Volume XXX, Number 6
Sine Die (from the Latin “without day”)
“Survival can be summed up in three words – never give up. That’s the heart of it really. Just keep trying” ~ Bear Grylls
This past Monday, June 1, 2015, the 140 days of the 84th Legislative Session officially ended. During these past 140 days, we were faced with numerous issues affecting your ability to maintain focus on providing the best quality of care you can for the communities you serve.
On the funding front this session, with state budget estimates reporting a $343 million shortfall for nursing home care, closing the gap in nursing home Medicaid funding was never seen as a priority. Even with the countless hours of visits with legislators, key staff and decision makers until the 11th hour and beyond, increasing the Medicaid budget was dismissed. Unfortunately for Texas Medicaid (see “State Budget Heading to Governor’s Desk”), increased funding of Medicaid rates in Texas across providers was far and few between, including “cost containment” (i.e. cuts) in Medicaid for some programs.
I do however, want to thank each and every one of you who made the calls to your legislators, made visits to the Capitol in Austin, encouraged your staff and families to make contact and were willing to write letters/emails and Op-Eds presenting the wonderful work you do and discussing the legislative priorities we promoted this session.
Through collective efforts, we helped develop several positive outcomes and made significant efforts to avoid not so positive outcomes this session. Those efforts/outcomes include:
Although SB304 passed (three strike legislation), it did so with many changes as a result of ongoing communications and efforts by association members and representatives which modified the original language avoiding potentially harsh and unintended consequences.
There was a lot to be learned from this legislative session, and a lot to be taken forward. We’ve already begun contemplating opportunities and strategic actions as we discern the outcomes and next steps in advancing the needs and priorities of you, our members.
Thank you for your membership and thank you for what you do for your communities on a daily basis.
Onward and Upward
Commitment to Care
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