Texas Nursing Home Care Community Commends House-Senate Budget Conference Committee for Taking Significant Step to Restore Funding for Seniors' Care

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 General News J E 4

Texas Health Care Association (THCA) Urges Support for Final Budget to Preserve Care Access and Quality, Avoid Facility Closures and Job Losses

AUSTIN, Texas, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In approving a key section of the state budget, Texas' House-Senate Budget Conference Committee took a significant and positive step forward in restoring the 33 percent, or $1.4 billion, reduction in Medicaid funding to skilled nursing care for Texas seniors. The Texas Health Care Association (THCA) today said this restoration, if ultimately approved by the Senate and House, will bring the Texas nursing home profession back from the brink of disaster and avert significant nursing home closures and job losses that would have resulted from the drastic funding cut.

Though Texas nursing homes are still facing a three percent Medicaid cut, THCA is thankful to the House-Senate Budget Conference Committee for making the right decision to protect Texas' facilities and patients from additional cuts in Medicaid reimbursement rates for the next two years. THCA urges the House and Senate to expedite the passage of the final FY 2012-2013 budget so nursing homes across the state can continue to deliver care to elderly and disabled Texans.

"Since January, we have worked to ensure that lawmakers had a very clear understanding of how deep Medicaid cuts would negatively impact their elderly constituents, local health jobs, and the overall well-being of their local communities," said Tim Graves, President of THCA.

"Our message was heard due to its relevance to local communities all across Texas," Graves said. "Today we thank the House-Senate Budget Conference Committee for supporting and protecting Texas' elderly citizens, preserving key health care jobs, and defending the economic vitality of towns and communities across our state. As we move forward, we will continue our work with lawmakers to ensure that as our economy improves, future attention will be paid to improving the state's funding for nursing home patient care."

Founded in 1950, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) is the largest long term care association in Texas. THCA represents a broad spectrum of long-term care providers and professionals offering long term, rehabilitative and specialized health care services. Member facilities, owned by both for-profit and non-profit entities, include nursing facilities, specialized rehabilitation facilities, and assisted living facilities.

SOURCE Texas Health Care Association



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