiality protections to support their treatment and safe return to practice. Working with the Federation of State Physician Health Programs to identify resources and education to further support and destigmatize physician health programs.

Learn more

The AMA actively works to advance discussion and solutions on key issues in medicine. Learn more about how the AMA is reducing physician burnout nationally.

Advocating for expanded telehealth policy, research, and resources to ensure physician practice sustainability and fair payment.

  • Achieved passage of legislation to extend Medicare telehealth coverage, including audio-only and hospital-at-home services, through 2024.
  • Supporting the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act (S. 2016/H.R. 4189), bipartisan legislation which would expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare and make permanent COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities.

Learn more

The AMA actively works to advance discussion and solutions on key issues in medicine. Learn more about how the AMA is supporting telehealth efforts nationally.

The AMA advocates at the federal and state levels on key health care issues impacting patients and physicians. Learn more about our efforts in public healthpopulation care and health disparities and removing obstacles to care.

Public health

Population care and health disparities

Removing obstacles to care

The AMA works to generate support for policies critical to the nation’s health care system—and we can’t do it without your help. Learn more about ways to get involved with AMA advocacy.

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