South Dakota state government is shifting more of American Indians’ care to federal government

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s Medicaid program didn’t have to pay nearly $9.3 million for various types of healthcare that Native Americans received from providers outside the federal Indian Health Service during the budget year that ended June 30, according to a report Tuesday.

The federal government instead paid 100% of the tribal members’ costs under coordinated care agreements.

Normally the federal government is fully responsible for costs of services provided by the Indian Health Service, while the federal and state governments share responsibility for costs of services provided by Medicaid for lower-income people who aren’t eligible for IHS care.

But some tribal members who are eligible for IHS care have been receiving some services through Medicaid because they aren’t available through IHS in places where those patients live. Those services would have cost state government $9,292,242 in the past fiscal year, up from $8.4 million one year ago.

State government’s savings will be used to fund recommendations of the South Dakota Health Care Solutions Coalition, increase reimbursement rates and share with participating providers, according to the report.

Various representatives of tribal, public, private, federal and state healthcare systems have served since the previous Daugaard administration on a panel. known as the community-based providers shared savings workgroup, that assembled and administers the agreements.

During the workgroup’s meeting Wednesday, state Representative Jean Hunhoff of Yankton said followup is needed with patients and providers on their respective levels of satisfaction under the agreements. State Social Services Secretary Laurie Gill said she would provide a report.

Bill Snyder, state government’s Medicaid director, said the reporting schedule will change to a calendar year to better reflect the time the federal government needs for approving data. Snyder said the conversion means the next report would cover eight months rather than 12.

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