Statement of Tim Graves, President of Texas Health Care Association (THCA), Regarding the State 'Medicaid Opt Out' Discussion

Dec 03, 2010, 20:09 ET from Texas Health Care Association

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On behalf of an aging Texas elderly population who depend upon adequate Medicaid funding to meet their growing care needs, and on behalf of the staff and facilities that are a mainstay of local economies throughout the state, THCA has serious concerns regarding any effort to drop out of the federal Medicaid program.

We agree with the observation of lawmakers and others who correctly express growing concern that a precipitous move of this nature would have a tremendous negative 'ripple effect' throughout Texas' health care system and economy. Not only would the care of our rapidly aging elderly and disabled citizens be placed in direct jeopardy, many facilities they depend upon could be forced to close.

The fact is that Texas has had a net loss of 118 facilities in every corner of our state since 1999, and dropping out of Medicaid could cause that number to rise to the detriment of local seniors and caregivers in every region of Texas, especially in our many rural communities.

Facilities throughout Texas have invested heavily in recent years to increase capabilities to admit, treat and return to home a growing number of patients requiring intensive rehabilitative care. This is a clear benefit to both seniors as well as taxpayers.

We intend to work positively and constructively in the new legislative session to focus attention in Austin on the need to help facilities improve their capacity to return patients home more quickly, thereby boosting cost-efficiency. This is a more beneficial, logical and practical approach overall than opting out of Medicaid.

Founded in 1950, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) is the largest long term care association in Texas. THCA represents a broad spectrum of long term care providers and professionals offering long term, rehabilitative and specialized health care services. Member facilities, owned by both for-profit and non-profit entities, include nursing facilities, specialized rehabilitation facilities, and assisted living facilities.

SOURCE Texas Health Care Association