Last year at convention, the ISMA Future Directions Task Force (Task Force) introduced Resolution 17-22 (Enhance, Grow and Sustain ISMA) and Resolution 17-23 (Membership Dues Adjustment). The Task Force was created in 2014 by ISMA President Heidi Dunniway, MD, to eliminate barriers to membership and protect the vitality of ISMA.
Resolution 17-23 was introduced after the Task Force found ISMA had the third-lowest dues of all state medical associations in the U.S. and had not raised dues for 25 years. In the same period, the cost of providing services had risen, and ISMA membership had decreased. The 2017 House of Delegates passed Resolution 17-23, with 84.8 percent of registered delegates voting for the dues increase.
Three of the resolves in Resolution 17-22 proposed changes to the structure of ISMA. The House of Delegates referred two of the resolves to the Board of Trustees (Board) for study and passed the third proposal, to dissolve the current district medical societies and make them part of ISMA rather than separate legal entities (effective in 2019).
Since last year’s convention, the Board has met and considered these resolutions and how to implement them. Read further for details and answers to questions members may have about these resolutions.
Resolution 17-22: Enhance, Grow and Sustain ISMA
Resolves referred for study: County medical societies; delegates
Resolve 1: Resolve 1 proposed to eliminate (effective 2019) the requirement that a physician be a member of a county medical society to be a member of the ISMA, and vice versa. This resolve did not call for eliminating county societies; it called for making county society membership an option instead of a requirement to join the ISMA, and vice versa. The House of Delegates referred Resolve 1 to the Board for study.
Update: The Board subsequently referred Resolve 1 back to the Task Force to continue studying the proposal. In addition, the Board recommended adding more physicians to the Task Force. As a result, several new members were added to the Task Force.
On May 5, 2018, the Task Force met and voted to recommend eliminating county membership as a requirement for ISMA membership and vice versa, but it also recommended this change not be implemented until 2022, to give the counties more time to prepare for the change.
Resolve 2: Resolve 2 proposed to amend the ISMA bylaws to state that every ISMA member who pre-registers and attends the annual convention is a delegate. The House of Delegates referred Resolve 2 to the Board for study. The Board subsequently referred Resolve 2 back to the Task Force to continue studying the proposal.
Update: At its May 5 meeting, the Task Force recommended amending the ISMA bylaws to state that, if a county fails to register delegates by a certain date for all spots assigned by the ISMA bylaws, the Trustee in that district, in his or her sole discretion, can fill all open delegate spots with any members from any counties in that district. The Task Force’s goal in making this recommendation is to increase the number of delegates at convention without changing the overall geographical composition of the delegates.
The Task Force presented its recommendations on Resolves 1 and 2 to the Board during the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on May 20, 2018. The Board voted to support both of the Task Force’s recommendations. The Task Force plans to submit resolutions with its recommendations during the 2018 convention.
Resolve passed by the House: District medical societies
Resolve 3: Resolve 3, passed by the House of Delegates, proposed that ISMA amend its bylaws (effective 2019) to make the current district medical societies part of ISMA and not separate legal entities.
Update: The Board and Executive Committee have been considering how to implement this upcoming change and have obtained input from the executives of the large county societies, who also staff some of the district societies. Also, ISMA President John P. McGoff, MD, is discussing the implementation of this resolve at district meetings. A summary of the Board’s feedback on how to dissolve the districts, which Dr. McGoff is presenting at these meetings, is online at www.ismanet.org/pdf/Resolution17-22TrusteeFeedback.pdf
, and members may also submit input at www.ismanet.org/ISMA/Resolution_Comments.aspx
. The Board expects to make a final decision on implementing this resolve at its September 2018 meeting and will be communicating its plans to all members.
Resolution 17-23: Membership Dues Adjustment
Passed by the House of Delegates with 84.8 percent of registered delegates in favor
Q. When will the dues increase take effect?
The dues increase will take effect for the 2019 membership year. Dues renewals for next year will be billed at the new rate.
Q. How much will my dues increase?
The amount of ISMA dues regular members pay will increase to $490 from $385. However, since ISMA districts are becoming a part of ISMA instead of separate legal entities, members will no longer pay district dues. The net increase for ISMA members will range from $75 to $95, depending on their districts.
Q. Is there still a discount on dues if all or most physicians in a group practice become ISMA members?
Yes. The House of Delegates in 2012 approved a dues discount for practice groups of five or more physicians, based on percentage participation. Now, those same practices will receive the following
flat-rate, per-member discounts.
Q. Are small practice groups still eligible for a dues discount?
- 100% group participation - $115 discount per member per year
- 90% group participation - $75 discount per member per year
- 80% group participation - $40 discount per member per year
- 75% group participation - $20 discount per member per year
Yes. The House of Delegates determined in 2012 that members in practices with one to four physicians would receive a percentage discount based on the number of years for which dues were paid in advance. Now, those same physicians can qualify for individual, flat-rate discounts by paying for multiple years in advance.
Q. Can discounts on membership dues be combined?
- 10-year membership - $115 discount per year
- 5-year membership - $75 discount per year
- 3-year membership - $40 discount per year
- 2-year membership - $20 discount per year
Q. What will ISMA do with the additional revenue from the dues increase?
The accompanying pie chart illustrates current ISMA expenses, shown as a proportion of annual membership dues. Additional revenue generated through the dues increase will offset annual operating losses and create opportunities for new initiatives consistent with ISMA’s new strategic planning process.
Q. Couldn’t ISMA use financial reserves, instead of a dues increase, to cover shortfalls?
Historically, ISMA has relied on reserves to generate operating revenue and cover operating shortfalls. Reducing or eliminating operating shortfalls through this dues increase will allow ISMA to invest in new initiatives and member benefits to further our association’s mission.