Cedar Creek Lake

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Texas Really Needs to Treat Your Grandma Better

by




The State of Texas has to do a better job in taking care of our grandmas. I’ll bet you think I’m going to start talking about my nursing home again, after I promised to stop doing that so much. But this time I’m talking about everybody’s nursing home, and everybody’s grandma who lives in a Texas nursing home, and grandpa, and anybody who moves into a nursing home for a long-term stay. So please, give me a minute to explain. You may be able to help grandma out.
I’ll start with this: Nursing home care is expensive. People come to nursing homes because they need 24-hour a day care, and that costs a lot of money for a whole array of things such as supplies, assistance with daily needs, meals, snacks, socials services, transportation to appointments, and other needs, but the majority of it goes for staffing. We have to try to pay our staff right or they can’t afford to stay with us.
Nursing home care is so expensive that when people of average means go into a nursing home they generally start out paying privately, but if they stay very long, most will eventually run out of money. At that point, they are picked up by Medicaid. Medicaid then pays an average of 144.00 per day. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? The only problem with that is that the average cost of caring for a resident for a day in a Texas nursing home is 170.00.
So you may ask, how can a nursing home operate on that kind of deal? Well, some can’t. One of the largest nursing home chains declared bankruptcy recently, and another has announced it is closing all its Texas facilities. On the other hand, you may have noticed a brand new state-of-the-art nursing home about to open in Athens. What are they thinking? It could lead a person to think all this fuss is really just the nursing home industry whining to get more money? Because if this is all true, how is anybody still in business?
For most Texas nursing homes, the answer is short-term rehab. Medicare and some insurance policies reimburse for short-term rehabilitation at a fair rate. If you get enough of those folks, you can continue to operate, though not necessarily at the level you—or sometimes the state inspectors—desire.
I don’t know, but I’m assuming the new nursing home is gambling it will get the lion’s share of Henderson County’s short-term rehab patients when it opens. If they do, they will do well, and unless things change, many other local nursing homes will struggle even more. On the other hand, if those rehab residents don’t flock there fast enough, the new guy may be in trouble too. Of course, he, like the rest of us, is really hoping things are about to change. And just maybe they will.
Because at long last, Texas is seriously talking about fixing the problem which wouldn’t have been a problem if they would have just taken the money the Federal Government offered them, money which Texas tax-payers contributed to. The majority of other states across the country took the money, but Texas did not want Washington telling us what to do, so they refused the money. Because of this, and probably a few other factors, Texas reimbursement for nursing home care is one of the very lowest in the country.
Now some of our legislators finally got it, and are tossing a couple of solutions back and forth, either of which can allow Texas to take those federal funds and use them to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates without costing Texas one dime.
We like SB 1050 best. It allows Texas to bring federal tax dollars back to Texas. Dollars that we have sent to Washington and is spent in other states. The sole purpose of these funds is to improve the quality of life for our residents.
These funds will help us keep the best people by paying them reasonable wages, upgrade our facilities, and create a whole array of innovative programs that can enrich the day to day lives of our residents. It looks kind of possible that this might happen, but they are still arguing about it in Austin.
You could make a difference. A letter, an email, or a phone call to your state Senator would help immensely. Those will get his attention the most, but petitions are good too. We have started a petition here at the nursing home, and we will post a copy of it on our Facebook page in case any of you want to print it and circulate it as well.
We believe, for most of us, Senator Robert Nichols who represents District 3 is the most important contact and below is his contact info:
Hon. Robert Nichols
PO Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
512 463 0103
800 959 8633 Toll free
So give it a thought. Go to Cedar Lake Nursing Home’s facebook page and we’ll show you all kinds of ways to express yourself about this matter. You know you want to make sure Grandma is treated right.




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Cedar Creek Lake Fishing Report from TPWD (May 15)

Water lightly stained; 73–77 degrees, 0.48’ high. Black bass are fair on topwaters, buzz frogs and Texas rigged craws. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Catfish are good on trotlines. White bass are good on slabs and topwaters. Hybrid striper are good on slabs and topwaters