The House Health and Human Services Committee sent Senate Bill 196 to the House Floor today (Tuesday). The bill modifies a decades-long moratorium on new nursing home beds in the state. Deb Bowman with the Governor's Office says beds for Medicaid-based residents could be transferred from facilities that don't need them to facilities that do.
According to Bowman, "The purpose of the moratorium was to prevent further expansion of nursing home beds that were not needed in the state. And the question comes, ‘why would we get into a private business area?' And that's because 56 to 58 percent of our nursing home residents in South Dakota rely on Medicaid as their payment source. So it became a significant issue for the state, and we did not want to have to spend taxpayer dollars that were unnecessary."
Bowman says the bill does not create new nursing home beds, but allows switching of beds from one nursing home to another. She says there's a need of Medicaid beds available for nursing homes in West River. The bill passed through the committee on a unanimous vote.
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