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Rapid City gets more nursing home beds


PIERRE, SD (KELO AM) – The Department of Health announced today that it has awarded 20 additional nursing facility beds in Rapid City.


Since 1998 the state has had a moratorium prohibiting the construction of new nursing homes unless they are replacement facilities and preventing existing nursing homes from expanding beyond their current number of beds. Legislation passed in 2012, SB 196, gives the department the ability to identify areas that need additional beds and to transfer beds to those areas through an RFP process.


“While the total number of nursing facility beds in the state is enough to meet projected needs, those beds are not necessarily located where they are needed,” said Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health. “SB 196 keeps the moratorium in place but gives us the flexibility to transfer beds to areas where a need is identified.”


Rapid City is the first area to be identified as needing additional beds and to be awarded beds. The beds will be split between Golden Living Prairie Hills and Golden Living Bella Vista. They come from a pool of available beds resulting from nursing facilities that have voluntarily closed since 2005 when the moratorium was extended indefinitely and the number of nursing home beds capped.


“More beds in Rapid City means more families will be able to get their loved ones the care they need close to home,” said Hollingsworth. “The moratorium helped spur the development of assisted living centers and other long term care alternatives. With this process those benefits continue but we also have more flexibility to meet the needs of our aging population and their families.”


The bed transfer process was one recommendation of a 2008 task force appointed to study meeting the continuum of care needs of the elderly in South Dakota.