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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.
$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.