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SIOUX FALLS | A Huron nursing home will close after 59 years in business due to a lack of money, making it the latest in a string of South Dakota nursing homes to go belly-up.

The Violet Tschetter Memorial Home's board of directors said Thursday that the facility would close by May 10 due to a lack of funding, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.

The facility's 36 residents will be transferred, the board said. The nursing home said its 45 staffers will be assisted in their job search.

The Huron business is the sixth nursing home in the state to close in the last three years, following closures in Madison, Mobridge, Tripp, Bryant and Rosholt, according to the South Dakota Health Care Association.

About 53 percent of the residents at such facilities rely on Medicaid to cover the costs, and nursing homes lose about $58.30 per day for each resident paying through Medicaid, the group said.

"We are in the midst of a long-term care funding crisis," Mark B. Deak, the group's executive director, said in a news release. "For years, Medicaid has not been properly funded and we are unfortunately now seeing the consequences. It is critical that the legislature and governor act urgently to address this crisis."

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The Legislature halted a pair of measures this session that would have allotted one-time funding for nursing homes. Appropriators said they wanted a long-term solution, but with just a few weeks remaining in the legislative session, that seems doubtful.

Governor Kristi Noem's proposed budget does contain a 5 percent increase in the reimbursement rate to nursing homes, including $5 million in innovation grants to facilities. Deak called the proposals an "encouraging step" but not a full solution.

If additional funding is not secured, more closures will almost certainly occur, he said.

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