ADVOCACY

The Arkansas Medical Society’s main mission is to stand up for Arkansas physicians and their patients every day.  Every other year, our advocacy efforts are brought to the forefront during the regular legislative session held at the state Capitol.  We work hard to convey our members’ concerns to the insurance carriers, health networks, and legislature so that Arkansas physicians will always have a seat at the table.

It is now more important than ever that AMS members become involved in our advocacy efforts. There are a few things you can do right now to ensure that the Society will be successful when this General Assembly meets. Watch our video to hear why it’s important to get to know your legislators.

Whether in private practice or employed, physicians are undoubtedly impacted multiple times a day by the decisions legislators have made.  It is vital to have a voice in the room when those decisions are made; often, those that make the decisions see issues from a 30,000 feet level and they need the perspective of how their decisions would impact the practice level. We encourage you to reach out to and get to know your legislators so that you can share your insight and medical expertise regarding crucial issues that will come up.

Hundreds of messages and calls were made throughout the 2021 Legislative Session and that ultimately contributed to the AMS legislative success.  We would like to thank our members for advocating on behalf of Arkansas physicians and patients. 


Latest News from Governmental Affairs

  • Two Easy Ways to Step Up and Help
    By H. Scott Smith, JD – AMS Director of Governmental Affairs With the primary elections scheduled for this Tuesday, May 24, 2022, physicians still have time to make a positive impact for organized medicine by taking two quick and easy steps. First, find out who’s running for the state legislature in your area.  At the […]
  • Urge Gov. Hutchinson to Put Patient Safety First
    From the American Society of Anesthesiologists – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is considering eliminating physician oversight of surgical anesthesia without any opportunity for public input from the state’s medical/surgical community. This concerning and unilateral decision would conflict with Arkansas state statute, would not lower costs or increase access to care, and importantly, it would jeopardize […]
  • 2022 Candidates for State Elections and New Legislative Districts
    Over the last few months of 2021, the Board of Apportionment redrew 100 House & 35 Senate Districts so that each district met various legal criteria, including each district being about the same size in population. This “redistricting” is required by law once every 10 years after the Federal Census. In November 2021, the Arkansas Legislature […]
  • Senate Passes Legislation to Halt Medicare Physician Payment Cuts
    After months of intense lobbying by the American Medical Association, Arkansas Medical Society, other state medical societies, and national medical specialties, a bi-partisan agreement has been reached by Congress to halt Medicare physician payment cuts that were scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2022. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law. […]
  • Surprise Billing Lawsuit Filed by AMA
    The American Medical Association and American Hospital Association filed a complaint and motion to stay against the federal government today over the misguided implementation of the federal surprise billing law.  What follows is the press release. Hospital and physician groups file lawsuit over No Surprises Act final rules that jeopardize patient access to care December […]

AMS Governmental Affairs Team

David Wroten

Executive Vice President

H. Scott Smith, JD

Director, Governmental Affairs

Laura Hawkins

Legislative Support Specialist

Laura Haywood

Membership & Communications Specialist

2021 Legislative Summary: 93rd General Assembly

The Arkansas Medical Society is a community of Arkansas physicians made up of every medical specialty from all over the state. Whether it’s connecting members with resources, education, or information, advocacy is essentially at the core of everything that we do.  With all the different ways to advocate to and for our members, some often wonder if advocating with legislators is worth it.  The answer is simple:  yes, it is worth it. 

Despite all the challenges that were presented during the 2021 Legislative Session, the Arkansas Medical Society worked tirelessly with member physicians, pro-medicine legislators, and other organizations to reach the best outcome possible for the patients of Arkansas.

The Arkansas General Assembly convened on Tuesday, January 12, and legislators hit the ground running.  By the time the legislature went into recess on April 28, 2021, there had been a total of 1675 bills filed, of which 1112 had passed into law. AMS actively tracked almost 240 of those bills throughout the session, and although there were laws passed that we did not support, the AMS Governmental Affairs Team was able to reach a favorable compromise on several other bills.  The following bills represent some of the more high-profile issues AMS successfully fought for and closely monitored that may have an impact on you, your patients, and your practice.


2021 Doctor of the Day Photo Album



Get Connected.  Get Involved.

Take a look at the bills AMS is tracking for you.  Find out information about where your bill is and where its going.

Want to know who your state senator or local representative?  Enter your address to find out and send them information from you, their constituent

Sign up to participate in AMS’s Doctor of the Day program during the legislative session beginning in January 2021.

AMS members receive weekly updates from the Capitol during the session as well as specific, and timely calls to action. For more information,  email Laura Haywood

Stay Informed through Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The STAT Team focuses on grassroots efforts to recruit other physicians to get involved in advocacy. Want to become more involved?  Let us know how you would like to help our STAT Team. 



Important Links