Article II Testimony by Texas Health Care Association Urges Policymakers To Address Medicaid Funding Deficit for Nursing Home Care

February 17, 2015


For Immediate Release
February 17, 2015

Contact: Rebecca Reid


Article II Testimony by Texas Health Care Association Urges Policymakers To Address Medicaid Funding Deficit for Nursing Home Care

State’s Largest Long Term Care Association Asserts Direct Correlation Among Adequate Funding, Stable Workforce and Increased Quality of Care

(Austin, TX) – The President and CEO of the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) testified Monday before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II, urging lawmakers to fully fund the state’s Medicaid reimbursement base rate to nursing homes by 13.7%, which according to the state’s own analysis, would cover the cost of providing skilled nursing care to Texas’ most vulnerable seniors.

“Texas nursing homes and our policymakers tasked with funding seniors’ care are both committed to providing high quality care to elderly patients in a safe and compassionate environment,” said THCA CEO Kevin Warren. “The consistent delivery of high quality skilled nursing care requires a collective effort from both providers and policy makers. An adequate Medicaid rate that reimburses for the actual cost of care will assist providers in meeting today’s needs of an aging population with increasingly complex conditions as well as plan for the future influx of elderly transitioning into long term care.”

In his testimony, Warren pointed out that more than 70 percent of elderly nursing home patients in Texas facilities depend on Medicaid funding to cover the cost of their care, which equates to two thirds of an average facility’s patient population and accounts for an estimated 57,000 frail seniors across the state.

“Quality care is directly related to consistent and stable staffing,” said Warren. ”A fully funded Medicaid base rate will greatly assist providers in recruiting new employees with the skills and compassion necessary to care for Texas’ frail elderly. Nursing homes compete with many other health care settings able to offer higher wages. Long term care is a noble profession and those choosing to care for the elderly must be able to support themselves, a family, and have a stable career.”

The THCA announced last week the Commitment to Care (C to C), an ongoing initiative to elevate the quality of care provided in Texas nursing homes through a strategic and collaborative effort among the provider community designed to stabilize the long term care workforce, improve clinical outcomes and state survey performance results, and advocate for sound, public policy that supports quality care needs.  A 2015 first quarter survey of THCA members indicates more than 70 percent of provider respondents identified increased wages for staff and hiring additional front line staff as their top two priorities should the Medicaid base rate be fully funded.

“While we ask for a rate increase, we recognize that Texas taxpayers want to see results for their hard earned dollars,” said Warren. “We support the delivery of quality health care through the use of clinical and environmental innovations and initiatives designed to improve care for elderly nursing home residents.  To that end, we want to work with legislators to create a value-based incentive program that reinforces the achievement of performance standards.”

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About THCA

Founded in 1950, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) is the largest long-term care association in Texas. THCA’s membership is comprised of several hundred licensed non-profit and for-profit skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), specialized rehabilitation facilities and assisted living facilities in Texas. These facilities provide comprehensive, around-the-clock nursing care for chronically ill or short-term residents of all ages, along with rehabilitative and specialized medical programs. THCA also represents more than 190 long-term care businesses that provide products and services to the state’s approximately 2,850 nursing homes and assisted living facilities. To learn more, visit or connect with THCA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.