Hospital leader shares thoughts on nursing home issues

YANKTON, S.D. (WNAX) – The South Dakota legislature this year decided on a 10 percent boost to the Medicaid reimbursement rate for nursing homes following the closure and threatened closure of several facilities across the state.

Doug Ekeren, President of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, says it was a good small step.

Ekeren says nursing homes are in danger across the state.

Ekeren says most residents in nursing homes need more intensive medical care.

Ekeren says those costs continue to rise faster than the reimbursement rates, putting more pressure on private payers.