Legislature Urged to Focus More on Adequacy of Texas Seniors' State Medicaid Rates, Not Just Issues Surrounding 'Medicaid Expansion'
AUSTIN, Texas, March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A newly completed survey of Texas nursing homes finds the series of state and federal funding cuts to seniors' skilled nursing facility (SNF) care is creating a dangerous strain on facilities' ability to care for growing numbers of older, more medically complex patients.
Following the $58 million state Medicaid cut in 2011 and a series of federal Medicare cuts since 2009 – the latest being a $51 million cut associated with the federal 'sequester' – Texas nursing homes are reporting the cumulative funding squeeze is having a significantly negative impact on facility operations, and are a growing threat to patient care. The questions and results are as follows:
"As a result of the continuing budget chaos in Washington regarding Medicare coupled with ongoing state Medicaid underfunding, have you:
- Made any staff changes?
- 65.9% report yes
- Reduced staff hours, wages and/or benefits?
- 72.5% report yes
- Cancelled or postponed facility improvements?
- 60.0% report yes
"Looking ahead, what actions may you be forced to consider in 2013?
- 84.3 % of facilities may have to freeze wages;
- 81.8% may have to defer facility expansions or renovations;
- 78.4% may have to defer investment in new technology, therapy equipment;
- 75% may have to defer, reduce or change staff benefits;
- 31.1% may have to lay off direct care staff;
- 18.4% may be forced to consider actually closing their facility.