COVID-19 Resources for Physicians

Update on SDSMA efforts and activities surrounding COVID-19 (posted November 24)

Keeping South Dakotans safe - click here for patient information and resources about COVID-19

A message from the South Dakota State Medical Association to physicians (posted March 17, 2020): 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.

COVID-19 funding available - applications due to the state of South Dakota by Oct. 23!

COVID-19 SDDOH PPE Supply Request Form - place a PPE order through the SDSMA's ActionPPE webstore.

Click here for a collection of physician wellness resources.

Where can I find the latest information on COVID-19?

CDC Updates - What's new

South Dakota Department of Health

CDC Information for Healthcare Professionals


Click here for Gov. Noem's executive orders which include waiving of certain telemedicine regulations in South Dakota.

CMS will pay the same rate for telephone as office visits.

Click here for telemedicine updates.

Information about expanded telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries: Provider Fact Sheet and Medicare FAQ Document.

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

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

This video 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

Executive Orders

All executive orders here -- including waiving of telemedicine regulations in South Dakota.


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.

American Medical Association Letter to National Governors' Association Urging All Governors to Issue Stay-at-Home Orders Immediately

SDSMA News Release: SDSMA Urges Stronger State Response to COVID-19

Who can I call if I have questions?

General questions can be directed to the COVID-19 Helpline:

Epidemiology questions can be direct to the SDDOH Office of Disease Prevention:

Laboratory questions can be direct to the South Dakota Public Health Laboratory (SDPHL):


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 2020 legislative session

SDSMA's 2021 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 SDSMA whitepaper, Effective Management of Acute Pain


Download the SDSMA's whitepaper, Marijuana as Medicine.


The SDSMA is a partner in a broad coalition, South Dakotans Decide Healthcare, which aims to let voters decide in the 2022 statewide General Election whether to expand health care in South Dakota for more than 40,000 South Dakotans. Thirty-eight states have now expanded Medicaid

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 effectiv

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.