The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) puts advocacy first year-round connecting with policy makers and representing our members. Members of the SDAHO Advocacy team have amped up efforts this past week, at both the state and federal level.
On December 6, Tammy Hatting, SDAHO’s Chief Operating Officer, attended the American Hospital Association’s Advocacy Day in Washington DC. The focus for the next 13 days is educating congress on the healthcare workforce crisis and the need for targeted relief to hospitals. Many payments to hospitals and health systems are dependent on Medicare and Medicaid which are fixed reimbursements that do not allow hospitals to absorb or deflect the impact of historic inflation levels. Significant workforce shortages, especially in post-acute care, creates a patient discharge backlog in hospitals with no additional reimbursement to cover the cost of those excess days. As congress begins to focus on its end of year agenda, SDAHO will continue to advocate for our members to ensure access to care for our patients and communities.
Also, this week, members of the advocacy team traveled to Pierre for Governor Kristi Noem’s Budget Address. The Governor unveiled her budget proposal for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024. Healthcare will once again take center stage during the legislative session, but SDAHO’s advocacy team feels good about the direction our state is going when it comes to our members and the healthcare community. The Governor announced she plans to propose a 5% increase for all Medicaid providers. Earlier this year, stakeholders worked on a nursing facility rate-methodology review. From those meetings a new base methodology was developed, and the Governor is recommending funding the methodology at 90% of cost, which equates to a 21% increase to nursing homes.
Regional Behavioral Health Centers may see $5.6 million dollars more in ongoing funds, as part of the Governor’s proposals. The facilities were built two years ago and expanded across the state last year. This funding increase will help fund the operations of the facilities.
The Governor acknowledged the passage of Medicaid Expansion on the November ballot and told lawmakers it will be implemented.
To stay on top of issues impacting healthcare at both the state and federal level, visit the SDAHO Advocacy webpage. The 98th Legislative session will begin January 10 and SDAHO’s advocacy team will be in Pierre for the entire run of the session providing information to policy makers and being a voice for our members. For the latest information on bills impacting the healthcare community, don’t forget to follow our Bill Tracker.