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.

telemedicine
www.rochester.edu

A rule allowing doctors and patients to establish a relationship using audiovisual technology was approved by a legislative subcommittee Tuesday. But the rule still would not let some telemedicine companies operate in Arkansas, so those companies will attempt to change the law in next year’s legislative session.

The Secretary of State’s office has validated two additional candidates to run for president in Arkansas, while a political group has enough signatures but must find a candidate.

Sec. of State Mark Martin (R)
sos.arkansas.gov / Secretary of State's Office

The Democratic Party of Arkansas has retained the Rose Law Firm for a potential Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office.

Talk Business & Politics reports party officials also plan to make other FOIA requests, and with allied groups, are considering hiring an Atlanta-based voting rights litigation specialist and suing the office in federal court.

Governor Asa Hutchinson Elyxor
Alden Walters / KUAR News

A software engineering company with an office in North Little Rock is expanding from four to 45 employees over the next five years, its leadership and Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday. Boston-based Elyxor supports clients around the world in finance, health care, eCommerce, industrial products and supply chains.

marijuana
npr.org

The Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation is joining with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in opposing two medical marijuana initiatives that are likely to be on the ballot this November.

Arkansas is one of 16 states where physician practices will participate in a Medicare payment model reimbursing physicians for providing comprehensive, coordinated patient care.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday that beginning January 2017, the five-year Comprehensive Primary Care Plus model reimburses physicians for providing primary care and focuses on access and continuity, comprehensive and coordinated care management, patient and caregiver engagement, and planned care and population health.

marijuana
npr.org

A proposed constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for medical use fell short of the number of valid signatures required but will have 30 days to make up the difference.

To qualify for the ballot, proposed amendments this year must collect 84,859 signatures. According to a letter sent by the secretary of state’s office to David Couch of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, 72,309 of the 99,629 signatures the group submitted were valid.

marijuana
npr.org

An effort is forming to oppose ballot initiatives that would legalize medical marijuana, saying it would lead to increased use of the drug and, eventually, full legalization.

The Coalition for Safer Arkansas Communities held an informational meeting Friday that included a message from Terry Benham of Impact Management, who is managing the group’s campaign, Keep Arkansas Safe. The main speaker was Little Rock native and Colorado resident Henny Laster of Smart Colorado, a group that opposes marijuana legalization in that state.

v
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansans may have the chance to vote on two medical marijuana initiatives in November. What happens if both pass? The one with the most votes wins, probably. Talk Business and Politics reports.

Virginia Guard Public Affairs / flickr.com

Increased drug costs have caused the state’s five-year match for Arkansas Works to rise from $705 million to $730 million, legislators were told by a consultant Monday.

The Stephen Group told the Health Reform Legislative Task Force that the waiver the state is seeking from the federal Department of Health and Human Services includes a state match that has risen by $25.4 million. The total estimated cost of the program has increased from $9.04 billion to $9.35 billion from the initial waiver request. Most will be funded by the federal government.

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