Governor Noem Addresses Health Care Leaders at All District Meeting

More than 60 healthcare executives gathered in Pierre, Feb 17 to hear details of SDAHO’s key state legislative priorities and meet with their lawmakers to discuss health care policy as part of the annual All District Meeting. The SDAHO delegation heard remarks from Gov. Noem, who emphasized the need for continued collaboration and cooperation.

  • Increase in state revenues- with potential flooding, and its negative impact on the agriculture industry, the state is still anticipating more revenue than expected for FY2020 $12.6M more than was estimated and for FY2021 $19.2M more than was estimated in December.
  • Assisted Living Rate Tiers: $2.6M in funding to increase reimbursement and enhance the ability to keep assisted living residents longer.
  • Meth. We’re On it: Gov. Noem launched the anti-meth campaign to bring awareness to the meth epidemic, to get people talking about being part of the solution, not just the problem, when it comes to the state’s meth epidemic.​

SDAHO delegation reviewed with Gov. Noem:

  • Rise in Uncompensated Care: Patient balances after insurance have continued to rise, increasing the amount of uncompensated care, the combination of bad debt and charity in South Dakota Uncompensated Care has risen from $160M to $180M a 13% increase.
  • Workforce: South Dakota providers are concerned about the need for an adequate supply of highly skilled health professionals to meet the demands for health care services now and in the future. More than half of hospital revenue comes from Medicare and Medicaid South Dakota Hospitals receive 76 cents for each dollar spent on Medicare patients and 70 cents for Medicaid patients. Medicaid is an important partner to providers, and without the state’s recognition of its share of the costs to provide services, providers simply can’t pay the competitive wages they must, to keep their workers.
  • Addressing Behavioral Health Care: Hospitals’ roles in their communities as providers of emergency, inpatient and outpatient care, as well as their relationships with community-based organizations, have made them central to addressing community-wide behavioral health care needs. Many are designing and implementing innovative strategies that support efforts to improve care, promote population health and lower costs of health care.

Finally, healthcare executives were able to discuss with legislators from their districts on the top legislative priorities for health care this year.