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Panel studying payments for Medicaid providers wants Legislature's appropriators to plot the map

PIERRE -- The Legislature's interim committee that spent four meetings studying payment methodologies for providers of Medicaid services wrapped up work Tuesday without offering specific legislation.

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(The Daily Republic file photo)

PIERRE - The Legislature's interim committee that spent four meetings studying payment methodologies for providers of Medicaid services wrapped up work Tuesday without offering specific legislation.

The panel's members instead agreed its staff should draft a report that they can approve in the next three weeks and provide to the Legislature's Executive Board.

If the Executive Board gives the green light, the report goes next to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Appropriations to consider in the 2017 session that starts in January.

The document will highlight some potential changes in payment rates for providers. New overtime regulations are a key consideration.

The study panel's chairwoman, Rep. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, said the appropriations members would work to identify money needed for priority services, realign expenditures to meet needs and look for potential sources of additional funding.

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"We'll start with appropriations," said Sen. Deb Peters, R-Hartford, who served on the study panel and currently is the Senate's chairwoman for appropriations. "If we need a summer study, we'll have a summer study. We'll figure it out."

Sen. Scott Parsley, D-Madison, suggested the appropriations committee be designated in the lead role.

The rates will be based on 2015 cost reports submitted by Medicaid providers and include adjustments for overtime.

"I hope you feel this has provided at least some different direction," Hunhoff told other members of the panel.

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