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Fast food threatens to steal LTC workforce in Texas

April 15, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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Caregivers in Texas are opting to work at fast-food restaurants rather than long-term care facilities.

The state has one of the highest annual turnover rates for registered nurses, 94 percent.

"They are not just leaving their jobs, they are leaving the industry," says Scot Kibbe, director of government relations for the Texas Health committee in a press release.

Certified nursing assistants can earn more money and have less stress working at Buc-ee’s convenience store, some of which pay some employees $14 an hour, Kibbe says. It’s difficult for nursing homes to stay competitive.

“What our providers tell us is their inability to pay competitive wages is a major factor [in turnover],” Kibbe says.

That could lead to an employee shortage when long-term care facility demand will be at an all-time high. The ratio of caregivers to residents age 80 and up was seven to one in 2010 and is expected to fall to four to one by 2030.

More than 85 percent of residents in nursing home depend on Medicaid and Medicare. Texas has the third lowest Medicaid reimbursement rate in the nation and chose not to adopt the Medicaid expansion.