UPDATED 2:50 p.m.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Two other Good Samaritan Society locations will be closing along with the Lennox facility.

In a statement to KELOLAND News, Good Samaritan Society vice president of operations Aimee Middleton says the skilled nursing and assisted living location in Clear Lake will close as will one Good Samaritan Society in Newell, Iowa. The Lennox and Newell, Iowa facilities will consolidate with nearby nursing home locations.     

“The pandemic has put unprecedented stress on the senior care industry, which has forced us to make difficult decisions about how and where we can provide care and services,” Middleton said in an emailed statement. 

Middleton called the situation “not sustainable” and pointed to staffing challenges, a decline in the number of residents at our locations, increased operating costs and Medicaid reimbursement rates that do not keep up with the cost of care. 

Middleton thanked Governor Kristi Noem for “the temporary increase in Medicaid reimbursements for long-term care providers in the state of South Dakota” and added, “the reality is that we need permanent funding solutions to support and address our workforce and resident care needs now and in the future.”

The Good Samaritan Society noted that 70% of the residents it serves live in rural communities and the company remains committed to providing access to care as close to home as possible. While thanking staff for “tireless commitment” Middleton added the company will help them pursue employment opportunities at other nearby Good Samaritan Society locations.

“We look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to ensure seniors have access to high-quality care and services they need and deserve, no matter where they live,” Middleton said.

The latest survey on the Good Samaritan Society in Clear Lake from the South Dakota Department of Health is dated August 2021 and contains 11 pages. It reports “based on observation, interview, anonymous concern review and Emergency staffing Strategies review, the provider failed to ensure there was enough staff to respond promptly to residents’ needs.” 

The 45-bed Newell, Iowa facility, located east of Storm Lake, Iowa, had 12 federal violations during a May 20, 2021 visit, according to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. 

11:36 a.m.

The Lennox Good Samaritan Society nursing home will be closing. 

In an announcement Tuesday, the Good Samaritan Society Lennox location will consolidate services with Society skilled nursing facilities in Canton and Sioux Falls effective July 15. 

“We care deeply about our residents, who are like family to us, and are committed to a smooth transition of all residents to nearby Society locations,” the letter to residents and families of the Good Sam in Lennox said. You can view the letter below.

The letter says the senior care industry faces challenges of hiring new staff and rising costs to provide care and services. It says the challenges have been worse since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest survey on the Good Samaritan Society Lennox from the South Dakota Department of Health is dated October 2021 and contains 42 pages listing multiple compliance complaints including staff failing to wear “appropriate personal protective equipment during COVID-19 testing.”

A recent story from South Dakota News Watch highlighted the challenges rural nursing homes in South Dakota. The story highlights the South Dakota Legislature allocated $30 million in one-time funding to help boost nursing homes. 

A nursing home in Ipswich, Avantara Ipswich nursing home, announced it will close a 40-bed nursing home at the end of May.

This is a developing story.