The quickest, easiest way to improve nursing home care in Texas won’t cost a penny. In fact, it will use taxpayer dollars more efficiently.

As many as 30 percent of the Medicaid beds in Texas nursing homes are empty on any given day. And when a long term care facility cannot fill its beds, fixed costs must still be covered, while regulatory and licensing requirements must still be maintained.  All of this can and does leave staff stretched thin and makes investments to improve care difficult.

Texas’ oversupply of Medicaid beds is expensive. Excess beds create health care price inflation and contribute to staff turnover, healthcare worker shortages, and lower quality care. These higher costs are passed on to private payers and public programs, like Medicaid.

Limiting the growth of Texas’ Medicaid Bed Allocation Program won’t cost a penny, and will make more efficient use of tax payer dollars while helping improve the quality of care in Texas skilled nursing facilities.

Key Facts:

  • Nearly a 32 percent of Texas’ nursing home Medicaid beds – over 36,000 – are currently empty. That’s about 300 buildings of available capacity.
  • Almost 50% of RN’s and 54% of LVNs identified as working in a nursing home/extended care facility in 2009, were no longer working in a nursing home/extended care facility as of 2014.
  • Nursing homes do not operate in a free market. The government (both federal and state) sets the payment rates for Medicare and Medicaid, determines who uses the facilities, and mandates how to operate facilities via regulations.
  • The bill will still allow growth in Assisted Living, Independent Living, and senior apartments, as well as private pay facility projects under development, remodeling of current Medicaid certified facilities, replacement of facilities in the same county, and new nursing homes in counties with at least 90% occupancy.