Thousands of Texans who require long term care and services rely on Medicaid to pay for their care each day. The largest payor of long term care and services, Medicaid represents a blend of both federal and state dollars paid at a rate set by the State of Texas — rates that fail to cover the actual cost of providing this type of care.
In 2013, the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) estimated that in 2014 – 2015 it would require a funding increase of $372 million in state funds just to meet the cost of caring for the nearly 60,000 Medicaid-dependent elderly and disabled Texans living in nursing homes
This issue was only partially addressed by the Legislature, as Medicaid-funded nursing home care funding was increased by 6% for the 2014 – 2015 budget cycle. Even with this positive step however, according to the HHSC’s FY 2016-2017 Consolidated Budget, an additional 13.75% will be necessary to fully fund Nursing Facility care. This means Texas nursing homes and their residents will still have to manage with an underfunding of over $343 million in state funds unless the Texas legislature adds that amount in the state budget for the next two years. Combined with federal Medicare funding cuts implemented in 2011, concern remains on the impact the rates have on budgeting and providing the necessary services to care for Texas’ most vulnerable seniors.