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Texas Legislative Issues/News: Protecting the Elderly

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A state's elderly residents are among their most vulnerable residents. Recent Texas legislative issues/news announces a new state law scheduled to take effect in September. No longer will nursing homes with multiple citations for repeated violations get a break from hefty fines imposed by regulators. The law is an attempt by Texas legislatures to crack down on those nursing homes who do little to nothing to rectify violations despite being told repeatedly to do so. While the law seeks to improve conditions for elderly Texans, it won't be a quick fix. Here are two of main concerns about the law:

Industry Challenges

The nursing home industry faces mounting regulations and pressures. Add a high turn-over of staff to the mix and you have an industry struggling to keep up with everyday demands. Texas also faces the challenge of 70% of nursing home residents on Medicaid while Medicaid payments by the state of Texas are among the lowest in the country.

Lax Regulators

Agency regulators are often stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to nursing homes. While many state legislators call for the regulators to be "more aggressive," many find the job frustrating. Nursing homes cited with violations tend to fix them with no repercussions. It isn't long before the same violation occurs again.

Despite the low funding of Medicaid and the high turnover of staff, many nursing homes are for-profit facilities. Jake Posey noted that while elder care is a national epidemic, Texas is seeking to improve the state's ranking as "shamefully poor" in a recent AARP report. Legislatures are aware mistakes sometimes happen while caring for the elderly, however starting this September, repeated violations will not be tolerated.  For more information about this new state law, contact us.

Category: Texas Government Relations Solutions

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