November 01, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Physician Leadership Professional Development & Education
The California Medical Association (CMA) has seen membership increase of almost five percent in the past year. “This growth is unprecedented,” said Paul Hegyi, CMA vice president of membership and communications. “We haven’t seen numbers this high since 1992 – for 20 years.” Membership currently stands at 38,000 physicians, representing all modes of practice from across the state.
This year's 5 percent increase follows in the heels of a 4 percent increase in 2012. The past two years of growth reverses the relatively flat membership trend from the previous nine years.
A recent survey conducted by the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AASME), based in Milwaukee, Wisc., showed that CMA compared well with the rest of the country in terms of membership growth. Fifty percent of those surveyed reported membership growth over the past year, with a number of state medical associations seeing similar 5 percent increases and one state reporting membership growth as high as 11 percent. About 21 percent of those polled have seen no growth and 28 percent have seen a decline.
Hegyi says he attributes the growth in membership numbers for CMA to the Affordable Care Act and the part the CMA has played in making sure that physicians are represented in the Covered California roll out. CMA has also focused over the past two years on more targeted recruitment and retention activities.
Of the other states reporting growth, many said they were discounting memberships, so while they were seeing growth, dues were in decline. Others indicated they had hired membership marketing managers and face-to-face sales staff to drive their membership increase.
Those medical associations that are seeing their numbers decline noted generational differences with younger doctors more inclined to seek employment rather than operating solo practices. Several said dollars are being peeled off by specialty societies.
Click here to see the survey results.