Why Good Samaritan Society Is Investing $200M in New CCRC After Nursing Home Pullback

Sanford Health announced plans Tuesday to break ground on a $200 million project for a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in South Dakota through its subsidiary, the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society.

The Good Samaritan Society executives told Skilled Nursing News that the funding for the project is an outcome of a strategy to expand into the CCRC space after the organization’s big push for consolidation in early 2023 that shrunk its footprint to seven states. The Good Samaritan Society divested properties in 15 states, generating money that is being put to good use now. Also, the organization plans to improve the quality of care and living for residents while achieving savings and efficiencies through a greater reliance on value-based care, executives noted. 

“We’re making good on our promise a year ago to reinvest those funds from the location sales right here into America’s heartland, and the total cost of this project will be around 200 million,” Aimee Middleton, VP of Operations at Good Samaritan Society told SNN. “The Good Samaritan Society has been in the process of consolidating some of our services from 22 states to seven states in the Upper Midwest locations. And so as we think through that, focusing on key markets gives us the opportunity to be more strategic in how we invest in our continuum of care in the future.”


Locations outside of the seven-state service area are being transitioned to new senior care organizations, Middleton said, calling the latest endeavor with Sanford Health “a landmark investment.”  

The campus will offer all health and wellness services under one roof, including independent living apartments and villas, assisted living and memory care services as well as short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. It will also include home-based services, life enrichment programs and a Sanford Health clinic and Lewis Drug pharmacy.

“The residents will literally be able to walk down the hall and get their prescription picked up. They’ll also have access to primary care, lab, ultrasound, radiology, pharmacy, and other specialty services without ever having to leave home,” Middleton explained.


As one of the largest non-profit providers of senior care and services, including skilled nursing, the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Good Samaritan Society has 200 locations in 17 states currently.

Value-based care’s efficiencies and conveniences

One of the value-based care options Good Samaritan Society has been pursuing since 2016 has been through its Institutional Special Needs Plan (I-SNP) — Great Plains Medicare Advantage. Great Plains is owned by Good Samaritan and has offered plans since 2017 in the Midwest. And, the new campus will allow the organization to maximize efficiencies and improve care in allowing residents greater access to its physicians and pharmacy by being the provider of care and the payer of care.

“The entire concept of this campus is to keep seniors at home and healthy in a place where they want to live, and Great Plains Medicare Advantage, will absolutely be a part of that as well as our partnership with Sanford Health,” Middleton said.

From the new CCRC project, Middleton envisions other cost savings and efficiencies, especially in being able to use the care workers more effectively.

“I would say efficiency has been top of mind as we designed this campus. Mostly from a team member perspective, we want this campus to be very efficient for our team members working in any of our service lines.”

And that level of efficiency should extend to resident lives too, she said.

“Our residents should be able to leave their home and be able to walk in to a nice warm hallway in the cold winters of South Dakota. They should be able to go down and see their primary care physician. They might also have an opportunity to have some physical therapy in the same campus, but also pick up their prescriptions or some of their groceries at Lewis Drug,” Middleton said.

Campus offerings

The clinic and pharmacy will be open to the public and provide seamless access to those living on the east side of Sioux Falls as well as the residents on the CCRC campus.

“Imagine a safe, supportive community that offers everything you need to thrive without having to leave the place you call home. Our newest senior campus is truly designed to meet the comprehensive and evolving needs of our community today and into the future,” Nate Schema, Good Samaritan Society president and CEO, said in a press release.

Once part of the community, residents will have priority access to higher levels of care, executives said.

“We have added several new services and clinics over the past decade to ensure our patients are getting the best health care right here, close to home,” said Paul Hanson, president and CEO of Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, in a press release.

Sanford Health is the largest rural health system in the United States. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization serves more than one million patients and 201,000 health plan members. The integrated health system has 46 medical centers and 2,800 physicians in addition to access to 186 Good Samaritan Society senior living centers and clinics in 9 countries.

The executives also hope that the CCRC will add revitalize the rural community.

“This vision truly makes us not only a destination for health care, but a destination to live and retire,” Hanson said.

‘Will give caregiver the opportunity to be the daughter’

The projected will be completed in phases. The first 146 villas, 120 independent living apartments, 32 assisted living apartments and 32 memory care assisted living apartments are projected to open by the spring or summer of 2026.

Meanwhile, the short-term rehabilitation and long-term care center, additional villas, Sanford Health Clinic and Lewis Drug will likely follow some time between 2026 and 2028.

While breakdown on the spending towards each asset is currently unavailable, Middleton said the phased development will allow the organization to approach cautiously as they monitor the success of the initial phase. “As we think about the development and the phase one, really establishing a lot of the foundational pieces to that core area of this campus will be important before we bring on additional service lines. And so that’s why we’ve broken out some of those phases there,” she said.

But once it’s all complete, the new campus could really be an opportunity for rural communities to model a plan to reduce the inconveniences of life faced by aging older adults.

“I think about that daughter today, who is picking up mom or dad and helping them get to all of their appointments, probably picking up some prescriptions on the way home. This gives the caregiver the opportunity to be the daughter and to spend that time with [the resident] at the Bistro or the coffee shop … they will be able to do this all on one campus instead of driving across our community of Sioux Falls.”

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