Written Testimony on SB 1519

 

TCDD logo   Mary Durheim, Chair
Andrew D. Crim, Vice Chair
Beth Stalvey, MPH, PhD, Executive Director



6201 E. Oltorf, Suite 600
Austin, TX 78741-7509
Email: tcdd@tcdd.texas.gov
Website: www.tcdd.texas.gov
  Phone: (512) 437-5432
Toll Free: (800) 262-0334
Fax: (512) 437-5434

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Written Testimony on Senate Bill 1519
Council on Long-Term Care Facilities

April 10, 2019

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on Senate Bill 1519, which would establish a council on long-term care facilities.

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) is established by state and federal law and is governed by 27 board members, appointed by the Governor, 60% of whom are individuals with developmental disabilities or family members of individuals with disabilities. TCDD’s purpose in law is to encourage policy change so that people with disabilities have opportunities to be fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives.

As per the terms of SB 1519, the new Long-Term Care Facilities Council would have 19 members, including: program managers; surveyors; enforcement team members; individuals with informal dispute resolution (IDR) experience; an individual with expertise in Medicaid quality-based payment systems for long-term care facilities; and owners, administrators, and nurses in long-term care facilities.

Notably absent from the proposed council are public members, including individuals with an intellectual disability and individuals receiving care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities; their legally authorized representatives (including but not limited to their family members); and advocates. The previous iteration of this council, established by SB 914 in the 84th Legislature, concluded in its December 2016 report that the shared goal of surveyors, IDR staff, and industry providers was positive outcomes for long-term care facility residents. Furthermore, the council issued recommendations which it felt would directly improve the quality of care on which these vulnerable Texans depend. To be most effective and comprehensive, the re-established council should include the membership of those who are most directly impacted by the issues being considered and the recommendations being made.

Amending the membership of the council to include representation of people receiving services, their LARs or family members, and advocates would be consistent with the goals of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, and the Developmental Disabilities and Assistance Act (42 USC 6000 et seq) which assures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, therefore we respectfully urge the adoption of this change.

Sincerely,

Linda Logan, MPAff
Public Policy Specialist
Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities