Physicians view the doctor-patient relationship as sacrosanct, the very foundation of health care.
This relationship stems from a physician's primary ethical obligation – to place a patient's welfare above their own self-interest and above obligations to other groups, and to advocate for their patient's welfare.
The California Medical Association (CMA) fiercely defends California's bar on the corporate practice of medicine, which prevents corporate interests from unduly influencing physicians' professional judgments in the name of profit and to the detriment of patients.
Hospitals and other corporate interests do not have the same ethical and moral obligation to the patient as a physician does; therefore, it is essential to maintain the firewall between medical decisions and the corporate bottom line.
CMA also leads efforts in multiple arenas to leave the determination of what is medically necessary treatment where it belongs – in the hands of doctors. Health insurance gatekeepers and finance officers continually find new ways to delay and deny care, and erect barriers to medically necessary care for patients.
Physicians are often a patient's only ally in this David vs. Goliath battle that frequently entails mountains of paperwork and endless phone calls, and CMA believes it is a fundamental element of the physician-patient relationship to fight for needed care to be delivered in a timely manner.