Schwertner Takes Action to Protect Vulnerable Texans

Texas Senate unanimously approves Sen. Schwertner’s legislation to protect seniors and persons with disabilities from abuse in nursing homes and other care settings.

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – In unanimous 31-0 votes, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bills 932 and 933, a package of legislation offered by Senator Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) that would increase quality-of-care standards for seniors and other vulnerable Texans in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

“Texas needs to send a clear and unambiguous message that we’re serious about protecting our most vulnerable citizens from abuse and neglect,” said Schwertner.  “Whether it’s children in foster care, individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities living in long-term care facilities, or our parents and grandparents residing in nursing homes, our state needs to do a much better job of protecting those who cannot protect themselves.  I’m extremely grateful to each and every member of the Texas Senate for working to protect our seniors and other vulnerable Texans.”

In 2014, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission found that the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) seldom takes formal action to address health and safety violations at long-term care facilities like nursing homes, even on serious or repeat offenses.  However, when the DADS Sunset bill (SB 204, 84R) failed to pass in 2015, many of the Sunset Commission’s proposals to strengthen enforcement failed with it.

SB 932 (Long-Term Care Oversight and Protection) — eliminates so-called “right to correct” plans for long-term care facilities (such as nursing homes, assisted living centers, and intermediate care facilities) found to exhibit chronic, substandard quality of care violations.  SB 932 also directs Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to develop progressive sanctions based on the scope and severity of violations, with increased financial penalties for the most serious violations.

SB 933 (Home Health Oversight and Protection) — eliminates so-called “right to correct” plans for Home and Community Services Agencies (HCSSAs) found to exhibit chronic, substandard quality of care violations.  SB 933 also directs Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to develop progressive sanctions based on the scope and severity of violations, with increased financial penalties for the most serious violations.

A medical doctor by training, Dr. Schwertner currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.  Schwertner is currently serving his third term as the senator for Senate District 5, a ten-county region of central and east Texas.

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