A message from the South Dakota State Medical Association to physicians
: While you are working tirelessly to prepare your organization to safely
meet the needs of South Dakota patients, the SDSMA is here to support
you and to ensure that you have the information and resources you need
to stay safe, deliver high quality care, and manage public concerns. Read more.
SDSMA COVID-19 Update: June 1
COVID-19 SDDOH PPE Supply Request Form
Where can I find the latest information on COVID-19?
CDC Updates - What's new
South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH)
CDC Information for Healthcare Professionals
SDSMA Sends Letter to Sioux Falls City Councilors Urging Stay-at-Home order
SDSMA Sends Letter to Gov. Noem Urging Her to Issue Stay-at-Home Order Immediately
On April 3 the SDSMA sent a letter to Gov. Kristi Noem
urging her to issue a stay-at-home order. A stay-at-home order would
give our health professionals the necessary time and resources to manage
this pandemic. We may soon be facing the challenges and hardships being
seen in New York and other cities if a shelter in place order is not
American Medical Association Letter to National Goverors' Association Urging All Governors to Issue Stay-at-Home Orders Immediately
Joint Open Letter to the Public: Stay Home -- signed by South Dakota State Medical Association, South Dakota Nurses' Association and South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations
SDSMA News Release: SDSMA Urges Stronger State Response to COVID-19
SDSMA News Release: SDSMA Continues to Call for Stay-at-Home Order, Workplace Safety Protocols in Light of New COVID-19 Outbreak
SDSMA in the News
South Dakota cities, counties take action on COVID-19
: Associated Press
No coronavirus stay-home order in South Dakota despite hot spot traced to Smithfield Plant
: FOX Business
South Dakota's governor resisted ordering people to stay home. Now it has one of the nation's largest coronavirus hot spots
: Washington Post
"South Dakota must do more:" State medical association calls on Noem for stronger response to coronavirus
: Sioux Falls Argus Leader
South Dakota State Medical urging Noem to issue stay-at-home order
: KELO News
Update: CMS has announced it will pay the same rate for telephone as office visits.
On March 17, the Trump Administration announced expanded Medicare
telehealth coverage that will enable beneficiaries to receive a wider
range of health care services from their physicians without having to
travel to a health care facility. Medicare beneficiaries will be able to receive various services through
telehealth including common office visits, mental health counseling, and
preventive health screenings. This will help ensure Medicare
beneficiaries, who are at a higher risk for COVID-19, are able to visit
with their doctor from their home, without having to go to a doctor’s
office or hospital which puts themselves or others at risk. Private insurers including Avera Health Plans, Sanford Health Plan, and Wellmark are following Medicare guidelines. Providers should check with each insurer regarding instructions for billing for telehealth services. Click here to read more about telemedicine in South Dakota - detailed summary.
Click here for Gov. Noem's executive orders which include waiving of certain telemedicine regulations in South Dakota.
The OCR determined on March 17 that it will not impose penalties on
physicians using telehealth in the event of noncompliance with the
regulatory requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA). Physicians may seek to communicate with
patients and provide telehealth services through remote communications
technologies. Some of these technologies, and their use, may not fully
comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules. The OCR announcement means that physicians who want to use audio or
video communication technology to provide telehealth to patients during
the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency can use any non-public
facing service that is available to communicate with patients.
Information about expanded telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries: Provider Fact Sheet
and Medicare FAQ Document.
Also: Medicaid telehealth coverage update/waiver
HHS Office of Civil Rights Easing Enforcement of HIPAA Standards for Telehealth Services - Notification of Enforcement Discretion
Elective Surgeries and Procedures
Gov. Noem's "Back to Normal" document
April 17: Joint statement from American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and American Hospital Association -- Roadmap for Resuming Elective Surgery After COVID-19 Pandemic
CARES Act and Economic Stimulus
CARES Act Emergency Funds - SDSMA signs letter
discusses key provisions of the CARES Act that are important to physicians and physician practices.
