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Arlington nursing home to close in February

Medicaid doesn't just provide health care for the poor; it also pays for long-term care for a lot of older people, including the majority of nursing home residents. Repealing the ACA could change the way Medicaid programs are funded.
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Staff member cares for nursing home resident (File photo)

Another South Dakota nursing home is closing its doors.

Avantara will close its facility in Arlington, west of Brookings, in February. It currently has 22 residents.

A spokesperson blamed the closure on staffing issues, Medicaid underfunding, and the continued impact of COVID-19.

“We were honored to serve an incredible community who provided great support to both our residents and staff, especially during the pandemic," Connie Ortega
said in a press release Monday. “Our hardworking, dedicated staff at Avantara Arlington went above and beyond in their care of our residents, and they richly deserve to be recognized. They are true heroes, and we’ll be working closely with them and our residents through the closure of Avantara Arlington.”

Avantara owns 15 care centers in the state.

The South Dakota Health Care Association reports that roughly 10% of the state’s nursing homes have closed in the past five years.

In her recent budget address, Gov. Kristi Noem prioritized improving the Medicaid reimbursement rate for the state’s nursing homes.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.
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