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Nursing facility panel looks at licensing system proposals — and possibly a fee increase

PIERRE — State government's Board of Nursing Facility Administrators received separate presentations Wednesday from two companies competing to run a licensing system on the Internet.

They were ThoughtSpan Technology from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Albertson Consulting from Minot, North Dakota.

Chairman Bob Stahl, of Pierre, told each presenter the board might want more information later. The system would allow online registrations and renewals. The office currently uses paper forms.

Brittany Novotny, the board's executive secretary, said the next steps might be a possible fee increase to cover the cost and negotiations with each potential vendor.

"If you're going to do this, you probably would need some funding source," Novotny said. "We would be stretching it, theoretically, to a very small balance."

The current application fee is $300 for a two-year period. The cap set by the Legislature is $500. There are more than 200 licensees.

"I would hate to expend it today and then we have seven complaints," board member Mark Burket of Platte said.

"Financially we can afford it. If we have to raise the dues $30, that would be $15 a year," board member Tom Richter, of Dakota Dunes, said.

The proposed prices are $28,600 for the ThoughtSpan system including the first year of service and $24,500 for the Albertson system.

ThoughtSpan would charge 20 percent of the base fee for support, maintenance and hosting in years two through five. Albertson would charge $135 per hour for work needed beyond the base fee.

"Part of our process is to sit down with your board," ThoughtSpan chief executive officer Kevin Warren said.

Albertson CEO Dan Albertson said, "We believe we win on service."

Albertson Consulting has at least three other contracts for State of South Dakota regulatory boards. One is the dentistry board, for which Novotny is also the executive secretary.

Albertson's presentation included a memo from Novotny to another state's dentistry board in which she wrote that his company's service was "very good."

ThoughtSpan doesn't have any State of South Dakota contracts.

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