Summary of CARES Act and how it impacts physicians and practices
AMA Sign-on Letter - Economic Stimulus
Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Emergency Declaration
President Trump Declares National Emergency
All executive orders here
-- including waiving of telemedicine regulations in South Dakota.
Declaration of Emergency - help decrease the spread of COVID-19 by social distancing
Stay 6 feet from others to decrease the spread of COVID-19.
CDC has developed several guidance documents that discuss use of social distancing based on the amount of community spread.
Cleaning of high-touch areas - For healthcare settings (environmental infection control)
Who can I call if I have questions?
General questions can be directed to the COVID-19 Helpline: 800-997-2880
Epidemiology questions can be direct to the SDDOH Office of Disease Prevention: 605-773-3737
Laboratory questions can be direct to the South Dakota Public Health Laboratory (SDPHL): 605-773-3368
Other Current Topics in Healthcare
Reforming the health system, advocating for medical homes for Medicaid patients, expanding Medicaid eligibility, and strengthening primary care are top issues for the South Dakota State Medical Association.
Read our legislative newsletter, InSession.
Read over our accomplishments during the 2019 legislative session.
SDSMA's 2020 Advocacy Agenda
Pain Management and Prescription Drug Abuse
The problem of prescription drug abuse and its related health consequences is a significant public health problem. The SDSMA is at the forefront on this issue by providing physicians with helpful, evidence-based guidelines for prescribing opiate analgesics to both effectively treat pain and minimize patient risk. Through a special committee on pain management and prescription drug abuse, the SDSMA has developed the whitepapers, Opiate Analgesics for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, and Effective Management of Acute Pain to serve as a resource for physicians and prescribers. This committee has researched evidence-based guidelines based on a review of the literature by a diverse group of highly trained physicians.
Download the SDSMA whitepaper, Opiate Analgestics for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain.
Download the checklist for prescribing opiates for chronic, non-cancer pain.
Download the SDSMA whitepaper, Effective Management of Acute Pain.
Download the SDSMA's whitepaper, Marijuana as Medicine.
Medicaid is a state and federally funded health care program that provides essential health care services to low-income patients. Without Medicaid, thousands more South Dakotans would be uninsured. Currently, Medicaid covers 116,000 South Dakotans.
To qualify, patients must be low income, though being poor does not mean a patient will qualify. For example, low-income childless adults are not eligible even if their income meets the state’s Medicaid income requirements.
Medicare and Medicaid, which now cover 35 percent of health care in the U.S., often pay physicians less than it costs them to provide services. Commercial insurance companies’ payment rates, computed largely as a percentage of Medicare, have followed the government-run programs. This leaves many South Dakota physicians struggling to keep their practices open. As a rural state, South Dakota faces tough challenges in providing access to quality, affordable care for all of our citizens.
The medical community understands the financial challenges facing South Dakota and our country, and that there are no easy decisions for policymakers when it comes to balancing the needs of the state with the resources available. However, cutting payments for health care services is not an effective tool for controlling health care costs, and often exacerbates the cost of care. Without physicians to see patients, the health care delivery system cannot be effective.
The SDSMA advocates not just for adequate funding for the Medicaid program, but for Medicaid eligibility expansion for those who make less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level, and for the program to promote wellness and prevention, coordinated care for those with chronic diseases, and assurance that all Medicaid patients have a medical home.
Every year for more than a decade, physicians faced a significant Medicare payment cut — the result of a flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. In 2015, after years of advocacy from the SDSMA, AMA, and other state medical societies, Congress passed historic SGR repeal legislation. This legislation contains core elements of a more reasonable and better-functioning Medicare program.
Strengthening Primary Care
A primary care task force created by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in 2012 aimed to expand the state's educational capacity to train more primary health care providers for rural areas of South Dakota. The group was comprised of medical and health professionals, as well as policymakers. SDSMA Past President Robert L. Allison, MD, represented the SDSMA on the task force.
Task force recommendations focused on medical school class size, components of rural training for medical students, residency programs in the state, and physician assistant and nurse practitioner program capacity. Dr. Allison continues to serve on the task force's Oversight Committee to ensure accessibility to primary care for all South Dakotans -- particularly in rural areas of the state.