Health program funding cuts have hit Texas nursing homes hard, and future cuts could hit them harder, a long-term care (LTC) industry official told state lawmakers earlier this month.

Tim Graves, president of the Texas Health Care Associati Coon (THCA), Austin, Texas, testified at a hearing organized by the state’s Joint Legislativemmittee on Aging that Medicare started to phase in a 10-year, $1.6 billion reduction in funding in 2009 and is imposing another $234 million reduction this year.

Medicaid cut nursing home funding $58 million in 2011.

Congress is talking about imposing more cuts, Graves said, according to a summary of his remarks provided by the THCA.

Graves said Medicaid reimbursement rates were lower than in most other states even before the recent cuts came along.

Shrinkage in public health program funding levels is a huge problem for LTC providers, because the programs cover about 70% of Texas nursing home costs, Graves said.