CMA’s Model Medical Staff Bylaws updated for 2021

April 13, 2021

The California Medical Association’s (CMA) annotated Model Medical Staff Bylaws are the definitive guide for every medical staff for the professional and legal structure that best supports effective medical staff operations. The model bylaws are fully annotated to provide background information on critical provisions, including explanation of relevant state and federal laws, hospital accreditation standards, and other explanatory information. 

For example, numerous annotations cite accreditation standards of the Joint Commission's Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals. These include standards involving the Medical Staff, Organization Performance  and Leadership chapters, inclusive of Standards rationales and Elements of Performance.

An enduring concern within organized medicine is the imposition on medical staff self-governance rights through hospital contractual practices. To address these concerns, the CMA Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS) Executive Board developed and proposed several amendments to the 2021 CMA Model Medical Staff Bylaws aimed at preserving the rights of independent medical staffs as established by statute and case law. The 2021 amendments, approved by the CMA Board of Trustees, reflect important new safeguards over medical staff independence in the areas of exclusive contracting and medical staff funds.

This publication is free to medical staff members of CMA’s OMSS. If you represent an OMSS-member medical staff and would like to order your free copy, or for more information on joining OMSS, please call (800) 786-4262. The model bylaws are also available to purchase in the CMA store.


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