Become an Advocate

Oakland BridgeAs scientists, physicians expect medical policy development to be evidence based. However in the political process, where policies are translated into laws that can have a huge impact on quality and access to medical care, there are numerous perspectives and levels of understanding about the “evidence” that are under consideration in a public policy debate. This makes physician involvement in the political process essential to ensure that sound health care policy is enacted.

As an ACCMA member, your membership helps support important policy issues that benefit doctors and patients. Even if you're not actively involved in ACCMA advocacy, your ACCMA membership dues help fund the fight to represent patient and physicians' legislative interests, both at the local level and statewide.

In 2019, ACCMA members worked diligently to pass important health policy bills:

  • Secured $2.2 billion in provider rate increases through the Proposition 56 tobacco tax.
  • Sponsored bill to increase patient access to health care by ensuring that telehealth services are covered in the same way as in-person office visits (AB 744).
  • Led the fight to pass SB 276, which cracks down on fraudulent medical exemptions for childhood vaccinations.
  • Secured passage of new federal regulations that strengthen enforcement of EHR interoperability to allow health providers to better share medical information.
  • Fought legal battles to ensure access to women's health care, as well as care for immigrants and transgender patients.
  • Supported a state-level individual mandate to strengthen the Affordable Care Act in California.
The ACCMA is actively involved in multiple advocacy battles and is working to protect physician needs at the local and state level. Consider participating in one of the following active fights:
 
  • Join the fight to protect MICRA - an anti-MICRA initiative has been filed for the Nov. 2020 ballot. This initiative would effectively eliminate CA's medical lawsuit limits, which would in turn substantially raise health care costs for all Californians, reduce access to health care, and exploit patients for profit. Visit ProtectMICRA.org to join the campaign.
  • Participate in the annual CMA Legislative Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Plan to join more than 400 physicians, residents, and medical student members in Sacramento to lobby their legislative leaders as champions for medicine.
  • Join the ACCMA Legislative Committee. This committee conducts political action on behalf of the ACCMA, meeting with local legislators to discuss health care policies, and conducting candidate interviews during election season. All physician members are invited to participate in meetings with local legislators, even if they are not a part of the ACCMA Legislative Committee.
  • Get involved in other ACCMA committees and community health projects, such as the Community Health Committee, the Physician Wellbeing Committee, East Bay Safe Prescribing Coalition, and more. ACCMA Committees are the workshops of the association and are responsible for developing many of the ACCMA's own policies and programs that assist physicians locally and improve the quality of medical care in our community. 

Below are some additional ways physician members can get involved with health care policy and community projects. For more information on how to get involved or become an advocate, call the ACCMA at 510-654-5383.

Get Involved

Advocacy gives physicians the opportunity to lobby for laws that improve health care. Become an advocate in your community by working with ACCMA and CMA to improve health care and aid the medical profession.

ACCMA Legislative Committee

The ACCMA Legislative Committee conducts political action on behalf of the ACCMA. The committee meets with legislators in their districts and conducts candidate interviews during election season.

Click here to read more about the ACCMA Legislative Committee.

CMA Legislative Advocacy Day

More than 400 physicians, medical students and resident members from around the state travel to Sacramento in April to meet with legislators at the Capitol to discuss health care issues. Visit CMAdocs.org to find out more about this year's Legislative Advocacy Day. If you are interested in participating in this year's Legislative Advocacy Day, please contact the ACCMA at (510) 654-5383 or email Mr. David Lopez, Assoc. Director of Advocacy and Policy, at dlopez@accma.org. You can also register online at learning.accma.org.

Meetings with Local Senators and Assemblymembers

These meetings, which are open to all ACCMA members, provide ACCMA members an opportunity to attend in-district meetings with local, state, and federal legislators to discuss pertinent issues affecting the health care community.

Be a Physician Advocate

Physicians can be a “key contact” by developing a relationship with individual legislators and communicating the medical community’s concerns about specific legislation.

Zero to little experience advocating policy to legislators? The California Medical Association’s (CMA) Physician Advocate program makes it easy and empowers you to protect the medical profession through advocacy training and grassroots alerts. 

Click here to find out more.

Phone or Write to your Local Assemblymembers and Senators

When bills are being heard in their committee and/or being voted on by the state Legislature, it is important Legislators hear firsthand from physicians on how these bills will impact the practice of medicine.

CMA Council on Legislation

The CMA Council on Legislation meets to discuss and recommend positions on legislation that would impact physicians and the practice of medicine in California

CMA Newswire

Stay up-to-date on critical issues affecting the practice of medicine in California by subscribing to the CMA Newswire, a biweekly newsletter. The CMA also regularly updates its Newsroom with relevant state updates and health care policy changes.

Support our Political Action Committees ACCPAC and CALPAC

The most effective way to ensure that elected officials promote legislative positions supported by the medical profession is to help elect candidates who share our profession’s perspective. Based on recommendations from local medical societies, CALPAC at the State and Federal level, and ACCPAC at the local level, make monetary contributions to support candidates whose views are most consistent with ACCMA and CMA policy positions. These political action committees are nonpartisan; support is based on candidates’ views and receptiveness to physicians' concerns.

Donate

 

Join an ACCMA/CMA Council or Committee

Help develop policies and programs that form the core of our work by joining an ACCMA or CMA council or committee.

ACCMA Committees

ACCMA committees are responsible for developing many of the ACCMA’s policies and programs that assist physicians and improve the quality of medical care in our community. More than 300 ACCMA members currently serve on over 15 committees.

Click here to learn more about ACCMA Committees and how you can get involved.

ACCMA Council

The Council serves as the elected governing body of the Association. It establishes the policies of the ACCMA, assume fiduciary responsibility for successful operations, and represent the profession of medicine in the local community and beyond.

Click here to read more about our current ACCMA Council.

CMA House of Delegates

The ACCMA Council serves as the ACCMA's delegation to the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates.

CMA Councils and Committees

ACCMA nominates members to serve on CMA’s councils and subcommittees, which are advisory to the CMA Board of Trustees. Accordingly, CMA Councils and Subcommittees play a big role in shaping CMA policy, which in turn has a substantial bearing on health care policies at the state and federal levels.

 

ACCMA Community Projects

Community health allows physicians to get involved in ACCMA-sponsored projects that improve the health of our community.

East Bay Conversation Project

The East Bay Conversation Project is a community-wide coalition dedicated to promoting understanding and engagement in "The Conversation" about advance care planning to ensure individuals' health care treatment preferences are known, documented, and honored. The project provides resources to engage in advance care planning and is continually interested in recruiting organizations and individuals to champion the effort. Physicians are encouraged to get involved by joining a steering committee and/or volunteering to be a speaker/presenter in an upcoming event.

Click here to read more about ACCMA's East Bay Conversation Project.

East Bay Safe Prescribing Coalition

The East Bay Safe Prescribing Coalition is a collaborative effort by the East Bay medical community, consumers and community leaders to promote safe and appropriate prescribing practices and reduce prescription drug abuse in our community. Physicians are invited to join the Ad Hoc Clinical Advisory Committee on Chronic Pain to get more involved.

Click here to read more about the East Bay Safe Prescribing Coalition.

Frank E. Staggers, Sr., MD, Hypertension Project

This project aspires to address hypertension and seeks to develop a comprehensive, integrated and community-wide model to prevent and treat hypertension. 

Click here to read more about the Hypertension Project.