Arkansas Healthcare

marijuana
npr.org

A group opposing efforts to legalize medical marijuana has asked Arkansas' highest court to block a legalization proposal from appearing on the November ballot.

Attorneys for Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana on Wednesday asked the state Supreme Court to block the proposed initiated act, which would allow people with certain medical conditions to buy the drug. The secretary of state's office last month verified the measure had enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The lawsuit claims the wording of the proposal is misleading and omits key information.

Bart Hester
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The number of private option recipients whose insurance premiums are being paid by the program reached 258,161 in July, up 55,000 more than in January.

The number was 213,026 in January. In June, 250,885 were on the program, according to a letter and information sent to Gov. Asa Hutchinson by Department of Human Services director Cindy Gillespie Aug. 17.

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.

Pages