Texas Scores Poorly in Nursing Home Care

Families for Better Care, a nonprofit group that advocates for better nursing home care, has released its first state-by-state nursing home report card, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to quality of care. Unfortunately for Texas residents seeking nursing home care, the state ranked last in the report, with an F grade.

To compile the information used in the report cards, the group used performance data from the Nursing Home Compare program of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Kaiser Health Foundation performance information, and complaint data provided by each state’s Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

The group said that Texas was the only state with failing grades in six out of eight statistical measures of quality of care.

Less than 20 percent of nursing homes in Texas had an above average direct care staff rating, a lower percentage than any other state. In terms of direct care staffing hours, Texas ranked 44th among the states, with an F grade.

The report found that 94 percent of facilities in Texas had deficiencies, and 16 percent had severe deficiencies. In terms of above average health inspections, Texas ranked 44th out of all the states.

In terms of the average time each resident spends with a registered nurse per day, Texas ranked 50th among the states. Less than 11 percent of facilities in Texas had an above average registered nurse staffing rating, placing the state in 49th place in that category.

With regard to complaints received by the state’s Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, 92 percent of complaints were verified.

Brian Lee, the executive director of Families for Better Care, said that the state’s “abysmal” record epitomizes what is wrong with nursing home care. Lee said that nursing homes in the state were severely understaffed. The group called on the state legislature and Governor Rick Perry to take action to improve the regulation of skilled nursing facilities.

On the group’s list of the worst states for nursing home care, Texas was joined by Louisiana, Oklahoma, Indiana, New Mexico, Missouri, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Illinois and Iowa. The group said that the best states for nursing home care were Alaska, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Maine, South Dakota and North Dakota.

The United States has over 15,000 nursing facilities that are home to more than 1.5 million Americans.

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