Health Care

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Avera Health is removing its South Dakota hospitals, clinics, and physicians from the Sanford Health Plan. The change means people who have Sanford insurance won’t have coverage if they go to Avera’s providers. It’s the latest development in a health care clash among the state’s two largest health systems.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans who don’t have insurance are more likely to skip cancer screenings. Figures from the South Dakota Department of Health show insurance status affects patients’ preventative care decisions.

Health leaders are examining cancer screening rates, and they say a stark division emerges when breaking down the numbers.

Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon leads South Dakota’s Department of Health. She says people without insurance receive fewer cancer screenings than people with health coverage.

Erin Mairose

The VA Health Care System is undertaking $20 million dollars in construction and renovations on its facility in Sioux Falls. Officials hope the additional space will help doctors provide better care to area veterans.

Darwin Goodspeed is the Director of the VA Health Care System in Sioux Falls. He says not having space for doctors to see patients is a limiting factor in providing care. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A United States Senator and a state lawmaker agree that the federal government is failing to provide adequate health care to Native Americans. United States Senator John Thune and South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert see different solutions to ongoing problems with the Indian Health Service.

U-S  Senator Thune has legislation in Congress aimed at comprehensive reform for federal health services for Native Americans. He says the bill makes it easier to fire ineffective IHS leaders, examines whistle-blower protections, and requires fiscal accountability so patient care funds actually make it to patients.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans list agriculture as the number one driver of economic development. That’s according to a recent survey that polled people nationally and gathered data in three separate states. Some people’s perceptions of the economy don’t jibe directly with information from businesses. 

A Wells Fargo and USA Today survey polled South Dakotans to find out which sectors they think contribute to a healthy economy. The top responses in order were agriculture, health care, education, construction, and retail.

VA's Choice Act: Helping Or Hurting Rural Vets?

May 2, 2016

Some veterans in rural America say a new system designed to better serve their health care needs is failing.

The Choice Act passed congress in 2014 in the wake of a scandal at Department of Veterans Affairs.   Lawmakers stepped in when the VA was criticized for long waiting lines and poor service.

Today a company called Health Net does some of work formerly done by the VA.  It’s a privatized part of the health care system for veterans authorized by the Choice Act.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

First-year medical students are tapping into new technologies that support health providers in rural areas. Avera’s eCare facility provides live video access to specialists and emergency physicians to support providers in different circumstances. Some students say it makes them more confident in pursuing work in rural medicine. 

Medical students in short white coats surround a mannequin. Three volunteers in blue paper gowns take direction from a physician on a TV screen who walks them through life-saving techniques.

Avera

A new treatment for brain tumors is available at Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls starting early May.

Officials say the new technology is the first of its kind to be offered in the state.

 

The radiation technology treatment uses what is known as a ‘gamma knife.’ It is a non-invasive treatment for brain tumors. Before, patients seeking this form of treatment had to travel to Rochester Minnesota or Omaha. 

 

Regional Health CEO Backs Medicaid Expansion

Mar 29, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

The CEO of Regional Health, Brent Phillips, says the talk on Medicaid expansion in South Dakota has too often missed the point.  

Phillips says expanding Medicaid to thousands of uninsured residents will not only help Native people but also be a huge boost to the economy.  

Regional Health is among the largest employers in western South Dakota, and one of the largest health care providers in the state.

Brent Phillips, Regional Health CEO grew up on a Dairy Farm.

Regional Health operates health care facilities across western South Dakota.  Brent Phillips, the new CEO of Regional Health, joined Dakota Midday to discuss the challenges of rural health care, Medicaid expansion, the Affordable Care Act and issues regarding health care for veterans and American Indians.

Informed Consent Abortion Bill Passes

Mar 7, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

House Bill 1157 has cleared the state legislature.

The measure requires medical doctors to inform a woman who is undergoing a drug-induced abortion that she can stop the procedure by not taking a second pill. 

Statehouse Podcast: Medical Marijuana, Death Penalty, Ed Funding

Feb 10, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for February 10th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on medical marijuana, the death penalty, education funding, healthcare, sex ed, and abortion.

State Leaders Wait For Medicaid Plan

Feb 8, 2016

Medicaid expansion is one of the major topics at the State Capitol this legislative session. Lawmakers are still waiting to hear details from the federal government before moving forward.

 

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for February 3nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on transgender and gay marriage polices and effort to modify a measure dealing with health care passed by voters in 2014.  The podcast also includes an update on the bill requiring the results of abortion facility inspections to be posted on-line and legislation that requires schools to implement and practice safety plans.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that changes the types of health plans allowed in South Dakota. It modifies an initiated measure passed in 2014.

 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State leaders are talking weekly with federal officials as they work on a change that could prompt Medicaid expansion in South Dakota. Governor Dennis Daugaard says federal leaders need to settle their policy before South Dakotans can decide whether the state can financially support as many as 55,000 more people on Medicaid.

