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Gov. Daugaard Responds To DOJ Letter

            Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, May 2, 2016

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212



Gov. Daugaard Responds To DOJ Letter


PIERRE, S.D. – Officials from the South Dakota departments of Social Services and Human Services are in the process of reviewing the results of an investigation by the US Department of Justice received today on nursing home utilization.


In response to the letter, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he is proud of the state’s track record on serving the elderly and those with disabilities.


“In South Dakota, we have undertaken a number of initiatives to allow more individuals to live independent lives,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Just in the last few years, we have expanded health care recruitment programs for rural communities; promoted employing people with disabilities; implemented a Money Follows the Person program; and increased provider rates for community-based services. Though I recognize we still have areas to improve upon, South Dakota has been making headway.”


According to the Department of Justice, South Dakota has a higher than average percentage of individuals living in nursing homes. In the letter, the Department says South Dakota should work to prevent unnecessary use of nursing home care.


While the state evaluates its options with the Department of Justice, the Governor said the state will continue its work to improve access to community based care.


“Ideally, we want elderly residents and people with disabilities to be able to stay in their communities and receive the services they need without going to a nursing home. That can be a challenge for a state like ours which is made up of rural communities,” said Gov. Daugaard.