Budget Cuts Present “Growing Threat” to Senior Care in Texas

Nursing homes in Texas say state and federal funding cuts to are presenting a “dangerous strain” on their ability to care for older, more medically complex patients.

In a survey of 100 nursing homes representing 10% of the state’s nursing home population, the Texas Health Care Association found more than 65% have made staff changes, more than 72% have reduced staff hours, wages and benefits, and 60% have canceled or postponed facility improvements already in response to Medicare and Medicaid cuts. 

“The so-called ‘Medicaid expansion’ discussion in Austin is coming at the expense of a closer legislative look at how Texas nursing home patients are increasingly put at risk by the state’s own lack of Medicaid funding adequacy,” said Tim Graves, THCA president. “So far, the Texas Legislature has not come close to adequately addressing seniors’ state Medicaid funding requirements, and far more focus is warranted. Local seniors are at risk, and the Legislature needs to act.”

The cuts are putting increasing pressure on senior care within the state, the survey finds, with the majority of providers anticipating measures such as freezing wages, deferring facility improvements, and reducing staff benefits to accommodate the change. 

More than 30% say are considering staff layoffs in 2013. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker