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Review COVID-19 resources for doctors.

If you have other specific questions related to COVID-19 and your practice, send us an email.

Toolkits for Physicians and Staff

AMS has developed resources for you to use in your practice. Below are social media graphics, email newsletter graphics and digital signage that you can download.


BOOST Social Graphic 1

BOOST Social Graphic 2

BOOST Social Graphic 3

BOOST Social Graphic 4


To download, click on the links below.

BOOST Digital Signage “Healthier AR”

BOOST Digital Signage “Community”

BOOST Digital Signage “Together”

BOOST Digital Signage “Natural State”


To download, click on the links below.

BOOST Email Graphic “Healthier AR”

BOOST Email Graphic “Community”

BOOST Email Graphic “Better AR”

BOOST Email Graphic “Natural State”

Additional Links

COVID-19 Booster Shot Guidance

American Medical Association COVID Resources


Review COVID-19 resources for patients.

AMS Says Thank You

The Arkansas Medical Society has worked closely with the Arkansas Department of Health and other healthcare community leaders to serve physicians since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit Arkansas in March 2020. Our top priority has been and will always be the safety and well-being of the healthcare community that we serve, including our 4,200 member physicians, residents, and medical students.

Join The Arkansas Medical Society Today!

Resource Areas

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Update

Visit for all of our PPE information.

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View the latest information from insurance carriers, HIPAA, and other sources on telemedicine during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Elective Procedure Guidelines

7\31 -Effective August 1, 2020, based on data showing very low positivity rates in pre-procedure testing to date, the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test prior to elective procedures is rescinded. However, due to the level of spread within many Arkansas communities and to limit introduction of COVID-19 into hospitals and surgery centers, ADH still strongly encourages pre-procedure testing for COVID-19. Nothing in this revision is to be construed as restricting a facility from requiring a negative pre-procedure test for COVID-19. These requirements pertain to all elective procedures. This directive does not apply to small rural hospitals under 60 beds and critical access hospitals, although they are strongly advised to follow this directive to maximize resources and minimize risk.

Directive on Resuming Elective Procedures, Phase IV

6\10 – We encourage physicians to be extra cautious when performing elective procedures. For those patients who have had a COVID-19 test within the 72 hour window, the physician might want to ensure that a system is in place to proactively note the test results prior to performing the procedure.

Contact with a COVID-19 positive patient for more than 15 minutes will trigger a series of events including a 14 day quarantine. During the quarantine some may return to work depending on whether or not they are deemed critical for healthcare delivery.

5\25 – Directive on Resuming Elective Procedures, Phase III

5\11 – Directive on Resuming Elective Procedures, Phase II

5\8 – Updated Guidance on Elective Procedures

The Arkansas Department of Health issued new guidance today that provides greater flexibility while specifying the conditions that must be met as part of Phase II of the resumption of elective procedures.

Read the updated guidance here.

5\6 – ADH Public Health Laboratory to Perform Preoperative Testing

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) Public Health Laboratory (PHL) is offering to perform preoperative SARS-CoV-2 testing when no other laboratory (reference or hospital) resource can be identified. The information below is provided to inform users of this option:

  1. Physicians and institutions are strongly encouraged to use reference or
    local hospital laboratories for pre-operative testing SARS-CoV-2 on
  2. The ADH PHL will perform SARS-CoV-2 testing on weekends and
  3. Referring physicians and institutions are responsible for arranging
    delivery of specimens to be tested to the ADH PHL. The ADH has
    courier service from local health units (LHU) to the PHL. If needed, this
    should be arranged by contacting the LHU in advance of the day(s) of
  4. Specimens should arrive in the PHL by midday Saturday or Sunday.
    Specimens arriving after that time will be processed the following day.
  5. While every attempt will be made to provide a 24-hour turn-around-time
    for the results of pre-operative testing SARS-CoV-2, testing of
    specimens obtained from an outbreak investigation or congregate living
    setting may supersede the latter.’Questions regarding the above can be directed to Dr. James Bledsoe at 479-685-5393.

4\28 – Antibody Testing Primer – With multiple versions of serum antibody test kits being promoted around the state, the Arkansas Department of Health want to remind physicians that they do not support these test kits. This primer helps explain why.

4\26 – Updated Guidance on Acceptable Specimen Collection

Nasopharyngeal specimen is the preferred choice for swab-based COVID-19 testing. When
collection of a nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) is not possible, there are other acceptable alternatives.  Click on link above to read the entire guidance.

4\23Updated Guidance from ADH on COVID-19 Testing

Testing capacity and technology for COVID-19 are rapidly changing. PCR tests can now be done using traditional technology or rapid result point of care instruments. These are tests for components of the virus. Serological tests are also available but not appropriate for diagnosis.

Over the past week, capacity for COVID-19 testing at commercial labs has increased significantly, resulting in shortened turnaround times. Therefore, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) now recommends that clinicians consider testing patients for COVID-19 based solely on their symptoms.
This means patients can be tested even if they do not have known risk factors of contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 or travel to an area with widespread community transmission of COVID-19. In addition, we also now recommend testing all those with history of potential exposure to COVID-19, even if asymptomatic.

Providers should use their best clinical judgment to determine if a patient’s presentation is consistent with COVID-19 and needs testing. Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat). However, some patients have had atypical presentations with diarrhea and without fever. Other groups worthy of screening include those admitted to hospital ICUs, those with sudden onset severe illnesses, and pregnant women.

This relaxation of testing criteria will allow for more accurate estimates of COVID-19 prevalence in Arkansas. Testing capacity at ADH’s Public Health Laboratory has also increased. Due to our public health mandate, we continue to prioritize the testing of patients who:

  1. Require a rapid diagnosis because they are hospitalized with significant
    symptoms or
  2. In the intensive care unit, or those who reside in an institutional facility
    (i.e., longterm care, correctional facility, etc.), or are part of the cohort of
    known contacts of positive cases that we are actively following.

If you have a patient who you think meets criteria for testing at ADH, please call the Physician Hotline at 1-844-930-3023 to discuss the case with an ADH clinician. Otherwise, continue to send specimens to your preferred commercial lab.

CDC recommends providers have a supply of face masks and tissues for patients with symptoms of respiratory infection. These should be provided to patients with symptoms of respiratory infection at check-in. Source control (putting a face mask over the mouth and nose of a symptomatic patient) can help to prevent transmission to others.

4\17 – ADH Directive Regarding the Use of Nucleic Acid Amplification Test:  The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) recognizes the importance of having diagnostic NAATs for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 at POC settings such as those listed above during the current public health emergency. In the interest of patient safety, the ADH requires that all POC NAAT devices and assays used outside of CLIA approved laboratories have written approval from the Arkansas Secretary of Health.
Click here to read the entire directive.

3/20 – Price Gouging: We have received a few calls about price gouging from medical supply vendors and out-of-state labs. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office intends to vigorously pursue prosecution of these bad actors. Generally a 10% or more increase in price over the pre-emergency price is considered price gouging. See the information from the AG’s office.

3/20 – DHS Laboratory COVID-19 Testing Reimbursements for Medicaid

3/17 – Specimen Collection Procedure:  Commercial labs, such as LabCorp, Quest, and Roche, now provide COVID-19 testing. Health care providers intending to test their patients for COVID-19 should obtain the requirements for specimen collection, storage, and shipping from the commercial lab that they plan to use. Click here to read the rest of the Specimen Collection Guide (3/13/20).

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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