South Dakota Bill Would Allow Providers to Treat Patients Enrolled in Any Health Plan

A South Dakota bill would allow physicians to treat patients enrolled in any insurance plan in the state, as long as the providers are willing to meet the plans' terms and conditions, according to a Rapid City Journal report.

Healthcare providers in the state are divided by the legislation, according to the report. Chiropractors, optometrists and specialty providers like Black Hills Surgical Hospital in Rapid City support the bill, while Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) and systems operated by Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health and Avera Health, among others, do not.

One lawmaker, Rep. Melissa Magstadt (R), said she supports the bill due to concerns that large health systems in the state like Avera and Sanford, which offer their own insurance plans, are limiting patient choices and monopolizing the market.

A Sanford spokesperson said the system will contract with any provider willing to meet its terms and conditions, and called the legislation "overreaching and unnecessary," according to the report.

The House Health and Human Services Committee was unanimously supportive of the bill with a 11-0 vote. The legislation could be heard in a full House of Representatives debate today, according to the report.

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