Nursing home providers in South Dakota are still struggling to survive, despite a Medicaid reimbursement increase approved by state lawmakers last year. 

The 10% reimbursement increase was aimed at closing the funding gap for Medicaid-eligible facilities. Providers, however, are still operating at a $42 loss per day for every resident paying through Medicaid, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reported.

The state also has seen six nursing homes close within the last year and a half — the most recent happening within the last month, the report stated. 

The additional funding has helped provide needed wage increases to nursing home staff members, but facilities, especially in rural areas, are still struggling with retention efforts and making capital improvements, Tim Rave, president and CEO of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organization said while speaking to the legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee last week. 

Rave detailed how the closures have negatively affected the economy of surrounding communities. He added that nursing homes are grateful for the funding increase but he wanted to show the “reality” providers are still facing. 

“I don’t think there was one (lawmaker) that did not recognize that we’re in a crisis mode,” he said. “It continues to be a problem but thank you for recognizing the crisis that it is.”