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Increased Investment in Medicaid Needed to Protect Houston Area's Most Vulnerable Seniors, Disabled
Date:3/13/2008

Texas Health Care Association Tells House Human Services Panel That Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Programs Are at Risk

CLEARLAKE, Texas, March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In testimony before a field hearing of the House Human Services Committee today, the President of the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) said that in order to protect the Houston area's most vulnerable frail, elderly and disabled seniors, it will be essential in the year ahead to initiate a much-needed discussion about how to strengthen the Texas Medicaid program's reimbursement rate, which has dangerously slipped to 49th in the entire nation.

"Now more than ever, Mr. Chairman, we need to initiate a discussion about how to strengthen our Medicaid program - especially in Texas, where our Medicaid reimbursement rates have slipped to 49th in the entire nation, and which simply does not reflect the challenges faced daily by our state's most vulnerable seniors and the providers who care for them," testified Tim Graves, President of the THCA in Austin. "With Medicaid financing a joint state-federal responsibility, we will be strongly urging our Austin and Washington-based lawmakers to take a hard look at the fact that while the average national daily Medicaid rate per patient is $153.83, the Texas rate is just $106.59, according to independent data from the national accounting firm BDO Seidman, and other sources."

Graves said that even on a regional basis, Texas has fallen behind: New Mexico ranks 30th nationally, at $137.24; Oklahoma ranks 44th, at $116.84; Arkansas ranks 47th, at $111.76; and Louisiana ranks 45th, at $115.00. Besides the fact that the Texas Medicaid rate requires modification to reflect the realities of the health care marketplace, he said, we must also assess how the pending demographic tidal wave of retirees, a great many of whom will ultimately require long term care and services, will place further stress on an already over-burdened Medicai
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SOURCE Texas Health Care Association
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