Big cuts were announced this week at one of Sioux Falls’ largest employers. KELOLAND News has confirmed that Good Samaritan Society has laid off more than 100 people from its corporate headquarters in Sioux Falls.  The chairman of the society’s board of directors says it’s mainly because of financial pressure.

Just as South Dakota’s population gets older, finding a nursing home or assisted living facility for a loved one or yourself is getting more difficult.

“Most of the nursing homes are full, and people have to reach outside of Sioux Falls to find a nursing home,” Darla Van Rosendale said.

Van Rosendale is the CEO of Dow Rummel Village. Right now, the facility has a waiting list of 18 people. She says it’s a difficult time for those who care for seniors.

“Most of the struggles are related to costs,” Van Rosendale said.

One of the main struggles is Medicaid reimbursement. South Dakota has one of the lowest per patient reimbursement rates in the country.

“On average, a facility loses $32 to $33 a day. That’s just covering your costs. That’s not making a profit,” Van Rosendale said.

“As a result, many facilities have not been able to keep their doors open. We’ve actually had seven nursing centers close in South Dakota,” South Dakota Health Care Association Executive Director Mark Deak said.

Deak says with the area’s low unemployment rate, finding enough employees is also a struggle.

“We’re competing for employees from all sorts of sectors, including even fast-food sometimes. The fact is that the average payment per hour for a certified nursing assistant, who are the backbones of the nursing centers, is only $10.44 per hour,” Deak said.

Van Rosendale says Dow Rummel does have some openings for those at Good Sam who have been laid off.

“We on average have six, seven or eight positions open at a time,” Van Rosendale said.

She also hopes the reimbursement rate increases before more nursing homes close their doors.

“If you don’t have long-term care insurance or money set aside, it’s going to be hard to get into a nursing home someday. Nursing homes are going to have to deal with, ‘Who do we take,'” Van Rosendale said.

Good Samaritan’s job cuts represent nearly 15 percent of the employees at the southwest Sioux Falls campus.  The campus recently had a $30 million renovation.