Hospitals

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A new agreement preserves health insurance options for 26,000 State of South Dakota employees. State leaders and Sanford Health negotiated to cover state employees at an in-network cost. That allows some DakotaCare patients to see Sanford doctors without huge price increases.

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

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.

The House Health and Human Services committee passed House Bill 1244 on Thursday to help give health insurance to South Dakotans below the 100 percent poverty line. An amendment to the bill deals with hospital tax exemptions.  It removes the tax exemption from hospitals with over 50 beds. Republican State Representative Steve Hickey says the amendment is a long shot. But he says it’s a conversation that needs to happen within the state legislature.

Makers: Presentation Sisters

Jan 14, 2013

In February, PBS airs a special series called Makers.  It's about women in the United States who make a difference in their profession.  This week, Dakota Midday is featuring women in South Dakota who have made a difference.  Karl Gehrke visited with Sister JoAnn Sturzl and Sister Lois Ann Sargent on Monday in the first of this week-long series.  The Presentation Sisters have a long history in South Dakota with ministries dedicated to education and healing.

Native American Healers

Jan 3, 2013

Sanford Health is beginning a system-wide program to improve employees' cultural awareness of the area's Native American populations. The health system is working to hire two traditional Native healers to inform health care staff of specific needs and cultural concerns of American Indian patients. Sanford Health received a 12 million dollar award from the Center for Medicaid Services to design and develop a new model of care, and implement that new model of care through training and workforce development. One healer has been hired, and one more will join the staff soon.