2019 CMPA Annual Meeting and Conference

September 2019

The 2019 CMPA Annual Meeting and Conference was held in Toronto on August 14. In her address, CMPA President, Dr. Debra E. Boyce, took stock of the environment facing the Association and its 100,000 physician members.

Reflecting on the increasing pace of change in Canadian healthcare—including new technologies, changing service delivery models, and evolving expectations—Dr. Boyce emphasized the CMPA’s commitment to continue delivering core medical liability protection. She described how the CMPA is evolving its services to meet members’ changing needs and assist members in proactively identifying and resolving medical-legal issues before their practices are affected.

In 2018, the CMPA provided members with advice, empathetic support, and assistance on 22,600 specific medical-legal matters that resulted from the professional practice of medicine. The Association opened over 900 cases involving civil litigation,1,900 cases related to hospital privileges and complaints, and 5,600 cases dealing with College complaints, investigations, and hearings. While the number of civil legal actions remained consistent with those of previous years, the increasing number of members seeking CMPA assistance with College and hospital matters reflects the growing pressures facing physicians.

The CMPA continued to expand the reach of its safe medical care education, delivering 300 practice improvement sessions to over 18,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals, and reaching 11 of the 17 medical schools in Canada with the Resident Symposium (with plans in place to reach all schools in 2020). Through its subsidiary, Saegis, the CMPA extended its range of tailored, safe medical care programs available to members, allied healthcare professionals, clinics, and institutions, including offering the highly regarded Just Culture certification course and working with Surgical Safety Technologies (SST) to develop the SafeORTM program. Through the CMPA’s support of Salus Global and the MOREOB program, it will make a tangible contribution to the improved safety of prenatal and obstetrical care.

CMPA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Hartley Stern, discussed the nature of trust and its foundational role in healthcare. He reinforced the need for all parties to work to strengthen trust—from physician-to-patient and physician-to-government—and reaffirmed the CMPA’s commitment to continue to uphold members’ trust by maintaining core CMPA values and providing compassionate assistance and support.

2018 Financial report

As a not-for-profit organization, the CMPA’s long-term financial objective is to hold at least one dollar of assets for each dollar of discounted liabilities. A fully funded position provides members and stakeholders with the confidence that their medical liability protection needs and those of their patients will be met.

At the end of 2018, the Association’s total assets were 116% of the total estimated liabilities or a positive position of $645 million. This positive position has enabled the CMPA to reduce the fees it will collect from members in 2020.

The aggregate member fee requirements for 2020, both by region and by member, were provided.

Governance renewal

In response to a motion from the 2017 meeting and after careful consideration, the CMPA has chosen to pursue governance renewal through means other than mandated term limits. The president outlined the action being taken to support governance renewal, including a more robust council performance evaluation process and a greater focus on candidates for council with a wide range of diversity factors and experience.

Full-day format

The full-day format provided members with access to expanded risk management and educational sessions. More than 134 attendees participated in the morning’s interactive, hands-on workshop, Test results follow-up - Is no news good news? Build a more reliable follow-up system for test results, earning CPD credits and learning how to plan a safer system for managing test results.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare

During a very well-attended information session moderated by Dr. Lisa Calder, Director, Medical Care Analytics, Dr. David Naylor, Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus, University of Toronto delivered an insightful information session on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare. He described how AI is being used in healthcare today and outlined many of its potential applications and advantages while, at the same time, noting the current shortfalls. Dr. Hartley Stern, CEO of the CMPA, discussed some of the medical-legal implications of AI and deep learning, and encouraged policy makers to set in place the parameters to guide physicians in their use of AI in delivering care.

Both the annual meeting and information session were webcast live and accessible to members. Session recordings and supporting material are available here.

Council elections

Ten positions on CMPA Council were scheduled for election in 2019. Click here for the results and acclamations.