Coalition for Patients' Rights Calls on AMA to Cease Divisive Efforts to Limit Patients' Choice of Providers


For Immediate Release
June 8, 2006; Updated September 19, 2006
For more information
Contact Christopher Bettin


Coalition for Patients' Rights (CPR) Calls on AMA to Cease
Divisive Efforts to Limit Patients' Choice of Providers

33 healthcare organizations* unite to ensure patients a full range of
healthcare provider options and the right to choose among them


In response to divisive efforts by the American Medical Association (AMA) and other physician groups to limit the ability of licensed healthcare professionals to provide care to millions of patients, the newly formed Coalition for Patients’ Rights (CPR) today urged all healthcare professionals to work together to counter the AMA’s actions.

The CPR was formed to ensure that the growing needs of the American health system can be met and that patients have access to quality healthcare providers of their choice. The coalition represents more than 3 million licensed professionals who provide a diverse array of safe, effective and affordable healthcare services.

In a joint statement endorsed by the 33 healthcare groups* that comprise the coalition, the CPR expressed concern about the negative impact on patients if their ability to seek care from advanced practice nurses, psychologists, nurse midwives, chiropractors, and many other licensed, qualified healthcare providers is limited. The coalition is calling on the AMA and other physician groups aligned with the AMA to cease their divisive efforts to oppose the established practice rights of CPR members. The coalition also seeks an end to legislation at the state level that would reduce provider options for patients.

The CPR is especially concerned about efforts by the AMA and other physician groups that have formed the "Scope of Practice Partnership" to study the work and qualifications of "allied health professionals" in rural and underserved areas.

"Limiting the ability of healthcare professionals to practice and provide appropriate care will place an enormous burden on the healthcare system," remarked Barbara Blakeney, MS, RN, President of the American Nurses Association, which is a member of the coalition. "As leaders of the health community, this coalition seeks to maintain the broadest range of provider choices for everyone," said Blakeney.

The coalition questions the objectives of the AMA and other physician organizations when they seek to advise consumers, regulators, policymakers and insurers on the ability of other healthcare professionals to offer the services they are allowed by law to provide. Healthcare providers are a critical source of care for patients throughout the United States, especially those who live in rural areas and medically underserved urban areas. Historically, people who live in rural areas have relied on a strong array of practitioners to meet their healthcare needs. Advanced practice registered nurses, social workers, and other professions that require rigorous educational preparation and ongoing instruction and certification are the backbone of not just the rural healthcare system, but the entire healthcare structure in the United States.

"Organizations representing medical doctors (MDs) and doctors of osteopathy (DOs) are not in the best position to conduct a balanced and fair assessment of an issue that directly affects their reimbursement," said Mitchell H. Tobin, JD, Senior Director of Professional Practice Affairs for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, also a member of the coalition.

The coalition asserts that the AMA’s actions affect the entire healthcare community and all current and potential patients.

"Healthcare professionals other than MDs and DOs have been key to assuring access to care for millions of patients in rural and underserved areas.  Given the difficulty that so many people have in getting needed care, now is the time for all healthcare professions to work together, not to work against each other to meet the need," said Dr. Russ Newman, Executive Director for Professional Practice for the American Psychological Association.    

The Coalition for Patients’ Rights is continuing to expand and invites other healthcare organizations to join. For more information about the Coalition for Patients’ Rights, please visit

* As of June 6, 2006


List of Coalition for Patients' Rights Members and Contacts

 Contact Name
 Phone Number
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners  Nancy McMurrey  512-276-5903
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy    
American Association of Colleges of Nursing  Robert Rosseter  202-463-6930
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses  Marilyn Petterson  949-362-2020
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians    
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists  Christopher Bettin  847-655-1143
American Association of Oriental Medicine    
American Chiropractic Association     
American College of Nurse-Midwives    240-485-1800
American College of Nurse Practitioners    202-659-2190
American Nephrology Nurses Association    856-256-2320
American Nurses Association  Laura Diamond  301-628-5020
American Physical Therapy Association  Rachel Reiter  703-706-8548
American Psychological Association  Luana Bossolo  202-336-5898
American Psychiatric Nurses Association  Gail Kincaide  866-243-2443
American Speech-Language Hearing Association    301-897-0104
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care    
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses    847-375-4710
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professionals    
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses    202-261-2400
California Optometric Association    
Emergency Nurses Association  Meredith Klein  312-751-4197
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association     
Integrated Health Policy Consortium    
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists Christine Carson Filipovich  717-234-6799
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners  Karen Kelly-Thomas  856-857-9700
National League for Nursing    212-363-5555
National Nursing Centers Consortium    215-731-7140
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health    202-543-9693
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties     202-289-8044
Oncology Nursing Society  Karen Hochberg  412-859-6236
Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association  Sue Koob  608-250-2440
Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society  Nicolette Zuecca  856-439-0500


About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Coalition for Patients' Rights Opposes AMA Resolution 814 and Scope of Practice Partnership

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