Arkansas Healthcare

Arkansas Insurance Department Commissioner Alan Kerr (front) and Communications Director K Ryan James at a meeting of the Health Reform Legislative Task Force.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Insurance Department is submitting health insurance rate increase requests to the federal government for approval on Tuesday and state officials are already expecting an even larger hike this time next year. 

marijuana
npr.org

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has again rejected a proposed constitutional amendment for the 2018 ballot to legalize marijuana in the state.

The proposal by Mary Berry of Summit would allow the cultivation, production, distribution, sale, possession and use of the cannabis plant and all products taken from the plant, including marijuana.

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.

Arkansans are healthier than they would have been without the Affordable Care Act, researchers say.  

A new study comparing health outcomes for low income residents of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas following the federal rollout of the Affordable Care Act has found states that expanded Medicaid saw the health benefits.

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.

Leslie Rutledge attorney general
oversight.house.gov/

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says federal law won't allow Arkansas to limit the number of people who are enrolled in the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion.

Rutledge told state Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie in an advisory opinion issued Monday that she didn't believe federal law would allow the state to put such limits on the program, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor. Lawmakers earlier this year approved a plan to continue the program, which was created as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

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.

The Arkansas Department of Health and Louisville, Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare Inc. have announced the completion of the sale of the department's in-home health care operations for $39 million.

The finalized sale was announced Monday.

The state announced last August it was phasing out the program that provides in-home services to about 3,380 people.

Ted Suhl
Nelson Chenault / Arkansas Times

A federal jury convicted a north Arkansas man who owned several mental health facilities on bribery charges late Thursday afternoon. The Arkansas Times reports that after almost five hours of deliberations, Ted Suhl was found guilty of four of six counts for allegedly funneling money to a top official at the Arkansas Department of Human Services in exchange for getting preferential treatment from the 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.

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