Arkansas Medical Care

Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker
KATV-Channel 7

A doctor from southwest Arkansas has been arrested on charges of overprescribing opiates and other drugs.

Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday the arrest of Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker and unsealed a grand jury indictment charging the Texarkana, Arkansas, physician with nine counts of prescribing without a legitimate medical purpose. Jordan is to appear in court Wednesday.

Safe Surgery Arkansas is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to appoint a special master to review its signature collections and it is challenging the legality of a new law that was used by the Secretary of State to reject counting its petitions.

Senator John Boozman
George Jared / Talk Business & Politics

Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas is cosponsoring legislation that attempts to address a shortage of physicians. Medical school graduates are required to complete residency training to begin practicing, but Boozman says a 1997 cap on Medicare funding has led to a shortage of available residencies in the state.

"We have a situation where we have a lot of people graduating from medical school and then can’t find residencies in Arkansas. So as a result, probably 40 percent of them go out of state. Many of them never come back," Boozman said.