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Health Care 2% More Expensive in South Dakota than Minnesota

New data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that South Dakota ranks 30th in the nation for the average prices charged by hospitals for the 100 most common diagnoses and treatments. Minnesota ranks 31st. Sifting through the CMS data, I find lots of variance from procedure to procedure at the four South Dakota hospitals sureveyed (Sanford and Avera in Sioux Falls, Yankton Avera, and Rapid City Regional) and 14 Minnesota facilities. Treatment for psychoses is 11% cheaper in South Dakota than Minnesota, while treatment for poisoning and toxic effects of drugs averages 23% more expensive here. But on the whole, hospital prices are a bit less than 2% higher in South Dakota than in Minnesota.

Hmm... I'll bet Sanford Health could make up that difference if it quit charging patients extra to fund the millions of dollars spent to promote T. Denny Sanford's name and business interests.


  1. Rorschach 2013.05.09

    T. Denny Sanford wanted to make a substantial donation to a Minnesota university, but they wouldn't accommodate him, so he made donations in South Dakota instead. He has made a lot of donations in South Dakota.

    Say what you want about T. Denny Sanford, but his goal is to give away his money before he passes on. Look at all the things he has contributed to Sioux Falls and South Dakota in general. We should be thankful for it.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.05.09

    And how thankful should we be when we get our 2% higher bills from Sanford Health to pay for their box seats at the events center... or for the Basketball Hall of Fame at the Pentagon?

  3. Rorschach 2013.05.09

    I don't know what my co-pay and deductible would be in Minnesota, Cory. I have no idea. Do you?

  4. Anthony D. Renli 2013.05.09

    Not to defend T. Denny OR Sanford health...but

    1) The T. Denny Sanford Event center naming rights money came from T. Denny himself, NOT Sanford Health.

    2) The Sanford Sports Pentagon is Sanford Health - This is the one that will pump up your medical bills.

    Now - Sioux Valley Hospital was buying up clinics and hospitals and putting their name on stuff long before T. Denny donated money to them. His money Did allow them to accelerate this process, but they were doing this long before he got involved. As far back as the early to mid 90's there were not any clinics or Doctors in Sioux Falls who didn't either associate with Sioux Valley or Avera. They were both buying up hospitals and clinics in as many small towns in the region as possible (and tacking their names onto them).

    We really need to separate the bad the T. Denny does from the bad that Sanford Health does. I agree - this is like arguing who was worse - Doctor Doom or Lex Luthor, but really - they are separate bad guys.

  5. John Hess 2013.05.09

    Your copay and deductible are based on your health insurance policy, and your premium SHOULD be based on what your insurance company can negotiate with that hospital/physician, not so much their billed charges. Sometimes the difference is staggering. Have never understood why they report such large billed amounts since almost anyone without coverage can't pay it anyway.

  6. Roger Elgersma 2013.05.09

    Low cost of living is why people live here.

  7. Douglas Wiken 2013.05.09

    Low cost of living? I assume you are being a bit satirical.
    My cost indicator just found Kraft Miracle Whip (Not even Mayonnaise) for $6.78 for 30 ounces at local grocery store.

    Property taxes are high and often wasted by school and county. Phone and internet charges are high.

    Having everything within one square mile might save driving expense.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.05.10

    Low cost of living, Roger? According to this data, 25 states had lower cost of living than South Dakota at the end of 2012. SD's COL was 98.0% of the national average, Minnesota 102.0%. Interestingly, those states break out health care costs in SD as 99.3% and in Minnesota as 106.8% of the US average.

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