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Dakotas, neighboring states to lobby in DC for Medicare provision

SIOUX FALLS(AP) -- Health leaders from the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming plan to travel to the nation's capital this week to try to salvage future Medicare payments.

The group wants Congress to protect new rules that beginning in 2013 will correct inequities in Medicare payments to some rural states. The "frontier" provision of health care reform promises higher payments to hospitals and doctors for treating Medicare patients in rural states, but President Barack Obama has recommended eliminating it as part of federal budget cuts.

Sanford Health vice president Cindy Morrison tells the media that the provision means tens of millions of dollars for states like South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.

Fifteen executives from the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming will go to the Capitol on Wednesday to make their case.

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