State slammed in federal report

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch

South Dakota “unnecessarily” uses nursing facilities to provide services to people with disabilities, according to a May report from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The report found thousands of South Dakotans who rely on state-run disability services must live in nursing facilities to receive those services, and may not be aware of other care options, the DOJ said.

More than 80% of the state's long-term care budget goes to facilities, leaving little funding for home- and community-based services, critics point out. 

The agency recommended South Dakota rebalance its LTC budget to prioritize funding for home- and community-based services. Officials suggested the state may even save money by increasing the use of those services.