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Texas Health Care Association: New Report on Long Term Care Workforce Spotlights Need to Boost Texas Medicaid Rates
Date:4/15/2008

Existing Medicaid Funding Levels, 49th Nationally, Ill-Serves Ability to Meet Growing Demand for Care

AUSTIN, Texas, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Commenting on yesterday's release of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) new report, "Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce," the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) said the urgent need to expand the state's long term care workforce to meet the growing demand for care will be severely undermined by the fact Texas' Medicaid rates rank 49th in the nation, and cannot support the investment in staff necessary to maintain care access to an aging population.

"The overall message of the IOM report is that there is both a supply and demand problem in regard to America's long term care labor force, and we as a state and nation must better prepare for the deluge of retirees by growing and investing in our workforce," said Tim Graves, President of THCA. "Medicaid plays an enormous role in shaping Texas' nursing home labor force and its long-term ability to meet the growing demand for care."

Continued Graves, "In 2010 and 2011, funds must be made available and appropriated that are at least sufficient to meet the costs of nursing home care as determined by the HHS Commission's rate setting methodology for the Texas Medicaid nursing home program. Failure to do so will lead to a worsening staffing crisis because facilities simply cannot compete in the local economy for the qualified staff we need, and that our residents deserve."

The IOM analysis specifically warns the U.S. health-care work force is "too small and woefully unprepared" for the growing elderly population, and lays out a stark picture of increased demand for health-care workers - unmet by a stagnant or even dwindling supply of those trained to treat the elderly.

Graves said it is essential in the year ahead - before the next legislative session - to conduct an honest, straightforward po
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SOURCE Texas Health Care Association
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