Stricter nursing home laws proposed by Texas lawmakers

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas nursing homes that thrice commit egregious oversight offenses could be shuttered under a plan proposed by state lawmakers.

The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission recommended the crackdown at its Wednesday meeting in Austin, local media outlets reported. The proposal urges the Legislature to require the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services to rescind the license of any nursing home with at least three of the gravest violations over a two-year period.

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, proposed the new rules. He said the proposal would only target “the worst of the worst” facilities. He said only seven of the state’s 1,200 nursing homes would be shuttered under such a law.

Schwertner said a three-strikes law would help Texas move quicker with its regulations than the federal authorities. He said a facility in his district was closed in late July after losing federal funding.

“I’m tired of getting trumped by the fed government,” said Schwertner. “I think the state needs to protect its own citizens.”

State Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, said a “three-strikes” law could force the state to act too quickly.

“If there’s a nursing home out there that’s making substantial progress toward correcting it,” Dutton said, “I don’t know why we would simply just revoke their license at that point.”

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