The Medicaid expansion discussion typically falls along party lines. Democrats push for the state to accept federal dollars and change the rules to make more people eligible for the program, while Republican lawmakers and the governor says it’s too expensive.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The deadline looms for seniors who want insurance plans to help cover the cost of prescription drugs. Monday is the last day to enroll in or change Medicare Part D insurance plans. One expert says seniors should find out whether they can benefit from prescription drug coverage, even if they’re already enrolled.

Medicare Part D plans are private health insurance from private companies that are subsidized by the federal government. That means seniors pay for the drug plans, but they don’t have to cover the full cost of the insurance out of pocket.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Avera Health is buying insurance organization DakotaCare. Company leaders are not revealing the purchase price. Talks started two weeks ago, and representatives for both entities could reach a final deal by the end of this month. Leaders say customers and employees likely won’t notice changes in the short term.

The board chair for DAKOTACARE says health insurance reform can be good for consumers but difficult on insurance companies. Doctor Kevin Bjordahl says sometimes making insurance affordable for a patient puts a strain on insurance providers.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Medical professionals from six small hospitals across South Dakota are learning how to handle complications during childbirth. Avera Health teams of doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other care providers are working in teams in critical simulations.

Eight medical professionals crowd around a simulator that forces them to figure out how to deliver a baby when its shoulders are stuck. Trainers use a device to measure the pressure a doctor or nurse puts on a baby while trying to free the newborn.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A woman who survived the Boston Marathon bombing says people with disabilities deserve respect and opportunity. She is one speaker during this week’s Disabilities Rights Conference in Sioux Falls. The gathering is aimed at health workers, business leaders, educators and officials to raise awareness and remind people of their role in protecting the rights of people with disabilities.

Before April 15, 2013 Heather Abbott was a full-time human resources manager who specialized in affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.

The chief cancer control officer of the American Cancer Society is encouraging South Dakotans to get tested for colon cancer. National estimates show one in three adults over age 50 is not screened, even though survival chances skyrocket when doctors catch the disease early. Colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death for both men and women in the country.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The conversations of Dakota Midday on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 are woven together with an economics thread.

Workforce initiatives can't rely on the quality of jobs in South Dakota if they want to attract people from other regions. Research shows the way younger people choose careers is different than you might expect. J. Mac Holladay is the founder and CEO of Market Street Services based in Atlanta, Georgia. He explains why place may matter more than a certain kind of employment.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls is gaining another emergency department. Avera Health is building a new family medical center west of Interstate 29, and health leaders are including a full-service emergency room. The free-standing ER will provide quick access for people experiencing a health crisis.

By this time next year, physicians, nurses, and a care team will operate an emergency department on the west side of Sioux Falls for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Area leaders say technology is rapidly changing the way they do business. People from different industries met in Sioux Falls Thursday to discuss technology and South Dakota’s economy. The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce worked together for the free event.

Kealey Bultena
SDPB

The United States House is on recess, and Congresswoman Kristi Noem is back in South Dakota. Tuesday the state’s lone Representative spoke in Sioux Falls at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon. She then met with some young professionals for a discussion about issues they see.

Men with careers in finance, politics, law and technology have questions for Congresswoman Kristi Noem.  Yannick Laroche is a production manager in wind energy.

State of South Dakota

SUGGESTED LEAD:  The National Association of Lieutenant Governors is beginning a program to improve the results of clinical drug trials.  The “Be The Cure” effort is designed to encourage Native Americans and other minority populations to take part in trials to prove effectiveness of prescription drugs.

Amy Varland

The Good Shepherd Clinic in Spearfish offers free walk-in healthcare to residents of the Northern Black Hills that do not have health insurance.

Kay Cox is the President of the clinic. She says many people, including many with jobs, cannot afford even the most basic health care services.

Cox says at the Good Shepherd Clinic certified local healthcare professionals offer their services for free to those who need it most.

Michael Lawler, Ph.D., Dean of the USD School of Health Sciences discusses the role of interprofessional education in Health Sciences.  The concept called "interprofessionalism" simulates and teach activities that mimic reality.  It helps students understand the role of other healthcare professionals as it relates to their own field.  

Kealey Bultena SDPB

When South Dakotans go to the polls on Tuesday, they’ll vote on a ballot measure dealing with healthcare. Initiated Measure 17 would change state law by requiring health insurers to include all willing and qualified health insurers on their provider lists. It would allow medical doctors, clinics, and specialty hospitals to become part of insurance networks that they currently can’t join.

SDPB

Each of the three candidates for Governor of South Dakota is highlighting why voters should choose him or her to lead the state. With less than one month until people go to the polls, gubernatorial hopefuls met on live television for a debate on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. The debate lasted one hour. This latest gubernatorial faceoff touched briefly on several statewide issues, but two primary topics dominated the discussion: education and health care.

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