- Associated Press - Saturday, March 8, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The state Department of Health has awarded 20 additional beds to nursing facilities in western South Dakota.

The South Dakota Department of Health says the 20 beds going to two Rapid City nursing facilities are the first awarded under a 2012 law.

The state has had a moratorium since 1998 that prohibits the construction of new nursing homes unless they are replacement facilities. The moratorium has also prevented existing nursing homes from adding more beds. But a law approved in 2012 has given the department the ability to identify areas that are in need of additional beds and transfer them there from other places.

The beds will be divided between Golden Living Prairie Hills and Golden Living Bella Vista.

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