A national score card out today ranks states on the long-term services they provide for the elderly – and while Texas sits in the middle of the pack overall, it's at the very bottom in some important measures.
The report looks at indicators like affordability, quality of care and support for family caregivers. Overall, Texas ranks 30th on care for older adults. Minnesota tops the list while Alabama and Kentucky are at the bottom. Read more on the overall report.
But on some specific indicators, however, Texas is at the very bottom. In both quality of care and quality of life, Texas ranks 49th, according to the 2014 Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard. High staff turnover, the use of antipsychotic medications and a high rate of pressure sores pull the state's score down.
"There are lots of good nursing homes out there in Texas but the nursing facilities that are doing a poor job and have repeat serious violations – that’s where the Legislature and the [Department of Aging and Disability Services] needs to focus its energy in helping those facilities get better," says AARP Texas' Amanda Fredriksen.
Fredriksen isn’t alone in criticizing the Department of Aging and Disability Services. In May, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission released a report [PDF] showing how little the department penalizes homes with repeat and serious violations. Texas is also second to last in its Medicaid payment rate to nursing homes, which Fredriksen says may contribute to the turnover.
Next week, the Sunset Commission will host a public hearing on its report at the Capitol.