Nebraska — The closure of more than a dozen nursing homes throughout the state of Nebraska in 2019 is causing an “economic ripple effect” on nearby towns, according to community members.

The state saw 14 nursing facilities close last year, and more than 30 within the last three years. Families are now being forced to place their elderly loved ones in facilities farther from their homes. 

Local businesses are also being hurt by the loss of facility residents and employees.  

“We’ve lost those people who work there, the administrators and the charge account that we had,” one Nebraska grocery store manager noted. 

Providers said the closures stem from facilities not being fully reimbursed for care they provide to residents on Medicaid. Health Boddy, president and CEO of the Nebraska Health Care Association, described it as a “pretty scary trend.”