Meeting the challenges of the nursing home industry

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The nursing home industry is facing challenges.

We’ve reported on some South Dakota facilities closing over the past couple of years.

It’s not something anyone wants to see in their town, which is why a major health care provider is working on solutions.

The Good Samaritan Society and Sanford Health merged at the start of the year.

In total, the health care provider is in 25 states.

Crystal Packard is visiting Sioux Falls from Parsons, Kansas a town of about 10,000 people.

She’s the administrator of the Good Samaritan Society there.

Her biggest challenge right now is finding and keeping CNAs, nurses, and other staff members.

“When we’re competing with fast food restaurants that start people out at $15 and hour, it makes it difficult to find those staff to do those jobs that you don’t need a lot of education for,” Good Samaritan Society-Parsons Administrator Crystal Packard said.

She says they’re trying to address the issue with out-of-the-box thinking such as scheduling changes and offering scholarships for people who want to move up within the organization.

Back in South Dakota, a different issue tops Philip Samuelson’s list.

He’s the regional vice president in South Dakota for the Good Samaritan Society.

“Right now we’re seeing about a $35 a day deficit from our Medicaid reimbursement rate from what our costs actually are, and that’s causing a lot of significant challenges within our facilities primarily when we look at staffing and our capital needs,” Good Samaritan Society SD Regional Vice President Philip Samuelson said.

Samuelson is applauding state lawmakers and the governor for passing a 10 percent reimbursement increase this year, but says more needs to be done.

He also says the Good Samaritan Society’s new connection with Sanford will help meet the challenges of the industry.

“We’re in here for the long haul and we want to see our services continue to grow,” Samuelson said.

Samuelson and Packard were both at the Convention Center Wednesday for an annual conference.

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