Insurance & Benefits

High Cost of New Drugs Weighs on Medicaid

High Cost of New Drugs Weighs on Medicaid
In Arkansas’ Medicaid program, which covers about 600,000 Arkansans, costs for prescriptions drugs are climbing too. For the fiscal year that ended June 30, the Department of Human Services spent $372.3 million on prescription drugs, up 6 percent from the previous year.

A U.S. District Court case highlights concerns over the high costs of specialty drugs such as Kalydeco, which treats some cystic fibrosis patients at an approximate annual cost of $300,000.
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Blue & You Foundation Gives $2.6M in Grants

The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas has awarded more than $2.6 million in grants to 35 health improvement programs in Arkansas.
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Evaluating New Minimum Wage's Effects (Michael Pakko Commentary)

With the passage of ballot initiative No. 4, the minimum wage in Arkansas will increase in three steps to $8.50 per hour in 2017, $1.25 above the current federal minimum, making Arkansas one of many states to increase the minimum wage above the federally mandated level.
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No Daily Report, Morning Report or E-newsletters on Thursday, Friday

Arkansas Business will not send the Daily Report, Morning Report or weekly industry e-newsletters on Thursday and Friday in recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday. read more >

North Carolina Likely To Join Legislative Push on Uber, Lyft

North Carolina has become an attractive market for smartphone-based car services such as Uber and Lyft, which are drawn to the state's mid-sized cities that have college students and young professionals but lack extensive mass transit. It's also one of many states where little regulation exists outside of traditional cab and limo services. read more >

Car-Mart Uses GPS To Improve ‘Efficiency'

Car-Mart announced in its quarterly earnings report in August that it had invested in the GPS technology and the devices were now in about 67 percent of the cars it had sold. It should be no shocking news flash that many car buyers at dealerships such as Car-Mart have little credit or not the best of credit and thus are considered high risk. read more >

Arkansas Unemployment Rate Falls to 6 Percent in October

Arkansas' unemployment rate fell from September to October, dropping two-tenths of a percentage point to 6 percent, according to a report from the state Department of Workforce Services. read more >

More Than Just Math (Editorial)

While much has been claimed in the course of the recent election about Arkansans losing insurance coverage because of Obamacare, the dramatic decline in the total number of uninsured suggests that the number who lost insurance has been overwhelmed by the number who gained it. That's simple math. read more >

Americans' Opinion Remains Split on The Affordable Care Act

Americans' opinion about the Affordable Care Act remains divided, according to a mid-October poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation of Menlo Park, California. Seventy-seven percent of Republicans have an unfavorable opinion, while 59 percent of Democrats report a favorable opinion. read more >

Tyson Family Stock Nears $3 Billion; Waltons No. 1 On Top Stockholders List

The second-wealthiest family in northwest Arkansas, the Tysons, saw their stock holdings increase by nearly $1 billion over the past year — an increase of more than 40 percent. read more >

Beebe Outlines 2 Budget Proposals to Lawmakers

Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is warning lawmakers that state employees won't receive a pay raise next year and many state agencies will see their budgets reduced if some tax cuts approved last year take effect. read more >

Medicaid Needs Another $84M If Tax Cuts Proceed

Arkansas' Medicaid program will need an additional $84.2 million in state funding next year and another $60 million from the surplus if lawmakers move forward with tax cuts approved last year, outgoing Gov. Mike Beebe recommended Wednesday. read more >

Crittenden Regional Board Extends Liability Coverage, Then Files for Bankruptcy

Crittenden Regional Hospital's directors raised concerns about potential lawsuits against them and voted to extend the board's liability insurance the day before filing for bankruptcy in September. read more >

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