Now that government-owned nursing homes around the country can draw from the federally funded Minimum Payment Amounts Program, hundreds of cash-starved facilities in Texas have signed up to claim this supplemental public funding. Since this funding is not available to nursing homes that are privately owned, local governments have assumed ownership of around 200 nursing homes around the state over the last year.
Though many industry leaders have applauded the program as a means to make improvements to aging facilities around the state, serious concerns have been expressed about what the shift in nursing home ownership will mean for nursing home residents and their families. As reported by The Texas Tribune, critics point out that there are strict limitations as to what legal action may be taken against local governments—a protection that would extend to nursing homes owned by local governments.
Additionally, as more nursing homes fall under the ownership of local governments and associated hospital districts, some local entities have become responsible for facilities that fall outside of their local jurisdiction. While these arrangements are intended to improve the quality of care as individuals transition between hospitals and nursing homes, J.T. Borah of Hotze Runkle PLLC told The Texas Tribune that the arrangement is suspect.
“This would place a huge burden on family members who are wanting to be very involved in their relative’s care,” Borah told the Tribune’s Edgar Walters.
Given the serious nature of the various problems that are inherent to nursing home facilities that are owned by hospital districts and local governments, you should take a moment to reconsider all of the options that may be available to you and your loved ones.