Arkansas Healthcare

Medicare
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
8:46 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Arkansas AG Asks Court To Reconsider Drug Ruling

File photo of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its decision tossing out a $1.2 billion judgment against drugmaker Johnson & Johnson over the marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

McDaniel on Monday filed a petition for rehearing over the high court's decision last month that the state misapplied the Medicaid fraud law in its suit against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc.

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Local & Regional News
12:22 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Director Named For Arkansas Health Insurance Exchange

The former director of Utah's health insurance exchange has been named director of the organization that's exploring whether to create a state-run insurance exchange in Arkansas.

Cheryl Smith will begin work next month for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace.

Arkansas has partnered with the federal government to run its exchange, but the state is exploring whether to establish its own state-run insurance marketplace.

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Local & Regional News
3:44 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Arkansas Health Care Exchange Enrollment Falling Below Target

Arkansas officials say more than 33,500 people have signed up for the health insurance exchange set up under the federal health law, well below the numbers they hoped to see before the enrollment deadline next week.

State officials on Thursday said the signup for the exchange, a marketplace where consumers can select health plans, has lagged in comparison to enrollments in the state's "private option" compromise Medicaid expansion.

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Local & Regional News
8:59 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers To Discuss 'Private Option'

Arkansas lawmakers are discussing the progress of the compromise on Medicaid expansion that they just reauthorized for another year.

The House and Senate public health committees were scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the "private option" plan to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for the poor. Approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health overhaul, the program was reauthorized by the Legislature during the session that ended earlier this month.

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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
2:58 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Private Option Overshadows GOP Primaries In Arkansas

Arkansas Capitol

The fight over Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion may be over in the Legislature, but it's now spilling over into a number of Republican primaries this spring.

GOP candidates who supported the "private option" plan to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for the poor are now facing friendly fire from within the party as they near the May 20 primary. The fight is spilling over into races that have nothing to do with the "private option" or health care, including the primaries for state treasurer and auditor.

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Local & Regional News
9:15 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Land Donated For Medical School Near Fort Smith

The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority has reclassified 200 acres of land donated to a planned medical school near Fort Smith.

The action changes permitted use of the land from mixed commercial and residential to institutional and clears the way for building permits.

The Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation announced plans in February for what it calls the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The foundation's board of directors committed $58 million to the project and the Redevelopment Authority donated the land.

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Arkansas General Assembly
8:06 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Discussions Bring Potential Changes To Private Option, Vote Expected Next Week

House Speaker Davy Carter (R, Cabot)
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

State Legislators say they’re getting closer to finding a way to pass funding for Arkansas’s private option. House Leadership have been meeting with opponents and Department of Human Services officials about the possibility of limiting the time period during which people can enroll in the program.

House Speaker Davy Carter said an idea is being floated to create a fixed period of open enrollment in private option health insurance plans. In meetings with opponents and DHS officials, the issue of setting a specific time frame for people to enroll was raised.

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Politics & Healthcare
6:39 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

In Fiscal Legislative Session, Discussions On Private Option Go On

Arkansas Capitol
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas House of Representatives again delayed a fifth vote on funding Arkansas’s private option alternative to Medicaid expansion Wednesday. It came just as the state Department of Human Services new released figures showing that 127, 051 people have been deemed eligible to receive assistance under the healthcare program, with 105,561 already covered.

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