EVENT

2020 Special Meeting of the HOD

The Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates will be held virtually Nov. 13-17, 2020.

The agenda and other meeting materials will be posted as they become available.

Official call for meeting

Pursuant to the action of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees (BOT) on August 30, 2020, this notice will serve as the official call to convene a Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) on November 13-17, 2020. The purpose of this meeting as defined by the request of the BOT is to conduct priority and urgent business of the Association. This Special Meeting will be convened on a virtual platform with the Opening Session to commence at 7 pm CT, Friday, Nov. 13.

We encourage you to read this entire message carefully and save it for future reference as it includes important information and dates. These are the details that are known at this time. We will share more details as they are developed.

Your speakers recognize the challenges that physicians and their practices are facing during this pandemic. We have thus created a schedule that is confined to the previously scheduled meeting days to the extent possible. The total number of hours needed to conduct our business will be dependent upon the volume of business submitted and accepted for consideration.

Please check the Pictorial Directory to assure that we have correct email addresses for you. It is essential that we have correct email addresses for ALL members of the HOD including alternate delegates and any other involved individuals. While this document is being sent electronically and by postal mail, delivery delays and the need to expedite communication as we approach the upcoming meeting require that we can communicate with you electronically. Accordingly, we strongly suggest that chairs and/or staff confirm that all members of their delegation have received this communication electronically. In some cases it may have been sent to “spam” or been removed by a security filter. If a member of your delegation needs to correct or update their email address, please contact the HOD office at [email protected] as soon as possible.

All delegates and delegations are reminded that only urgent or priority items of business will be considered at this Special Meeting. Our councils and the board have already responded favorably to this request. In fact, the BOT has decided to hold half of their reports for later consideration.

Urgency may be thought of as requiring action before the 2021 Annual Meeting; taking no action before that time would have some detrimental effect. Priority is a bit more nebulous and weighs both the subject matter and the recommended actions. For example, a high priority topic that recommends a study, monitoring a situation, or reaffirmation of current policy is likely not a priority resolution, while a resolution on a priority topic that calls for some specific, near-term action or fills a policy void may be considered a priority resolution. Priority might also be determined by the relationship to our strategic arcs as well as the number of physicians or their patients affected. More details on determining urgency and priority will be shared in subsequent communication.

A Resolution Committee, similar to our regular interim meetings, will be convened to review all submitted resolutions for urgency and priority. As promised, the typical interim meeting focus on advocacy will not be applied at this Special Meeting and all resolutions will be measured equally. Also similar to interim meetings, the Resolution Committee recommendations for this Special Meeting will be presented for consideration and the final decision of what becomes the business of the House will be determined by the HOD.

To facilitate the work of the Resolutions Committee, delegates submitting resolutions are encouraged to submit a statement of urgency and/or priority. This statement should not exceed 250 words. A concern has been expressed that alternate delegates had limited access during the June Special Meeting. Be assured that arrangements are being made for alternate delegates to be able to fully engage in all sessions of the HOD including reference committees. As in our in-person meetings, the delegate and their alternate will share a single vote, and alternates will only be allowed the privilege of the floor when they are “seated” for their delegate. Accordingly, all delegates are reminded to establish a method to communicate with their alternate in real time during the meeting that is separate from the device that they will use to join the meeting.

Your speakers are sensitive to the fact that our schedule begins after sundown on Friday November 13 and continues through Sunday. The Friday evening Opening Session will not require any votes of the House, and the session will be recorded in order to make it available to be viewed at a different time. The Second Session of the HOD will be held on Saturday morning and will include voting on the rules and the Resolution Committee report; delegates with religious concerns may wish to coordinate with their alternate delegates for this portion. Saturday and Sunday will also include reference committees where attendance is optional, and individuals are reminded of the opportunity to present testimony in the open forum which will be active for several weeks. If further accommodations are needed please contact us at [email protected]

Rules and credentials and reference committees

In response to multiple requests from members of the House, it is our intent to hold “live” virtual reference committees for this Special Meeting. To facilitate robust discussion of ALL items of business on our Online Forums prior to the live reference committee hearings, we have moved the final deadline for resolution submission a week earlier. At this time we have not determined how many reference committees will be needed. This will be dependent on how many items of business will be considered. We hope to limit the number of items in each reference committee so that the hearings will be more easily managed in the virtual setting.

Given the unique nature of our virtual meeting, your speakers are seeking volunteers who are comfortable working via the Zoom platform. We ask that all who are interested in serving on one of the Reference Committees or the Rules & Credentials Committee submit a “November 2020 Reference Committee Volunteer Form” which is included with this call or can be downloaded from The Speaker's Page on the AMA site. Note that due to the unique nature of this meeting and the need for multiple volunteers comfortable with a virtual meeting format, our usual embargo on those who have served in the recent past will not be observed.

Resolutions committee volunteers

A Resolutions Committee will be convened for this Special Meeting and charged with determining if resolutions submitted are urgent or a priority. The details for this committee’s responsibilities, including when and how often it will meet, have not been finalized. Any Delegate or Alternate Delegate interested in serving on this committee is asked to indicate their interest by email to the speakers at [email protected]

While we are saddened by yet another meeting going by without seeing all of you in person, your speakers are looking forward to an opportunity to interact with you virtually in a more robust fashion than at our June Special Meeting. Again, as noted above, please take the time to confirm that we have valid email addresses for all Delegates, Alternates and other participants of our HOD. Please watch for further communication from us as more details become available.

We look forward to “seeing” you in November.