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Texas Nursing Homes Could Get Licenses Revoked Under Three Strikes Bill

KUT News
State Sen. Charles Schwertner has filed a 2015 bill that would lead to revoking the license of a nursing home with three or more violations.

A bill filed Friday in the Texas Senate would lead to revoking the license of any nursing home with three or more violations. 

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, filed this bill to raise the standards at nursing homes, which have gotten national criticism recently. Last year, national advocacy group Families for Better Care ranked Texas as the worst state for nursing home quality.

Schwertner's bill is informally called the three strikes bill because it would require the Department of Aging and Disability Services to revoke a nursing home’s license if the facility has three or more serious health and safety violations.

In a written statement, Schwertner said that "state sanctions need to be viewed as more than just a cost of doing business." Critics of the measure, however, say shutting down these facilities is bad for the industry.

In May of last year, the Legislature’s Sunset Advisory Commission, which evaluates state agencies, released a report [read a PDF version here] calling for stricter penalizing of eldercare facilities that don’t meet basic standards.

The Department of Aging and Disability Services said in a statement last week that the department looks forward "to working closely with lawmakers this session on any measures" that would help protect the health and safety of the people it serves.

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