Steve Brawner / Talk Business & Politics

Steve Brawner is a freelance journalist and contributor to Talk Business & Politics.

He is also a syndicated columnist in 10 Arkansas newspapers.

You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @SteveBrawner.

If you’re attacked by a turkey today, Arkansas medical providers will submit claims under one set of codes. If it happens tomorrow, they’ll use a different set – if they’re ready.

Coverage so far has ended for 60,348 Arkansans served by the private option and traditional Medicaid, but of those, 11,292 had their coverage reinstated after it was determined they were eligible.

A Northwest Arkansas-based company is developing blood tests it says will diagnose a range of medical conditions as accurately as current lab tests, but much more quickly and cheaply and from the privacy of a patient’s home.

NOWDiagnostics’ ADEXUSDx product encloses the entire process in a single plastic unit – like a home pregnancy test, but using blood instead of urine. Membranes inside the plastic housing separate plasma from blood cells, performing the same job as centrifuges in the lab, said the company’s CEO, Kevin Clark. Results are available within five to 15 minutes.


Patients in Arkansas could establish a relationship with a doctor through a real-time audiovisual visit instead of an in-person visit under proposed regulations described by the State Medical Board Telemedicine Advisory Committee Wednesday.


Should patients be able to receive medical care over the internet from a doctor with whom they’ve never had a face-to-face meeting? Under current Arkansas law, they can’t. 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge certified Tuesday (Sept. 8) the popular name and ballot title of a constitutional amendment that would reduce the number of amendments legislators can present to voters from three to one.

The popular name is “Curtail legislative amendments,” and the ballot title is “To reduce the number of constitutional amendments permitted the legislature from three to one by modifying Article 19, Section 22.”

Arkansas Department of Higher Education Logo. / Arkansas Department of Higher Education

Gov. Asa Hutchinson today called on the state’s higher education leaders to help create a new funding formula for colleges and universities and said a portion of the state’s lottery scholarship should be targeted to adults, to minorities, and to those seeking a technical certificate.

Ben Carson in Little Rock during the Republican Presidential primary election of 2016.

Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson touted his biography and called for a more self-sufficient, less dependent America, which he said is an “exceptional country” that, 200 years after its founding, put men on the moon.

“There’s a whole lot of people trying to get in here, and nobody trying to escape,” he said in a speech on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol on Thursday.

Arkansas’ private option has reduced the state’s uninsured ranks, reduced uncompensated care, and strengthened the overall insurance marketplace serving other insurance recipients, a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says.

The report, released on Wednesday, drew on data and on interviews conducted in April and May with state officials, medical providers, insurance carriers and advocates. The foundation analyzes national and global health policies.

petition signatures signature gathering

An Arkansas law moving up the deadline for independent candidates to present their petition signatures is constitutional because the state has a compelling interest in the earlier date, a district judge ruled Tuesday.

District Judge James Moody ruled that the law is needed to give the state time to process signatures, respond to litigation, and comply with federal law. He granted a summary judgment to the defendant, Mark Martin, Arkansas’ secretary of state. The case is Mark Moore, Michael Harrod, and William Chris Johnson v. Mark Martin.