Nursing homes in Texas are escaping accountability for hurting residents and jeopardizing their health, according to a new report by AARP Texas.
The report, “Intolerable Care: A snapshot of the Texas nursing home quality crisis,” finds that the quality of roughly 1,200 nursing facilities where 93,000 Texans reside, is shamefully poor and worse than what exists in most other states. It identifies numerous, long-standing, and severe problems that can be rectified with stronger state enforcement powers.
AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson said the Intolerable Care report presents a solid case for legislative action this year to improve Texas nursing home quality.
“When making the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, family members deserve to know that the facility is adequately regulated to ensure their loved one is safe and well cared for,” said Jackson. “In Texas today, those assurances do not exist.”
Jackson said the Legislature can significantly improve Texas’ currently shabby standing among states in terms of nursing home quality by approving a few important reforms, several of which have been recommended by the bipartisan Texas Sunset Advisory Commission.
Specifically, Jackson said the Legislature should repeal the state’s so-called “right to correct” law that allows many nursing facility violations to go unpunished and allows severe problems to fester. Also, he said Texas should stop deferring to the federal government when it comes to penalizing bad-performing nursing facilities. And, he added, the state should develop, as the Sunset Advisory Commission recommended, a full range of sanctions to more accurately match the nature and severity of the violations.
The Intolerable Care report can be found here: http://bit.ly/IntolerableCare
For interviews, ideas for local reporting on nursing home quality in your area, and questions about the report, contact Mark Hollis at 512.480.2429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.