Atlanta Group Looking to Beef Up Membership | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta Group Looking to Beef Up Membership

Atlana, GA – One year after signing on as director of the Medical Association of Atlanta (MAA), Sharon Rice is on a mission to boost membership and give current members more bang for their buck.
In the early 1990s, the MAA's roster included more than 2,800 Atlanta-area physicians. But by the turn of the millennium membership had dipped dramatically, dropping below 1,000.
This year, with membership back up above 1,000, Rice is spearheading an effort to add more educational programs for members and beef up legislative advocacy, something typically dominated by the Medical Association of Georgia, the state's largest physician group.
Although the MAA can assist in representing physicians at the state Capitol, physicians realize that their own voices are sometimes the most powerful means of persuasion when it comes to fighting for or against new laws that could affect their field of practice, Rice said.
The MAA also offers discounts to its members, including a price break on temporary and full-time staffing. Various workshops also are provided. Recently a group of members attended an insurance compliance workshop, Rice said.
With the increasingly diverse community in metro Atlanta, physicians and hospitals are finding themselves in need of a translator more often. The MAA has a database that can locate doctors who speak foreign languages, Rice said.
The MAA also provides a physician referral line to patients, which may soon be added to information packets distributed to new Atlanta residents, Rice added.