Texas Ranks Worst in Nation for Nursing Home Quality of Care

Families for Better Care, a Florida-based nursing home resident advocacy group, recently released a report detailing the quality of nursing homes across the nation.

The report found that nursing homes in the US aren’t up to the standards they should be, and for a lot of states like Texas, it’s much worse than that.

Texas Receives Failing Grade

The group touted the study as the first of its kind, a state-by-state nursing home report card. The study was based on eight federal measures, including facility deficiencies, staffing hours, health inspections, and verified ombudsman complaints. Texas received an F and was the only state to receive a failing grade in 6 of the 8 measures.

Brian Lee, the group’s executive director said “Texas epitomizes what’s dreadfully wrong with nursing home care and oversight in America.”

“It seems skeleton crews are working the hallways of Texas nursing homes,” said Lee.  “With so few staff to care for residents, it’s not surprising that less than 20 percent of Texas nursing homes scored above average inspection ratings and almost 95 percent were cited one or more deficiencies.”

Ombusman Complaints Verified

Ombudsmen are volunteers who act as advocates and representatives for residents in long term care facilities. Ombudsmen work to ensure the patients and residents at these facilities receive quality care and respect in a dignified, appropriate setting. When a complaint is made, ombudsmen are tasked with identifying, investigating, and helping to resolve the complaint.

According to the recent report, Texas ombudsmen verified 92.19% of the registered complaints, ranking 44th in the nation.

Nationwide Problem

To gather the data for the report, Families for Better Care utilized staffing data compiled by the Kaiser Health Foundation, performance measures from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Nursing Home Compare, and the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman complaint data.

Texas was far from the only state with obvious issues: close to 90% of all nursing homes were cited as having a deficiency. Another disturbing statistic is that 96% of states offered residents fewer than three hours of direct resident care per day. Given that lack of social interaction has a profound effect on the rapidness of mental decline, these numbers highlight yet again the massive need for caregivers that our country is experiencing.

Unfortunately, a number of these nursing homes lack substantial funding. Texas, especially, suffers in the area of long term care due to the fact that the state has the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rate in the nation.

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