Statement of Texas Health Care Association (THCA) President Kevin Warren on the Sunset Commission Vote on Recommendations Impacting DADS Regulatory Oversight of Texas Skilled Nursing Providers
on the Sunset Commission Vote on Recommendations Impacting
DADS Regulatory Oversight of Texas Skilled Nursing Providers
“The Texas Health Care Association (THCA), on behalf of its members, urges lawmakers to consider with caution and prudence today’s Sunset Commission vote to support additional and unnecessary layers of regulation on our state’s skilled nursing facilities. Added enforcement actions and increased penalties proposed in the Sunset Commission report and subsequent amendments within the review of the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) could severely hamper efforts to improve the quality of care delivered by nursing home providers by redirecting current resources away from patient-centered care.
Today’s vote should serve as a catalyst for a broader discussion of the challenges faced by facilities with repeated citations for the same or similar issues. Greater focus should be placed on the underlying issues and challenges that may inhibit sustained improvement efforts by nursing home providers and staff in caring for residents.
The nursing home sector remains one of the most heavily regulated settings in healthcare by both state and federal agencies. DADS has authority in the current regulatory framework to identify infractions, impose financial penalties, and require facilities to correct violations within the agency’s state and federal oversight responsibilities. Regulation and evaluation of the care delivered in the skilled nursing setting must assist providers working to enhance quality, help define the standard of care for patients.
Expanding upon current improvement efforts and maintaining current successes in quality nursing home care in Texas is a common goal between long term care providers, state agencies and consumer stakeholders. We must work together to identify best practices and promote quality improvement principles.
It is critical that Texas’ regulatory environment for skilled nursing care encourage transparency, collaboration and candor and not hinder provider efforts to manage the care delivery of an aging population with increasingly complex conditions.
The discussion of how to ensure the highest quality of care in Texas is one that we welcome and appreciate. As we move towards the 84th Legislative Session in January, we look forward to working with state leaders, state agencies and all stakeholders to ensure every Texas senior receives the highest quality care in our state’s skilled nursing facilities.”