Health care

Students from Louisiana prepare to join the 50th annual March for Life rally on Jan. 20, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Anti-abortion groups shrug off election losses, look to courts, statehouses for path forward

BY: - November 25, 2023

Anti-abortion groups are firing off a warning shot for 2024: We’re not going anywhere. Their leaders say they’re undeterred by recent election setbacks and plan to plow ahead on what they’ve done for years, including working through state legislatures, federal agencies, and federal courts to outlaw abortion. And at least one prominent anti-abortion group is […]

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Look beyond the ads and be cautious with Medicare Advantage

BY: - November 16, 2023

Television is flooded these days with commercials encouraging everyone to sign up for Medicare Advantage. What is it, and why are they doing this? First of all, a bit of history. For more than 30 years Congress has debated whether the private insurance industry could deliver Medicare benefits more efficiently than the federal government. In […]

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican and ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, appears for a podcast recording in September 2022 at the Kansas Reflector office in Topeka. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

VA secretary says agency will cooperate with investigation into veterans crisis line

BY: - November 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough sought to defend the veterans crisis line Wednesday in a letter to the Kansas senator who has raised concerns with how some veterans are treated after calling it. McDonough wrote in the three-page letter to Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran that the VA “takes any allegations […]

A sign on the Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Rapid City. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

VA veterans crisis line to face new investigation by congressional watchdog agency

BY: - November 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Government Accountability Office plans to investigate multiple whistleblower allegations of “gross mismanagement” at the Department of Veterans Affairs veterans crisis line, following a request from Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran, States Newsroom has learned. Moran, ranking member on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, sent a letter to the VA secretary this week […]

Soldiers from Ft. Lee, Virginia help mark Veterans Day ceremonies at the World War II Memorial Nov. 11, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Veterans Day in the United States honors those who have served in the nation’s military and also coincides with the anniversary of the conclusion of hostilities on the western front in World War I. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Veterans’ health care coverage expanded by Biden administration

BY: - November 10, 2023

Ahead of Veterans Day, Biden administration officials said Friday the Department of Veterans Affairs will expand health care coverage for certain groups of veterans and their families and create new programs meant to make care more accessible. The VA will make coverage of certain toxic burn pit-related conditions available sooner than anticipated. Family members of […]

Indigenous Budz marijuana dispensary in Lake Andes. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Ban on added flavors in medical pot products shot down by legislative panel

BY: - November 7, 2023

Lawmakers swatted back an attempt to ban flavoring in marijuana edibles and vape products on Tuesday in Pierre. They also shot down a rule that would have forced cannabis manufacturers to test the rolling papers used to make pre-rolls – also known as joints — in addition to testing the pot inside them. The rules […]

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If you’ve lost Medicaid since the pandemic, expansion coverage may be available

BY: - October 28, 2023

You may not recognize my name, but you might recognize my face. Last year at this time, my personal story was featured as part of the campaign to expand health insurance access in South Dakota. I shared how I didn’t have health insurance when I was diagnosed with leukemia at age 26. I encouraged you […]

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Advocates express patience as Medicaid expansion enrollments trail projections

BY: - October 19, 2023

Expanded Medicaid eligibility is attracting fewer enrollments so far than the state anticipated, but some industry insiders say that’s to be expected. Projections indicated about 52,000 people would be eligible for coverage under the expansion. The number of expansion enrollees reached somewhere between 11,000 and 12,000 as of Tuesday’s Board of Social Services meeting in […]

The South Dakota Capitol building in Pierre. (Seth Tupper/SD Searchlight)

Study group proposes a dozen ideas for long-term care with up to $9 million cost

BY: - October 18, 2023

Lawmakers on an interim committee studying long-term care in South Dakota plan to bring 12 proposals to the 2024 legislative session. The proposals are meant to support the long-term care industry as the state’s population ages. Problems in the industry have contributed to the closure of at least 18 nursing homes in South Dakota since […]

Jon Oh of Avera speaks to a guest after a panel at the 2023 South Dakota Biotech Summit in Sioux Falls. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Biotech panel: Patient needs must come first in adoption of artificial intelligence, advanced tech

BY: - October 12, 2023

SIOUX FALLS – Virtual visits have saved Sanford Health patients more than 25 million miles of travel by allowing them to skip the trip to a clinic, the company’s chief digital officer said on Thursday. But electronic medical records have made for less-efficient health care operations – at Sanford and across the health care industry, […]

A pregnant couple looks at a sonogram image. (Getty Images)

A disturbing conclusion about rising maternal deaths: Most are preventable

BY: - October 7, 2023

Our society faces a number of health care challenges, but the one I find most troubling is maternal mortality — women dying as a result of child birth.     The actual numbers are quite small but the tragedy associated with them is immense.  Furthermore, these deaths provide a window into the overall functioning, or rather the […]

South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations Chief Operating Officer Tammy Hatting presents to legislators on Sept. 25, 2023, in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Proposed nursing home staffing standards are ‘disaster waiting to happen,’ industry reps say

BY: - September 25, 2023

PIERRE — Proposed federal staffing standards for nursing homes that accept Medicaid would be catastrophic for South Dakota facilities, industry representatives warn. The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations and South Dakota Health Care Association both presented information to legislators at Thursday’s committee meeting at the Capitol on the sustainability of long-term care in the […]