Back view of senior woman sitting in wheelchair making video call with her doctor while staying at home during covid pandemic. Close up of helpful general practitioner in video conference with old woman on digital tablet. Sick woman in online consultation from home: distance and telehealth concept.
(Credit: Ridofranz / Getty Images)
Back view of senior woman sitting in wheelchair making video call with her doctor while staying at home during covid pandemic. Close up of helpful general practitioner in video conference with old woman on digital tablet. Sick woman in online consultation from home: distance and telehealth concept.
(Credit: Ridofranz / Getty Images)

Assisted living communities and nursing homes in South Dakota now can apply for $2 million in grants from the state Department of Human Services to buy technology equipment “to improve the quality of life and health outcomes” of residents and to support healthcare workers.

Gov. Kristi Noem (R) recently signed SB 80, which would allow any state Medicaid provider to apply for a technology grant to fund falls detection technology, air purification systems or care enhancements.

The South Dakota Health Care Association, the state affiliate of the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living, called the technology grants a “significant investment” in the state’s long-term care providers.

“These funds will directly impact the quality of life of residents and help alleviate the ongoing staffing challenges that are the biggest issue currently facing providers,” SDHCA Executive Director Mark Deak told McKnight’s Senior Living. “These funds will allow providers to tailor their applications to their specific needs and find creative ways to implement the staggering array of new technologies that can make a positive impact for residents and staff.”

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, a LeadingAge state partner, said that SB 80, along with SB 209, which will provide $5 million in grants to assisted living communities and nursing homes to expand telehealth services, resulted from the 2023 legislative summer study session on the long-term care industry.

“Assisted living providers are a very important part of the healthcare continuum, especially as we lose nursing homes due to the staffing crisis,” SDAHO Chief Operating Officer Tammy Hatting told McKnight’s Senior Living. “We are happy to see South Dakota invest in assisted living providers to help them with funding for technology, such as remote patient monitoring devices, patient safety devices or other telemedicine services.”