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Avera, SD reach agreement over pricing of some health services under state employee benefits

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PIERRE, South Dakota — An Avera Health hospital in Pierre and South Dakota officials have reached an agreement over the pricing of some specialty services for state employees on the state health plan.

Recent changes to state benefits classify certain categories of health care as "Tier 1" with limited options for the most affordable treatment.

The new benefits mean that state employees, many of whom are based in Pierre, have to travel more than three hours to Sioux Falls and other cities to the east for the most affordable specialty health care.

The agreement announced Thursday between Avera St. Mary's Hospital in Pierre and the state applies to all orthopedic and gastroenterological procedures. The new pricing is effective immediately and will be retroactive to Nov. 1.

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