Texas Coalition for Long Term Care Business: Proposed 33% cut to Nursing Home Medicaid Rate Will Cost Jobs, Undermine Broad Swath of Local Small Business Activity

Mar 22, 2011, 12:42 ET from Texas Coalition for Long Term Care Business

Massive Texas Medicaid Cuts Will be Especially Harmful to Rural Texas Communities' Jobs Base  

AUSTIN, Texas, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Warning that the Texas Legislature's proposed 33% cut to Medicaid-funded nursing home care will have a devastating impact not just on seniors' care, but on local communities' jobs base and economic activity, the recently-formed Texas Coalition for Long Term Care Business urged lawmakers to re-think their budgetary proposal in light of how badly the cuts would impact so many different groups of Texas citizens in every region of the state.

Buddy Parker, a representative of First Choice Medical Supply in Garland, TX, and senior spokesperson for the Coalition, stated, "Our mission is to ensure lawmakers understand the proposed 33% Medicaid cuts will extend far beyond putting Texas seniors at risk, and will also put our local jobs base and the very well being of our local communities at risk. In addition to driving many nursing facilities out of business -- and leaving our frail elderly and their caregivers with no recourse, small businesses throughout Texas that provide products and services to the long term care sector will also face severe hardship."

Parker pointed out that according to recently released data compiled by the non-partisan health advisory firm, Avalere Health, Texas ranks fourth nationally in nursing facility-generated economic activity and employment ($12.73 billion annually) and total jobs resulting from nursing facility activity is 154,673. He explained Texas' long term care-oriented businesses provide an array of local services and products to skilled nursing facilities, and consists of medical suppliers, community pharmacists, rehab consultants, technology software companies, food preparers, linen suppliers, and others. 

He said that while much progress has been made in the past week about an agreement to use $3.1 billion of the state's Rainy Day Fund for fiscal relief, "It will not even make a dent in the 33% Medicaid cuts, and is but a toothpick in the dyke of the worsening problem affecting nursing facilities, their patients, their caregivers, and their local communities."

 Dean Blackmor, a representative of Medicine Chest, whose corporate office is in Sulphur Springs, TX, noted many of the long-term care pharmacies the company operates in Texas serve rural areas, where access to key services is crucial.  "Rural towns and businesses across Texas already have already faced severe challenges during the recession," stated Blackmor.  "While Texas has always been a business friendly state, there will be a negative domino effect to companies supporting long term care if the 33% Medicaid cuts are passed -- the likes of which many of us have never seen. Skilled nursing facilities are not just our biggest and most reliable employer throughout much of rural Texas, they are the principle local economic driver, and it's time for a reality check with these disastrous proposed cuts."   

 Members of the Texas Coalition for Long Term Care Business include: KB Enterprises, Functional Pathways, Coro Health LLC, Benefit Concepts Inc., SmartLinx Solutions, Community Portable X-Ray Inc., Onsite Health Care Services, Medline Healthcare Co., Select Rehabilitation Inc., Medicine Chest Pharmacy, Gulf South Medical Supply, Reliant Rehabilitation, South Texas Medical Supply, Therapy Management Corporation, Accelerated Care Plus, Chatelle and Associates, Invacare Rentals, First Quality Products, Jackson Walker LLP., MetroStat Diagnostic Services Inc., New York Life Insurance Co., First Choice Medical Supply, Heart to Heart Hospice, ARKRAY USA Inc., VitalMedix LLC., RehabCare, Transition Health Services, Senior PsychCare Inc., A Hug Away Inc., Deer Oaks - A Behavioral Health Organization, Summit Care, Health Care Information Systems and Medi-Bill Systems, Oceanview Transitional Care Center, Floyd Zurovec LLP, Bruce Jackson Associates, Fundamental Clinical & Operational Services LLC, eHealth Data Solutions, Anacapa Technologies, RXPERTS Pharmacy – Texas, HPSI Purchasing Services, SCA Personal Care, Martus Financial Services Inc., PharmacyCareUSA, DermaRite Industries LLC, GreenHeart Printer Solutions.

SOURCE Texas Coalition for Long Term Care Business