San Antonio Express News had an article about Texas budget problems causing massive Medicaid cuts. Texas’ Medicaid rates already rank 49th in the nation but the proposed budget includes a 34 percent cut in Medicaid provider rates for fiscal year 2012-2013 — three times higher than expected.  David Thomason, senior vice president of public policy for TASA, said the current Medicaid reimbursement rate is less than $125 per day. The cut will reduce it to about $80 a day.

“If this budget remains as it is proposed, nursing facilities will close,” said Alvin A. Loewenberg, president and CEO of Morningside Ministries. He said those in the nursing home industry believed the cut would be 10 percent. “Medicaid residents will have no place to go,” he said. “I am embarrassed that the state of Texas has so little concern for older folks, their families, and those who care for them in nursing homes, many of whom are working poor.”

George Linial, president of the Texas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, said nonprofit nursing homes that largely rely on Medicaid are going to be especially hard-hit by the higher cuts.

Another article from San Antonio Express News explains how lack of funds affects the quality of the care.  Texas will lose matching federal funds that total $1.47 per state dollar spent on Medicaid. An estimated 55,000 of the state’s nursing home residents are on Medicaid.  70 percent or more of the residents in about half of the state’s nursing homes are on Medicaid.  Nursing home residents need a high level of care — frequently round-the-clock nursing attention.

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