South Dakota medical patients could have more choice of doctors within their health insurance networks if voters approve a ballot measure that is drawing strong opposition from the health insurance industry.
Initiated Measure 17 seems simple enough: doctors who agree to the conditions set forth by insurers, including payments for services provided to patients, could join the insurer's preferred provider list. Preferred providers, also known as in-network, usually are less expensive than those outside of a network.
But the measure is controversial, with specialty hospitals and many doctors in favor, while insurers and large health care hospital systems are opposed.
Even though South Dakota is a small market, the insurance industry is watching closely because similar proposals have been considered in other states including Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.