Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $3.5 Million For Nursing Facility Safety Projects

October 2, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) today announced $3.5 million in federal funding for nursing facilities to purchase plexiglass barriers and tents to allow for safe visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing facilities may apply for this funding through HHSC beginning October 5, 2020.

"As we open nursing facilities to essential caregivers and visitors, the State of Texas is working to protect the health and safety of both residents and their families," said Governor Abbott. "With this funding, we will help keep nursing facility residents and their families safe while ensuring that residents can be with their loved ones and receive the support they need." 

"This funding will enhance the health and safety of nursing facility residents and their families as facilities across the state welcome essential caregivers and other visitors, who are providing much-needed support to their loved ones," said HHSC Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young.

Nursing facilities that complete an application and are approved by Texas HHSC can receive up to $3,000 per facility to purchase the plexiglass barriers and tents to help facilitate in-person visits for residents. The tents can be used for outdoor visitation and screening of visitors before they enter a facility. The plexiglass barriers can be used for indoor visits with residents for nursing facilities in counties with a COVID-19 positivity rate of less than 10 percent, per federal direction. People can have in-person visitation with their loved ones under the agency’s new expanded visitation rules, which apply statewide.

For more details on how to apply for funding, visit the Texas HHS website.

HHSC is allocating Civil Money Penalty (CMP) funds for these efforts. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services imposes CMPs against Medicare- or Medicaid-certified nursing facilities found out of compliance with federal requirements. A portion of these funds is set aside for projects and activities that benefit nursing facility residents by improving their quality of care or quality of life.