2017 Session will review interim committee work


Several committees met throughout the past interim and are bringing forth proposals for the entire legislature to consider.

Payment methodologies for Medicaid providers:  Medicaid is a federal-state partnership to provide medically necessary services to children of low income parents, pregnant women, very low income parents, low income elderly, and disabled individuals.  In FY2015, South Dakota provided Medicaid coverage to 146,736 people, at a cost of $882.5 million.  Under our Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), South Dakota pays 48.4% of the costs and the federal government pays 51.6%.

There is concern that the program reimburses providers only a portion of their costs of providing the service.  Some providers are unwilling to accept Medicaid patients because of the cost/reimbursement disparity.  This committee did not propose any specific legislation, but will instead be working with the Appropriations Committee to explore ways to better align reimbursement rates with the costs of the services.

Regulation of Nursing and Assisted Living Beds: In 1988, South Dakota enacted a nursing facility moratorium.  The moratorium was extended five times, with an indefinite extension in 2005.  The main purpose of the moratorium is cost control.  However, there is no mechanism to take unused moratorium beds from one facility and transfer them to another facility where they are needed.

The committee brought forth five pieces of legislation to require additional reporting, allow nursing facilities to sell, transfer, or redistribute unused beds, and to establish a program to help nursing facilities and assisted living facilities in recruiting health care personnel.

Substance Abuse Prevention:  This committee looked closely at the problems of meth and prescription drug use, and possible community prevention or intervention for pre-teens, teens, and young adults.  The committee is bringing in four pieces of legislation dealing with prescription drug monitoring, appropriating money to implement a substance abuse prevention program targeted at Native American students, and require the Board of Pharmacy to annually report the number of opoid prescriptions and updates to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

I continue to serve on the Ag Land Assessment Oversight task force.  We are bringing in one bill to clarify the criteria for determining if property is classified as agricultural land for tax purposes.  SB7 is an effort to clarify a bill passed last year, to help Directors of Equalization determine what land should be classified as agricultural. The bill establishes a two-part criteria: first, that its principal use is devoted to raising and harvesting of crops or the rearing, feeding, and management of livestock; second, that it produces a certain percentage of income or is at least 20 acres in size.

Please feel free to contact me via email at maryduvall@midco.net

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