The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society Issue 1 Vol 115 - Page 16

by Casey L. Penn Board of Trustees Meeting An Overview some teeth, and we have enough people on our side that we have a chance to push this through,” said Immediate Past President Amy Cahill, MD. “However, the negative, direct-to-patient propaganda is about to start. We need money to combat it. We are asking you to contribute $500 or more and to ask your colleagues back home to also contribute.” AMS President Lee Archer, MD, offered sup- port for the measure as well as his willingness to attend society meetings held by physicians around the state to explain his support, “It’s key for us to be the leaders. If we’re not out there leading, we won’t make it. This is so important to help us improve our access.” A s is custom, the AMS Board of Trustees met during the annual session. Amid the routine business was a report from Executive Vice President David Wroten that informed members of pertinent topics requiring their interest or action; among them were tort reform, the Arkansas State Medical Board Regulation 2.4 (excessive prescribing), and misleading local press related to cash contributions to Arkansas physicians for prescription drugs. Tort Reform As The Journal reported in February, tort reform legislation hasn’t had the lasting effect for which it was designed. The possibility of change is still alive in the form of Senate Joint Resolution 8 (SJR8), a constitutional amendment referred to the voters by the Arkansas General Assembly. The outcome will depend on the voters of our state. In addition to your vote, AMS needs your voice. chance – you’re going to have in your lifetime to pass tort reform in Arkansas. If the election were held today, we would win, but it’s not. As far as fundraising for the amendment, we need physicians to take the lead on this. The opposition – the folks who are suing you all – are throwing a lot of money at this.” Wroten credited current supporters that in- clude the Society, The Arkansas Hospital Associ- ation, the nursing home and trucking industries, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Ar- kansas Farm Bureau, malpractice carriers, and several county societies and specialty groups. Vocal support followed from the outgoing and incoming presidents. “This legislation has Wroten appealed to the trustees to support tort reform by contributing to the associated Arkansans for Jobs and Justice campaign. “You all have been asking for this for so long,” he said. “This is the best chance – the only 16 • THE JOURNAL OF THE ARKANSAS MEDICAL SOCIETY (Later in the annual session, Wroten shared that another $27,000 was raised during the meeting. To add your contribution or for more information, visit Arkansans for Jobs and Justice on Facebook or call AMS at 224-8967.) Regulation 2.4. Excessive Prescribing Regulation 2.4 is the Arkansas State Medical Board’s recently adopted measure on excessive prescribing. “I recently wrote a commentary about this (The Journal, June 2018) because there is a lot of misinformation and confusion out there about this issue,” Wroten explained as he began to share what he saw and heard at ASMB’s meeting related to the topic. “No physicians testified against the regulations, but a room full of patients testified against it. Most were catastrophic health cases. One poor guy came in who could barely walk and had had a run-in head on with an 18-wheeler about 15 years ago. These people were scared to death that they weren’t going to be able to get their pain medications that they had been on for all this time. What they’re hearing from their physicians back home – what they testified – was ‘my physicians said with the medical board regulation, I can no longer write opioid prescriptions.’” In reality, Regulation 2.4 does not prohibit physicians from prescribing pain medications, Wroten indicated. “What Regulation 2.4. does do is find excessive any prescription not medically VOLUME 115