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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Medicaid Stimulus Provides South Dakota over $19M to Promote Electronic Health Records

We're still having trouble persuading Governor Dennis Daugaard to expand Medicaid to help South Dakota's working poor. All that Obamacare money is just too unreliable to dirty South Dakotans' hands.

But Governor Daugaard has had no problem handing out an extra $19,340,218.57 in extra Medicaid money from President Obama to South Dakota hospitals, doctors, and other caregivers. That's the amount of federal money, as of August 7, that the South Dakota Department of Social Services disbursed through its Electronic Health Record Incentive Payment Program. This money comes to South Dakota courtesy of the HITECH Act of 2009, which Congress folded into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—yes, our friend the 2009 stimulus.

So far 29 of South Dakota's 50 hospitals have received EHR incentive payments as a reward for adopting, implementing, and/or upgrading computerized record-keeping methods. Such rewards are money well-spent: electronic health records are good medicine, as demonstrated by the pioneering Veterans Health Administration.

The spreadsheet I received yesterday from DSS also shows 216 individual health care providers who have received EHR incentive payments. They include:
  • 76 physicians
  • 68 pediatricians
  • 37 nurse practitioners
  • 5 certified nurse midwives
  • 7 dentists
  • 24 physician assistants.
The first payments DSS lists went out on March 23, 2012, to the Mobridge hospital ($646,400), two physicians, ten pediatricians, and two NPs. A steady stream of disbursements has followed, including, on May 2, 2013, a payment of $21,250 to Annette Marie Bosworth.

Yes, the Annette Marie Bosworth who, one month and one day later, let leak her first public mention of her intent to run for Senate as a Republican determined to fight government involvement in health care.

Republicans from Governor Daugaard to candidate Bosworth understand the GOP drill: fulminate against federal money, but take all the money Uncle Sam offers.


  1. Great Post, Cory. I too benefited from the "stimulus" or incentive to go EMR. I can tell you this, it has changed the way I practice. Not a single organization (example: AMA, ACP, SDSMA) or a single policy has done more for my practice in primary care than what going electronic has done for my practice. I'm more efficient, less prescription errors, better documentation, just to name a few. I can access my patients medical records from my smart phone when called upon, sparing unnecessary testing or procedures should one of my patients should show up in the ER with a crisis.
    The downfall on this, like our health care system, is it is not universal....my computer does not communicate with our hospital computer, so the potential for medication errors, or unnecessary testing is there. Either way, EMR has transformed how I practice medicine, I know, Dr. Bosworth feels the same.

  2. Bill Dithmer8/22/2013 8:12 PM

    Stimulus was a bleeding heart claim to "fix the economy" with dogmatic pounding of money down rat holes. It failed.

    Ok I'll bite. Give me three examples of how this particular stimulus failed to help. Be specific so I can tell that you are saying more then just repeating talking points.

    The Blindman

    1. Bill, I had to delete the anonymous commenter to whom you were replying, because I don't take anonymous comments.

      Kevin, thanks for testifying to the value of EMR!

    2. No problem, Cory. Just trying to keep them honest.

  3. Just a comment, but SD has received far more federal aid than this to implement electronic health records. I know that DSU has received generous grants in this area to be a technical leader in the region. I'm not sure of the exact details, but these are large, multi-year grants.


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