Physician’s Union Forges Ahead Successfully, Despite Roadblocks

ORLANDO, Fla.-Joe Hill would have been proud of the usually conservative AMA.

  In just one year, the AMA’s union organizing arm-Physicians for Responsible Negotiation-has begun organizing or negotiating contracts for three distinct physician groups.

  The going hasn’t been easy. Hospitals and health systems are throwing up significant legal roadblocks, challenging the legitimacy of PRN as a labor organization.

  Nevertheless, PRN has negotiated a contract pending ratification for 38 physicians employed by The Wellness Plan, a Medicaid HMO in Michigan. It has also launched efforts to represent 19 New Jersey physicians employed by Concentra Health Services, succeeded in a petition drive, and secured an election to represent 168 residents and fellows at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill.

  In addition, the AMA’s House of Delegates was told, PRN is discussing partnerships with subsidiaries of several state and county medical associations. The Medical Society of the State of New York has endorsed the formation of such a partnership.

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