The primary mission of UNITED PHYSICIANS is to advance the interests of physicians and patients and protect the physician-patient relationship. UNITED PHYSICIANS advocates as a unified physician voice for quality patient care.
UNITED PHYSICIANS is based on specific principles:
- Physicians have a right to be involved in decision-making that impacts healthcare.
- Physicians have a right to be involved in decision-making that may impact their safety.
- Physicians have a right to be involved in decision-making that may impact the safety of their patients.
- Physicians have a right to be involved in decision-making that may impact their work environment.
- Physicians have a right to be involved in decision-making regarding office-based, facility-based or hospital-based administration.
- Physicians have a right to be involved in decision-making regarding changes to renumeration for their services, but physician compensation is not the primary mission of UNITED PHYSICIANS.
Key Bylaws and governance:
- Every member shall have the right to vote.
- The term “voting members” and “voting membership” used in this document shall mean “members who cast a yea or nay vote.”
- All bylaws can be changed, deleted and added to by a majority of voting members.
- Each specific advocacy project must win a SUPERMAJORITY of votes to be approved.
- A “SUPERMAJORITY” is defined as more than two thirds.
- UNITED PHYSICIANS is a not for profit 501 (c)(3) company. UNITED PHYSICIANSAdvocacy is a not for profit 501 (c) (6) company, with the same membership as UNITED PHYSICIANS. UNITED PHYSICIANS Advocacy is dedicated to formal lobbying of elected officials.Membership requirement for both companies is an active license to practice medicine in any state or territory of the United States.
- Member’s credentials will be strictly vetted with medical license numbers and national provider numbers (NPIs).
- UNITED PHYSICIANS is not a “union” in the legal sense. There are many laws surrounding the formation of legal unions. Doctors are different than typical union members because doctors include independent entrepreneurs, physicians in training, and employees. For example, unless all members are “employees,” an organization cannot bargain collectively over salary (which would be interpreted as “price fixing”), benefits, or working conditions.
- Initially, all UNITED PHYSICIANS interactions will be held online. Central to UNITED PHYSICIANS is a robust web platform allowing dynamic online discussion and fiducial, transparent voting by UNITED PHYSICIANS members.
- On any UNITED PHYSICIANS vote, a member can vote yea, nay, or abstain. The result will be calculated as the yea votes divided by the total yea plus nay votes cast. Abstentions will be excluded from the calculation.
- The President of UNITED PHYSICIANS will be elected by a majority of voting members and serve a two-year term. The President will not receive a salary. Candidates will run for office by submitting credentials to a dedicated section of the portal. At any time during the President’s term, a member may initiate a petition (on a section of the portal reserved for petitions) to replace the President. If more than 20% of members sign the petition, a formal vote to replace the President will be held. If more than 50% of the members vote to replace the President an ad hoc election will be held.
- The President shall be joined by officers and a board of advisors selected by the President. The purpose of the officers and the advisory board will be to give advice to the President. Since all major decisions will be via a SUPERMAJORITY vote. There is no need for a Board of Directors or Delegates.
- A key structural element of UNITED PHYSICIANS is the decentralization of control. No person or group will have the power of control. There will be no delegates. UNITED PHYSICIANS seeks to avoid a structure, often observed in other physician organizations, where the leadership advances its own issues and becomes out of touch with its members. Once UNITED PHYSICIANS is fully functioning, it will substantially run itself. Leadership’s primary role will be to ensure its functioning according to UNITED PHYSICIANS’s bylaws and facilitate its operations.
- UNITED PHYSICIANS must constitute a large proportion and cross section of U.S. physicians. UNITED PHYSICIANS will not be effective if its membership is dominated by any one faction in medicine. If, after two years, physician sign up is suboptimal, its members will vote on the question of abandoning UNITED PHYSICIANS. If a SUPERMAJORITY of voting members votes to abandon UNITED PHYSICIANS, the not for profit company will be abandoned.
- If after two years of operation, no more than 2 projects have been initiated, and the officers of United Physicians believe the lack of activity is due to defects in the structure of the company, the officers have the right, after receiving feedback from members, to make major structural changes, ie reinvent the company, with suggested changes to be approved by a majority ofthe voting membership.
- To be effective, UNITED PHYSICIANS must have the participation of most physicians. If, over the course of one year, less than 60% of members participate in voting, remedial action will be undertaken. If subpar participation cannot be remedied, members will vote on possibly abandoning the organization.
- During the initial sign up phase, physicians will be required to enter their name and email address. Soon after the sign-up phase, members will be required to submit their medical license number and and/or national provider identity (NPI).They will have the option (and later be firmly asked) to supply additional information (specialty, practice details, specialties etc) but initially, the application form will be designed to be completed in under 1 minute.
- All personal information will be kept strictly confidential and never leased or sold to another organization unless voted for by a majority of voting members.
- Initial UNITED PHYSICIANS dues will be $0. It is anticipated that within 60 – 90 days of launching UNITED PHYSICIANS, members will be charged a nominal annual fee, likely about $10 depending on the number of members and subject to change based on expenses.
- Dues will be used to run operations, i.e. hire support staff and expenses. At least initially, except for occasional, reasonable honorarium for “away from home city” engagements, physician leaders will be unpaid. Any, salaried compensation to physician leaders will require an affirmative vote by at least 50% of voting members. All financials will be transparent with tax return Form 990s posted on the UNITED PHYSICIANS website as soon as they are finalized. Form 990s will include any compensation made to physician leaders.
- The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) will provide seed money for UNITED PHYSICIANS. This is expected to be $30,000 – $50,000 to create a very robust website and an initial awareness campaign. However, UNITED PHYSICIANS will be a fully independent company designed to appeal to all physicians, including physicians who do not support NBPAS. UNITED PHYSICIANS will advocate strictly based on member voting.