Steve Brawner / Talk Business & Politics

Steve Brawner is a freelance journalist and contributor to Talk Business & Politics.

He is also a syndicated columnist in 10 Arkansas newspapers.

You can email him at brawnersteve@mac.com or follow him on Twitter: @SteveBrawner.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said Wednesday he’s looking “outside the norm” in finding a replacement for departing Department of Human Services Director John Selig.

Libertarian Party of Arkansas Chair Michael Pakko with over 15,000 signatures to be submitted to the Secretary of State's office for ballot access. May 2016.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas has filed suit asking for more time to nominate candidates for the 2016 election cycle, drawing a judge who earlier this year ruled against an independent candidate suing over the same issue.

Third parties must nominate candidates for the 2016 general election by Nov. 9, which is the end of the filing period for Republican and Democratic candidates.

The deadline is a result of a law passed this year in order to make it possible for Arkansas’ primaries to be on March 1, the so-called “SEC primary” involving other Southern states.

education schools
arkansas.gov

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key said Tuesday that a department of education announcement last week saying end-of-the-year testing showed a majority of students being “on track for college and career readiness” was actually “in error.” In fact, most students are not meeting expectations.

The number of Arkansans removed from the state Medicaid rolls has increased by 51 in the past week, but the number reinstated has increased by 2,734.

That’s according to figures supplied Monday by Amy Webb, Department of Human Services spokesperson, following a meeting of the House and Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committees.

Interstate 30
Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

Half of Arkansans believe the condition of the state’s roads is “a major problem that deserves attention,” but 64% oppose raising motor fuels taxes to address it, according to a poll by Americans for Prosperity.

Forty-five percent strongly oppose a motor fuels tax increase, and half said a legislator’s support for an increase would make them less likely to vote for him or her. The group, which supports smaller government and lower taxes, surveyed 500 voters by phone, 30% of those by cell, Sept. 22-24.

A long-awaited health care reform report by a consultant hired by a state legislative task force has been delivered to the Bureau of Legislative Research, but it won’t be released publicly until next Wednesday (Oct. 7).

Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, the chairman of the Health Reform Legislative Task Force, said Thursday The Stephen Group delivered its report as expected on deadline day, Oct. 1. The Bureau of Legislative Research will produce hard copies of the report and open a room at the Capitol next Monday and Tuesday for legislative members to review it there.

If you’re attacked by a turkey today, Arkansas medical providers will submit claims under one set of codes. If it happens tomorrow, they’ll use a different set – if they’re ready.

Coverage so far has ended for 60,348 Arkansans served by the private option and traditional Medicaid, but of those, 11,292 had their coverage reinstated after it was determined they were eligible.

A Northwest Arkansas-based company is developing blood tests it says will diagnose a range of medical conditions as accurately as current lab tests, but much more quickly and cheaply and from the privacy of a patient’s home.

NOWDiagnostics’ ADEXUSDx product encloses the entire process in a single plastic unit – like a home pregnancy test, but using blood instead of urine. Membranes inside the plastic housing separate plasma from blood cells, performing the same job as centrifuges in the lab, said the company’s CEO, Kevin Clark. Results are available within five to 15 minutes.

telemedicine
www.rochester.edu

Patients in Arkansas could establish a relationship with a doctor through a real-time audiovisual visit instead of an in-person visit under proposed regulations described by the State Medical Board Telemedicine Advisory Committee Wednesday.

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