Despite the cold, South Dakota advocates flocked to the Capitol this week to meet with their elected officials and make the priorities of South Dakota’s 50+ known. Clad in their signature red vest, advocates from communities across our state had lunch with many of our State Senators and Representations, as well as Governor Noem, Lt Governor Rhoden and Attorney General Ravnsborg. Photos from the event are attached below.
This week, AARP South Dakota sat down with South Dakota’s new Governor, Kristi Noem. As you know, Governor Noem has made providing reliable broadband services across the state a priority for her first term in office. A strong broadband infrastructure would help all South Dakotans, especially South Dakotan 50 plus, by improving access to telehealth medical services, promoting entrepreneurship, addressing workforce shortages and combating social isolation. AARP South Dakota has many informational tools which could assist Governor Noem in addressing this issue and we look forward to working closely with her. You can expect to hear more from us about this issue in the future. We thank Governor Noem for her leadership on this issue and appreciate her taking the time to meet with us.
On Wednesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of Senate Bill 136, a bill which defines the expectation that telehealth is practiced in the same manor as an in-patient visit. The bill passed out of committee and will receive consideration on the Senate floor.
The use of telehealth technologies has the potential to result in better access to care by reducing transportation barriers and improving outcomes for care recipients. Patients should have a right to choose whether they receive in-person or telehealth care. Regardless of the delivery method, patients and their family caregivers should have confidence in the health care services they receive. They should expect competent, confidential care and trust that their providers will provide the necessary information for them to make informed decisions. The health care providers’ ethical responsibility to the patient and family caregiver is the same no matter the modality of care.
AARP believes that the definition of telemedicine should be broad enough to allow for flexibility to encompass the full range of current and emerging technologies that will allow individuals and their family caregivers to benefit from telemedicine.
Also on Wednesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of Senate Bill 118, an advanced planning bill which establishes uniform directives for Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST). The MOST bill passed out of committee and will receive consideration on the Senate floor.
MOST is a voluntary, portable, actionable medical order and is only for patients who have a terminal condition as defined by South Dakota law. A MOST articulates the manner in which a patient would like to live during the course of his or her terminal condition by stating the patient’s goals and wishes. A MOST involves informed, shared decision-making between patients and medical providers. A MOST is not about how patients want to die; it is about how patients want to live with a terminal condition.
Many of your state legislators return home after each week in Pierre to reconnect with their communities and to hear from members of their constituency. AARP SD is one of the many groups who help to facilitate these conversations by sponsoring legislative coffees in cities across the state. We encourage you to take an opportunity to get to know your elected officials and to let your lawmakers know you are watching what happens in Pierre! Learn more.