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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

Green Releases Report on Nursing Home Conditions in Texas

October 28, 2002
Press Release
Washington, DC - Today, Congressmen Gene Green  and Ciro Rodriguez  released a report on nursing home conditions in Texas.  The study found that 86 percent of nursing homes in Texas did not meet federal standards governing the quality of care, and many had violations that caused harm to residents.
 
Im both saddened and alarmed by the findings of this report, said Green.  Our seniors deserve the best care possible and we have to do more to enforce the federal standards and ensure that no one in a Texas nursing home is being treated inadequately or being put in harms way.
 
Of the 1,148 nursing homes in Texas, only 161 facilities were found to be in full or substantial compliance with federal standards, and of the 86 percent with violations, the average facility had 9.8 violations of federal quality care requirements.  Conditions that caused harm to residents, placing them at risk of death or serious injury, were found in 39 percent of all facilities.
 
The study also found that 94 percent of nursing homes in Texas did not meet minimum federal staffing levels identified by the Department of Health and Human Services.  Texas ranks 43rd in the nation in hours of nursing care provided to residents each day.  Furthermore, Texas nursing homes that failed to meet the minimum staffing levels were more than three times as likely to have violations that caused actual harm to residents.
 
It all starts with proper staffing levels, added Green.  You cannot expect to meet federal quality of care standards and provide a safe and harm-free environment for our seniors when there is not enough staff available to provide the necessary, everyday care.  Nursing homes must do a better job and strive to correct these problems.
 
I am fully aware that there is currently a nursing shortage throughout the country and Congress passed legislation earlier this year that will help increase the number of people pursuing jobs in the nursing profession.  Hopefully this law will help to fill some of the vacancies at these nursing homes and improve the quality of care for our frailest and most vulnerable population.