Texas Lawmakers Debate Problems With Elder Care Industry


A Texas health panel looked at the state’s nursing home and elder care industry last week and discussed how to deal with nursing homes refusing to comply with state and federal standards.

The panel, comprised of lawmakers and stakeholders, discussed the feasibility of holding nursing homes accountable for disregarding regulations.

From KUT.org:

State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) – who chairs the Senate’s health committee—laid out some stark numbers on how often nursing homes are fined for breaking rules.

“If you look at the number of violations and the number of imposed administrative penalties, in nursing facilities there were 17,647 violations in fiscal year 2015. But the number of imposed penalties was only 40.”

Forty is a pretty low number. Especially since a lot of nursing homes in the state aren’t getting high ratings from the federal government. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than half of nursing homes in Texas received only 1- or 2-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last year. That’s more than any other state.

[. . . ]

Of course, groups that represent the nursing home industry and groups who represent the folks served by them disagree on whether the scale is tipping one way or the other. Kevin Warren is the president and CEO of the Texas Health Care Association. His group represents several hundred nursing, rehabilitation and assisted living facilities in Texas. He argues that the people who run or work in nursing homes feel like they are already over-regulated.

“When you look at the constant scrutiny in which they feel they are placed under, because we are as has been discussed, long-term care is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country. What we have built is a model that is reliant on inspection to improve quality,” Warren says.

KUT.org reports that legislators also discussed the high staff turnover rate in Texas nursing facilities. One proposed solution to this problem was higher Medicaid reimbursement rates for caregivers.


Photo by BEV Norton via Flickr CC License

Share This Post

Recent Articles

Powered by WordPress · Designed by Theme Junkie
Facebook IconTwitter Icon