Texas Nursing Home Providers Working to Elevate Quality of Care Appeal to Legislators to Fix $343 Million Medicaid Shortfall

March 5, 2015

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For Immediate Release
 March 5, 2015

Contact: Rebecca Reid


Texas Nursing Home Providers Working to Elevate Quality of Care Appeal to Legislators to Fix $343 Million Medicaid Shortfall


Care Providers Say Chronic Underfunding of Medicaid for Frail Elderly Undercuts Ability to Hire and Retain Frontline Caregivers and Enhance Care Performance

(Austin, TX) – Texas nursing home providers are calling on state legislators to fully fund the Medicaid rate for eldercare–a, $343 million gap, according to the state’s own numbers.  Texas consistently ranks near the bottom of the fifty states in Medicaid funding for skilled nursing care.

“More than seventy percent or roughly 57,000 skilled nursing home residents are Medicaid beneficiaries, often with multiple disease conditions requiring increasingly complex medical care, as Texas’ aging population continues to grow,” said Kevin Warren, President and CEO of the Texas Health Care Association (THCA). “The current Medicaid rate for nursing home care hampers providers from hiring, training and retaining qualified staff, accessing educational resources and planning for an influx of elderly patients in the near future.”

Recommendations from the Article II subcommittee on Medicaid funding are due to be considered in the full House Appropriations Committee this week.

“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,” said Warren.  “Texas’ chronically low Medicaid rate runs counter to what should be a common goal for our state’s citizens – to make Texas number one in the nation for high quality long term care.”

Last month, THCA launched the Commitment to Care, an ongoing initiative to elevate the quality of care provided in Texas nursing homes through a strategic and collaborative effort among the provider community. It is 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

Despite the challenges of such low funding for care, providers are participating in improvement initiatives, engaging in educational programs, and sharing best practices to demonstrate their commitment to the residents, families, staff and the communities they serve.

State statistics show that 3.2 million Texans are currently over the age of 65 and that number is expected to grow to 7.5 million by 2040.  Similarly, the percentage of people ages 85 and older is expected to double over the same span.

“Texas long term care providers respect taxpayer demand for excellent healthcare delivery in return for their dollars and well know the importance of being good stewards of public funding,” noted Warren. “Moving Texas to the top in the nation for nursing home care will be that much more difficult if providers do not have the resources to invest in the day-to-day care for the frail elderly.

“We respectfully ask our lawmakers to make seniors a priority by fully funding the Medicaid base rate.”


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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 http://txhca.org/ or connect with THCA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.