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Texas nursing homes may soon have more funding

Texas nursing homes are struggling. Last year Senior Care Centers, the largest nursing facility in the state, filed for bankruptcy.

In addition to financial woes, these centers are struggling to keep good employees. A failure to have good staff can lead to problems and enforcement issues with the Department of Aging and Disability Services. Worker turnover in nursing facilities in Texas is one of the highest in the country:

  • Certified nursing assistants. Those who fill this position are not staying on at nursing care facilities. There is currently a 97 percent turnover rate in this position in Texas.
  • Registered nurses. This specialty also sees a high turnover rate. Current data shows 90 percent of registered nurses leave their positions at nursing care facilities.
  • Licensed vocational nurses. Turnover rate in this specialty position is also at 90 percent.

In an effort to address this growing problem, a lawmaker in Texas recently proposed legislation that would result in increased federal funding to nursing homes in the state.

What does the new proposal offer nursing homes and constituents? State Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola wrote the law, Senate Bill 1050, to increase funding for nursing homes. The funds would focus specifically on increasing the quality of care available at nursing homes in Texas. The law also includes a provision to encourage funds to help facilities offer more competitive wages to address the high turnover rate noted above.

How will it impact taxes? The law is written to funnel federal dollars back into Texas. This would result in increased funding without increasing taxes. Other states in the country have passed similar laws. In exchange for taking back these funds, the state would receive a reduction in federal funds for nursing home care improvement.