The Medical Group Management Association terminated 14 employees and named new senior management in its biggest reorganization in years.
Executive Vice President Thomas L. Adams, who took the helm Aug. 1, said the changes will create "a more bottom-up organization that encourages individual initiative."
Plans include greatly expanding the Washington staff and establishing a television link between Washington and the MGMA's Englewood, Colo., headquarters.
"We see a need for group practice to be aggressively represented in Washington, and we are going to be the ones to do that," Adams said.
Adams recruited his former No. 2 at the Wisconsin State Medical Association, James E. Paxton, to be the MGMA's deputy executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective Jan. 15.
Former COO Fred Graham submitted his resignation, effective Dec. 31, after 25 years at the MGMA.
Janice E. Pieper, assistant director in the division of congressional affairs of the American Medical Association, was named to the new position of senior vice president of government affairs.
Vice President of Research Barry R. Greene is now senior vice president.
The triumvirate of Paxton, Pieper and Greene replaces an array of vice presidents. "The organizational hierarchy will be less and less," Adams said.
The MGMA said it's shifting staff and money to advocacy, research and surveys, and relations with state affiliates.
The association will expand its Washington staff to nine. There had been two, including office director Randy L. Teach, who left when his job was eliminated.
The MGMA and the AMA co-sponsor a legislative conference as part of a strategic alliance and concur on some issues. But Adams said the hiring of an AMA staffer to be the governmental affairs chief does not mean the MGMA is aligning with the medical lobby. "We are our own organization. We have our own ideas," Adams said.
Group practices also are represented in Washington by the American Medical Group Association, which has six government relations staff members there. However, the interests of the AMGA, which represents large group practices that tend to participate heavily in managed care, do not always coincide with the MGMA's. The MGMA represents a broad base of 6,400 group practices and 18,000 administrators and managers.
The changes mark the first major reorganization at the MGMA in years, perhaps ever, Adams said. The MGMA closed its offices for about two hours the day they were announced. Job eliminations were spread across several departments. With the creation of new positions, the MGMA will maintain its staff size of 180.
Andrea Rossiter, vice president in charge of the American College of Medical Practice Executives; Eric Cauble, vice president and chief financial officer; and Gary Fox, vice president and chief information officer, will retain their jobs.