SmartCare FAQ

Do I have to enroll in SmartCare or do anything to get the lower rates?

No. If you and your family members are already enrolled in the UA medical plan, the lower rates will be automatically applied any time you and your family members visit a UAMS SmartCare physician or receive care at UAMS Medical Center.

Do I get the lower rates for a specialist at UAMS if my PCP is not at UAMS?

Yes.  All office visits, tests and procedures done at UAMS by UAMS physicians will be charged at the SmartCare rates. The copay for a visit with a UAMS specialist will be $35, compared to a $50 copay for a non-UAMS specialist who is in the UMR network for UA members.

How do I schedule an appointment with a UAMS doctor?

Call 501-686-8749 or via e-mail at This is a concierge service just for UAMS employees and their family members.

Do I use this same number for a PCP appointment and a specialist appointment?

Yes, there is one phone number for all appointment requests for employees and their family members. Call 501-686-8749 and ask for an appointment with any UAMS physician. This line is for employees and family members only, and you will receive priority in available appointments.

Can I get the lower rates if I’m covered by my spouse’s insurance?

No. This benefit is only for UAMS employees and family members covered under the UA health insurance plan.

If I’m not currently covered by UA health insurance, can I enroll?

You may have to wait for an open enrollment period. Or if you are within 30 days of a qualified event – such as marriage, divorce, birth, or loss of other coverage – you may be eligible to enroll. For more information about qualified events, click here.  Or contact Human Resources or 501-686-5650.

My children are covered by my UA health insurance. Do they get these lower rates too?

Yes, but only if they see a doctor at a UAMS clinic that sees children, such as the UAMS Family Medicine Clinic, a UAMS Neighborhood clinic or an AHEC clinic. The standard in-network copay will apply to pediatrician office visits at Arkansas Children’s Hospital or other non-UAMS facilities.

I tried to see a UAMS doctor several years ago, and the first available appointment was always several months away. I needed to see a doctor that day. Will I have the same problem now?

Access has been an issue for all patients for the past several years, but recent improvements in outpatient administrative processes have helped with appointment availability. Our goal is to be able to see 90% of all PCP appointment requests within 48 hours and all specialist requests within two weeks. It may take longer if you have limited availability or request to see a certain doctor, but the appointment center will work to fill all appointment requests from employees and family members on a priority basis. You may also use the Employee Walk-In Clinic.

I’m nervous about seeing a resident rather than a faculty physician. Is there any way to make sure my appointment is not with a resident?

Yes. You may request an appointment with a faculty physician. This appointment may be further out than one when you may see a resident physician, but you can request a non-resident physician appointment.

I have worked at UAMS for a long time and know a lot of people here, including a lot of physicians and nurses who work in the clinics. I’ve never used UAMS doctors or clinics because I like to keep my personal healthcare and my work separate, but it looks like I would save a lot of money using SmartCare. What should I do?

The decision is yours. But by using UAMS physicians and clinics, you not only get excellent medical care at reduced rates, but you also support UAMS and are better able to understand how the institution works from a patient’s perspective. In small towns and rural communities all across the world, patients have work and social relationships with their healthcare providers. As a patient of UAMS you will have the same privacy rights as any other patient. UAMS is seriously committed to patient privacy; medical professionals are trained to be discreet and are subject to very strict patient health information guidelines. You do not need to worry that doctors and nurses will be talking about you unprofessionally when you’re not around.

My family has used the same doctor for years, and I don’t want to switch. This sounds like a good program and I want to support UAMS. Is there any way I can participate?

Yes. Even if you are not willing or able to use a UAMS primary care physician, you and your family members can use specialty services such as dermatology, eye exams, mammograms and other specialized care. The copay for an annual vision exam at UAMS is only $20 compared to $35 with a non-UAMS provider. You will still benefit from the lower specialist copay ($35 instead of $50). If your medical service is subject to deductible and co-insurance, your cost will be significantly less by coming to UAMS rather than going to another facility in the UA member network.

If I want to come to UAMS and try out a new PCP, what is my SmartCare copay?

You’ll pay $20.  This is true even if your assigned PCP is not at UAMS. If you see a doctor in a UAMS primary care clinic — Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Geriatrics — you pay the $20 SmartCare copay.

For questions on SmartCare not addressed here, you can call 686-5660 or

Are all medical services offered under SmartCare?

While UAMS offers comprehensive healthcare, there are some services we are not licensed to offer.  Examples are durable medical equipment (such as CPAP machine), chiropractic, ambulance, home health and hospice.  SmartCare savings are not available for these services.

Now that labs are subject to deductible (as of July 2015), will I still save money by coming to UAMS?

Yes, you will save on the office visit copay every time you visit a UAMS SmartCare physician. If your doctor orders labs (other than for annual physical), those will be subject to your annual deductible, which is $500 lower under SmartCare. Many clinics use our own in-house lab at UAMS to process blood work and therefore the reduced SmartCare deductible would apply. But some of the freestanding UAMS clinics – including Financial Center Parkway, Rahling Road, Shackleford Orthopedic, Maumelle, Family Medicine and some of the AHECs – have to use LabCorp or other outside lab. This is due to complex compliance and procedural issues that we are working through. It has been extremely difficult, but we believe we are making some progress and hope to bring those labs back in-house in the near future.