Arkansas Healthcare

Public Health
4:48 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Lung Cancer On The Decline In Arkansas

Credit Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday show the rate of lung cancer is in decline around the nation. The same is true in Arkansas. After a steady increase for a number of years, the state has seen a sharp decline in lung cancer from around 84 cases per 100,000 people in 2007 to 70 cases per 100,000, according to Dr. Gary Wheeler of the Arkansas Department of Health. Though he says the state struggled for many years to prevent a rise in lung cancer.

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Public Health
6:46 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Flu On The Rise In Arkansas

Credit Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Cases of Influenza are widespread this year in Arkansas. Health officials say the virus has been spreading rapidly throughout the southeast.

Kerry Krell of the Arkansas Department of Health says the most prevalent strain this year is H1N1, which is known to affect young, healthy people more often than other strains. She says this season’s flu outbreak has shown a pattern of severity that should lead people to take precautions as it has already led to some fatalities in the state.

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Local & Regional News
1:09 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

More Than 93K Applicants for Arkansas Private Option

The Arkansas Department of Human Services says more than 93,000 people have filed applications for health insurance under Arkansas' private option plan to expand Medicaid.

The state said Thursday that of those 93,000 applications, more than 74,000 have been deemed eligible for the private option.

This year, the Arkansas Legislature voted to use Medicaid money for private health insurance coverage for about 250,000 people.

The agency says about 5,900 people have been assigned to the traditional Medicaid plan because of health needs. The coverage starts Jan. 1.

Public Health
6:04 am
Thu December 12, 2013

As Arkansas Remains Highly Obese, State Health Officials Consider New Solutions

Credit Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

For the past decade, Arkansas health officials have taken significant steps to curb obesity in the state. But Arkansas still ranks third nationally in the percentage of obese adults, at nearly 35 percent of its total population last year. On Thursday and Friday, more than 60 public health experts and officials from around the state will convene at Petit Jean Mountain for a summit to assess ideas for dealing with the epidemic over the next ten years.  KUAR’s Chris Hickey spoke with two officials about previous policy efforts and what Arkansas can do about obesity in the future.

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Local & Regional News
6:37 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Arkansas Medicaid Inspector General Launches Website

After the Arkansas Legislature passed a law earlier this year creating a new office of the Medicaid Inspector General, the agency has been setting up it independent operations and has recently created

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Affordable Care Act
5:42 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Legislative Audit Committee Approves Check Of Arkansas' New Private Option

The Legislative Joint Auditing Committee went back and forth Friday morning about why they are requesting the Division of Legislative Audit to complete a special report on the state's very new private option Medicaid expansion plan.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The state’s Division of Legislative Audit will conduct a special report for lawmakers to assess the early days of enrollment into Arkansas’s Private Option Medicaid expansion plan.

The Legislative Joint Auditing Committee approved the special report Friday.

Supporters of the Private Option, including Representative Reginald Murdoch, asked whether the audit report of such a new program was meant to hamper its implementation.

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Local & Regional News
5:49 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Arkansas Signs Up 62,000 People For State Health Insurance

More than 66,000 Arkansans have applied for health insurance under the state's expansion of the Medicaid program as part of the federal health care overhaul.

The state's Medicaid director told legislators on Thursday that of those, just over 62,000 applications have been approved. 

The Public Health Committee also heard from state Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford, whose office says there are 71 available health plans from four insurance companies.

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Local & Regional News
6:05 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Arkansas Senate President Names 4 To Insurance Panel

Arkansas Capitol

Senate President Michael Lamoureux has named four lawmakers to a task force created as part of a package of laws aimed at overhauling and increasing funding to the health insurance program for thousands of public school teachers. 

Lamoureux on Tuesday named Republican Sens. Cecile Bledsoe of Rogers and David Sanders of Little Rock and Democratic Sens. Linda Chesterfield of Little Rock and Eddie Cheatham of Crossett to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program Legislative Task force. 

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Local & Regional News
10:40 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Beebe Says He'll Call Special Session On Teacher Insurance Fix

File photo of Gov. Mike Beebe.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Members of the Arkansas Legislature are expected to convene for a special session Thursday afternoon to address health insurance increases for the state’s public school employees. 

Governor Mike Beebe will issue an official call for the special session later Wednesday. 

A 50 percent hike in insurance premiums for public school employees was set to take effect January 1, if lawmakers were unable to rally enough votes in support of a short term fix that would cap premium increases at 10 percent.

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Local & Regional News
12:05 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Thousands Of Arkansans Enroll In “Private Option” Health Insurance Program

Officials with the state’s Department of Human Services are releasing figures on the number of Arkansans who want to enroll in the “private option” health insurance program. 

According to data released Tuesday, after two weeks of enrollment efforts, over 56,000 adults have expressed an interest in joining the new program.

Amy Webb with DHS says these figures differ from enrollment numbers for the AR Health Connector web portal.

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