Texas Ranks at Bottom for Long Term Care Quality

Texas Ranks at Bottom for Long Term Care Quality

Texas comes in at the bottom when it comes to long term and nursing home care in the United States, according to a recent report released by AARP.

Long Term Care Scorecard

With an increase in both the cost of long term care and the demand for it, some states are struggling to keep an effective long term care system in place. An increase in patients and a declining availability of caregivers has led to greater financial burden on the states and some are doing a better job than others at providing care for the growing demographic. The recent report evaluated the progress of long term services and supports in each state. Texas ranked 30th overall out of 51.

The report, titled “Raising Expectations 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers”, looks at various influencers of the long term services and support systems within the 50 states. It found that the availability, cost, and quality of care vary greatly depending on where you are in the country. The analysis includes 26 measurable indicators grouped into 5 main categories, which include affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and care, support for family caregivers, and effective transitions.

System Measures

Texas ranked at the very bottom of the scorecard for both quality of life and care and transitions; the Lone Star state ranked 49th and 47th, respectively. On the better side, Texas ranked 10th for affordability and access of long term care services.

Included in those measurable factors is the number of people with long term care coverage through private insurance. In Texas, 38 of every 1,000 adults aged 40 and older have long term care coverage. Washington DC has the highest rate of insured with 130 per 1,000 adults owning a private Long Term Care Insurance policy. In terms of the cost, quality, and direction of care, there were both improvements and setbacks. Consider these statistics about Texas’s long term care system:

–       The median nursing home cost as a % of median household income for 65+ was reported to be 181% in 2013, down from 205% in 2010.

–       The nursing home staff turnover rate is the third worst in the country. In 2010, the rate was reported to be 72%, up from 46.2% in 2008.

–       The percentage of nursing home residents with low care need decreased from 16.4% in 2007 to 14.3% in 2010, indicating the system’s transitions are more effective.

–       The percentage of Medicaid and other state funds going towards home and community based services for the elderly and disabled has increased to 53.5% in 2011 from 50% in 2009.

–       The percentage of disabled adults usually or always getting needed support was up to 68.9% in 2010, from 66% in 2009.

Plan for Care

The AARP report was released shortly before the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission meets to assess potential changes for the Department of Aging and Disability Services. The Commission published a report last month detailing violations including weak enforcement of nursing home violations and failure to close inadequate facilities.

Long term care is an important topic that deserves some research on your part, both on the cost of care in your area, the best facilities for care, and the various ways to shield your savings from the cost. Texas has quickly become a retirement hot spot, but making plans for your long term care can help ensure those years are spent without worrying about spending through your nest egg.

You can learn more about the cost of long term care in Texas and how to prepare for the bill. Planning for long term care is an important part of securing your financial future. Request a free quote comparison of the top companies today.

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