Arkansas Health

2:06 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Arkansas Surgeon General: More Transparency Means Better Healthcare

This week’s nationwide release of data on doctors’ Medicare billing fees has many cheering the cause of making the costs associated with healthcare more transparent. The release also heralds a future of greater transparency as to how healthcare is delivered and assessed, according to Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson.

In Arkansas, numbers show oncologists, ophthalmologists and ambulance services tend to receive the most in Medicare payments. Thompson said he welcomes the greater transparency in healthcare costs but warns that the numbers could be taken out of context.

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Local & Regional News
2:00 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Arkansas Officials Kick Off Public Health Week

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola speaks at the event

Local government officials and the Arkansas Department of Health are trying to raise awareness about issues like obesity, childhood hunger, fitness and nutrition for National Public Health Week.

On Monday, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith, representatives from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and others gathered at the Big Dam Bridge to advocate for various educational initiatives.

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Local & Regional News
5:26 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Study: 1 Out Of Every 65 Arkansas Kids Diagnosed With Autism

A new report shows a sharp increase in the number of Arkansas kids being diagnosed with autism.

The study released Thursday says one in every 65 eight-year-olds have the disorder, which is characterized by impaired social interaction and restricted behaviors. The estimate is based on data from 2010.

Eight years earlier, one in every 145 kids at that age in Arkansas were considered to be autistic.

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Affordable Care Act
2:55 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

With Deadline Near, More Arkansans Signing Up On Insurance Marketplace

The deadline to sign up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace is nearing. Those seeking to enroll have until next Monday, March 31, or they may face a fine.

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Local & Regional News
6:24 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Arkansas Flu Deaths Reach 52 So Far This Season

The Arkansas Health Department says 52 people have died from influenza so far this flu season.

Officials said Tuesday that there's about one week left in peak flu season and the toll could still rise. Last flu season, 61 people in Arkansas died from the respiratory virus.

Little Rock television station KTHV reports that most of people who developed fatal infections were adults between ages of 25 and 62.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says the flu is classified as widespread in Arkansas.

Flu Season
3:44 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Arkansas Flu Deaths On The Rise

Arkansas's number of flu deaths this season is now 25.

Doctor Dirk Haselow, the state's epidemeologist says he thinks the state's flu season has peaked, but total deaths could top 50 before the season is fully over. He says with more flu season ahead, it's not too late to get a flu shot if you haven't had one already.

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Local & Regional News
3:27 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

UAMS Opens A New Sickle Cell Anemia Clinic

A new clinic for adults with sickle cell anemia is opening at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. 

The program will offer a 24/7 call center as well as provide yearly flu shots and things not always available in more rural areas.

Physician with the program, Dr. Robin Devan, says approximately 1,300 children and adults suffer from sickle cell in Arkansas, but treatment isn’t consistent.

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Local & Regional News
7:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Plenty Of Young Arkansans Choose Private Option, says DHS

Some enrollees for Arkansas's 'Private Option' version of Medicaid Expansion found they were eligible after applying for coverage through the federally-run website,

The Arkansas Department of Human Services says a significant number of younger adults are enrolling in the state’s private option. It allows people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,850 for an individual) to receive subsidized private health coverage using federal money devoted to Medicaid. Andy Allison, state Medicaid director, says its no surprise younger people are qualifying for the private option, since they tend to earn less.

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Local & Regional News
2:23 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Special Election Bodes Ill For Arkansas Health Plan

A Republican takeover of a northeast Arkansas state Senate seat dims the prospects for continuing the state's compromise Medicaid expansion plan and could be a troubling early sign for Democrats who had hoped to rebound from recent losses at the polls.

Republican John Cooper's win in the special election Tuesday for the seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Paul Bookout over ethics violations gives Republicans a 22-13 majority in the Senate and takes away a key vote for the "private option" Medicaid expansion lawmakers approved last year.

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Local & Regional News
12:11 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Northeast Arkansas Voters Pick GOP Candidate For State Senate

John Cooper

Republican John Cooper has won a northeast Arkansas state Senate seat, giving Republicans an extra seat in the Legislature in a race that was viewed as an early bellwether for this year's general election.

Cooper defeated Democratic nominee Steve Rockwell and replaces Democratic state Sen. Paul Bookout.

Bookout resigned last year after he was fined by the Ethics Commission for spending thousands in campaign funds on personal items such as clothing and theater equipment.

Complete but unofficial reports showed Cooper winning 57 percent of the vote.

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