The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed by Congress and signed into law earlier this year by President Biden, gave hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus money to use as they determined best to help their people and economies.
Here in Texas, lawmakers have used Senate Bill 8 (the ARPA Funds bill) in part to provide funding to long-term care facilities such as nursing homes as well as home health agencies and skilled nursing professionals.
What’s most important to know about the bill?
The bill, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law last month, provides over $378 million in grants to help state facilities recruit retain qualified staff. Of that, $200 million will go to nursing homes. Many facilities for the elderly and others who require full-time care have become woefully understaffed in the past couple of years.
A survey by the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) found that close to a third of long-term care facilities have reported that they are so short-staffed that they were required to limit new admissions. The head of the THCA noted that while the influx of funds will help, the shortages are far from over. He said, “There’s still a significant need for recruitment and retention….I don’t think it’s going to solve the issue but I do think it’s a positive investment towards helping to stabilize and allow [operators] to compete in their markets….”
Understaffing of nursing homes can lead to negligence, errors and other issues that can endanger the health and lives of those who depend on them for their care. If a loved one has been harmed due to negligence, it’s crucial that you find out what your options are for seeking justice and compensation.