Governor’s office updates coalition on Medicaid expansion

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The South Dakota Healthcare Solutions Coalition held a conference call meeting last week in which officials from the governor’s office shared a number of updates on the status of efforts to expand Medicaid in the state.

In May, the coalition created implementation workgroups including healthy operations, tele-health, behavioral health, alternative delivery service model and hospital care coordination. The groups have made significant progress as they work through the steps necessary to successfully implement the initiatives. Their focus is to achieve improvements in care coordination and health outcomes, that would result in additional federal funding for services furnished to Medicaid-eligible Native Americans in South Dakota.

The governor’s team has provided ongoing guidance to assist the workgroups in analyzing and determining implementation plans. The information gathered will assist in developing communication and education materials to be shared with members of the South Dakota Legislature and general public.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard continues to provide strong leadership in support of the coalition. The workgroups have determined that if the care coordination changes are implemented, savings to cover the state’s obligation for the cost of Medicaid expansion can be fully funded, estimated to be $57 million by 2020. This would increase access to care for an estimated 50,000 South Dakotans, including 15,000 Native Americans.

The coalition will receive additional updates throughout the summer and into the fall. A significant amount of work has been accomplished thus far and, the efforts and learning continues. SDAHO shares in the governor’s optimism that Medicaid expansion can become a reality in South Dakota.