Politics · January 20, 2021

South Dakota Governor: Legislation to Codify Healthcare Flexibilities

PIERRE, South Dakota (STL.News) Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that she will introduce two pieces of legislation to codify executive orders that originally provided flexibility to healthcare providers in response to COVID-19.  The two pieces of legislation cover telehealth and recognition of out-of-state healthcare licenses.

“COVID-19 challenged us in new, unforeseen ways, and those challenges provided us an opportunity to adapt and find innovative ways to deliver healthcare in South Dakota,” said Governor Kristi Noem.  “The flexibilities that we put in place in response to the pandemic have worked, with no concerns regarding their implementation.  We will continue to strengthen South Dakota healthcare by welcoming these successes, building on them, and leaving flexibility for even more innovation into the future.”

Governor Noem’s telehealth bill would make certain telehealth flexibilities permanent.

“We greatly expanded telehealth in 2020.  Since March, people have used tech services like these more than 70,000 times in South Dakota’s Medicaid program alone,” continued Governor Noem.  “In 2021, we will build on telehealth advancements and continue to find ways to remove government red tape in healthcare.”

Governor Noem’s license recognition bill would make permanent the recognition of certain out-of-state healthcare licenses.

“Workforce is one of the major challenges facing South Dakota healthcare,” continued Governor Noem.  “As freedom-loving Americans from around the country continue moving to South Dakota, we can address workforce shortages by recognizing the good work that they did in other states and welcoming them to continue their work by serving South Dakotans.”

Both bills are a permanent extension of portions of Executive Order 2020-07  and Executive Order 2020-16,  which Governor Noem signed last year to increase flexibility in the state’s COVID-19 response.