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GAO: Arkansas Medicaid plan not revenue-neutral

GAO: Arkansas Medicaid plan not revenue-neutral

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Government auditors say Arkansas' private option Medicaid plan will cost taxpayers an extra $778 million over the next three years rather than being "revenue-neutral" to the federal budget.

The Department of Health and Human Services disagreed with the findings, which were released Monday. It said the federal Government Accountability Office didn't take into consideration major program changes within Arkansas' Medicaid system.

A spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe said the report was prepared without anyone at the GAO contacting Arkansas for its input. Spokesman Matt DeCample said the state should expect higher startup costs as 200,000 people enter the health care system, but that costs eventually will be lower as the population becomes healthier.

Under the plan, Arkansas will use Medicaid funds to provide private health insurance for poor people.

Help the Red Cross prepare for emergencies by donating blood

Help the Red Cross prepare for emergencies by donating blood

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (RedCross) — Disasters can strike at any time, and the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help their communities prepare for emergencies by giving blood during National Preparedness Month.

The mission of the Red Cross is to help the public prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. During National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross reminds Americans to take simple steps to get ready for emergencies in their homes, workplaces and communities. One way to support this mission is to become a regular blood donor.

A stable blood supply is central to ensuring patient needs are met in emergencies. Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients. It’s the blood already on the shelves that can help save lives when disaster strikes.

Department of Health unveils new non-smoking campaign

Department of Health unveils new non-smoking campaign


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Arkansas Department of Health unveils a new campaign encouraging smokers that quitting is possible.

The campaign features Alberta Faye Hires, a former smoker and Quitline graduate, who took steps towards a healthier lifestyle in 2008 and now runs marathons.

Doctor Gary Wheeler with the Arkansas Department of Health believes telling positive stories like Hires's is the key to making an impact.

"We're sharing a positive story because we want people to know that they can do it, they just need to stick to it and keep seeking help and assistance and they can be successful and that's what happened with Alberta Faye," said Wheeler.

Since 2008, nearly 60,000 Arkansans have called the Quitline for help to stop smoking.

Race for the Cure scheduled for October

Race for the Cure scheduled for October

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Women united in the city on Tuesday as the Arkansas chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation made their big "Race for the Cure" announcement.

The theme for this year's race is "Move. Be Moved".

A breast cancer survivor spoke at the event today, describing her fight and what the race means to her.

"My wonderful husband Barry Marshall and my beautiful daughter Mattie Underwood were right by my side during the process giving constant, love, care, support and it's this same love that you cannot help but to experience on the race day," said survivor Celese Marshall.

The race is set for Saturday, October 4th. Their goal is set at $1.6 million for breast cancer research, education, screenings and treatments.

The Arkansas Race for the Cure is one of the largest Komen events across the country.

Blood drives happening in August

Blood drives happening in August

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Red Cross)— The American Red Cross encourages all eligible blood donors to make an appointment to donate blood soon to help prevent a shortage.

During the summer months, on average, about two fewer donors give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what is needed to meet the needs of patients. Vacations and summer activities are among the reasons regular donors may not find the time to give. But, patients don’t get a vacation from needing blood – the need is constant.

As a national network, the Red Cross has a unique responsibility to help ensure blood is available for patients whenever and wherever it is needed. By donating blood or platelets through the Red Cross, donors may be helping patients in their community or patients across the nation.

Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days, so they must constantly be replenished.

Changes to School Immunization Requirements Effective 2014-15 School Year

Changes to School Immunization Requirements Effective 2014-15 School Year

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (ADH) – Children who will be 11 years of age or older on or before September 1 of each school year will be required to receive a Tdap shot in order to attend public or private school in Arkansas. This new requirement is anticipated to be effective September 1, 2014. Previously a Tdap shot was required for students entering Grade 7. Only one Tdap is required, so children who have already received the shot will not need another. Students who will be 11 years old on or before September 1 will have until October 1 to meet this new shot requirement.

Whooping cough a growing concern in Arkansas

Whooping cough a growing concern in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Colds and coughs aren't typically what parents think of in the summertime. But keeping the kids safe this summer also means looking out for lingering diseases. The state has already seen 112 cases of whooping cough or pertussis this year.

"Pertussis is a very contagious respiratory disease caused by a bacterium called Bordetella Pertussis," said Dr. Dirk Haselow, Arkansas State Epidemiologist.

Symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose can mimic allergies and the common cold, making it harder to diagnose. Severe cases cause a cough so bad, you could break a rib or vomit blood.

Watch full report: http://on.kthv.com/1oUcast