Government officials in Texas are squabbling over whether to terminate state contracts with nursing homes which repeatedly are found to abuse and neglect residents. The Department of Aging and Disability Services (aka DADS) in Texas has figures that show that severe violations, which put residents in immediate danger, have gone up 35%. Anecdotal evidence of such incidents is unfortunately not hard to come by.

For instance, there is the case of Minnie Graham, a 97 year old who’s family caught three different employees slapping and shoving her by installing a surveillance camera. A review of the DADS records shows that Ms. Minnie Graham’s home had 79 deficiencies from 2010-2013. Meanwhile, the facility received more than $8 million from Medicaid. The Department for Aging and Disability Services did recommend that the facility be cut off from government funds. Twice. However, the termination never happened. Federal law requires the department to reconsider terminations if the facilities come back into compliance within six months, even when the facilities are repeat offenders.

State Representative Elliot Naishtat is on the Human Services Committee, which oversees DADS and he is very concerned with this reality. He worries that there are not enough inspectors (something the DADS spokesperson denies) and has stated that he will push legislation that increases fines and sanctions against substandard nursing homes.

See full article at KHOU.

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