Nursing Home Leaders Say Legislators Running Out of Time to Solve Senior Care Crisis
$945 Million Shortfall in Funding Remains for Texas Nursing Homes
(AUSTIN, Texas) Time is running out for Texas lawmakers to solve the state’s growing senior care crisis before the current legislative session ends.
Without a resolution, leaders of the nursing home sector say things will only get worse.
The industry points to the 2018 bankruptcy of the state’s largest nursing home operator and the exit from Texas during the same year of one of the largest providers in the country as signs of things to come unless action is taken during the legislative session. According to reports, 25% of Texas nursing homes are operating at financial levels that put them at risk of closure.
“It feels as if they’re waiting for more bankruptcies and more facility closures,” said Kevin Warren, CEO of the Texas Health Care Association. “The crisis is not almost here, it’s here now. What does this crisis have to look like before the legislature makes the seniors of Texas a priority as well?”
Industry leaders also point to staggering workforce turnover rates resulting from their inability to offer competitive wages. The average caregiver turnover rate in Texas nursing homes exceeds 90% as staff leave for better wages and easier jobs at convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.
National quality data by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reflects years of chronic underfunding by the state. According to CMS Nursing Home Compare, Texas has more one- and two-star nursing homes than any other state in the country.
Warren says it’s been almost two decades since there was a significant increase in the amount the state pays nursing homes for Medicaid patients, and the consequences are starting to be seen.
Warren continued, “With an approaching wave of aging baby boomers who will need nursing home care and a workforce crisis that’s affecting the care we can provide, when do we address our state’s senior care challenges? If not now, when?”
More than 70% of facilities say state payments do not cover the daily cost of a resident’s care.
Nursing home leaders, family members of residents and other advocates are continuing to work for a solution, asking state leaders not to adjourn the legislative session without taking action.
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 nonprofit 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.