Abbott, HHSC Secure $1.1B In Federal Funding For Nursing Facilities, Secure COVID Testing For Harris County

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Friday announced that $1.1 billion in Quality Incentive Payment Program (QIPP) funds have been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to support Texas nursing facilities that provide care for individuals receiving Medicaid.

QIPP provides performance incentive Medicaid payments to nursing facilities that provide care for persons with Medicaid and rewards quality improvements in staffing, infection control, and other key long-term care quality indicators. 

“This funding will improve the quality of care and strengthen infection controls at Texas nursing facilities,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank our partners at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for providing these critical funds.”

“We worked hard to secure this additional federal funding that serves as a critical incentive for innovation and improvements to care for people living in Texas nursing facilities,” said Texas HHS Executive Commissioner Phil Wilson said. “Our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of the people residing in the facilities we regulate, and this funding is especially helpful as we continue to protect Texans.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the estimated QIPP pool size for SFY 2021 at $1.1 billion, up from $600 million in SFY 2020. Through QIPP, Texas Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) receive additional funding through their monthly capitation rate from HHSC and are directed to make performance-based payment increases to nursing facilities.

As designed, eligible nursing facilities receive additional payments if they achieve progress on different quality targets.

Entering its fourth year, QIPP is a performance-based program that encourages nursing facilities to improve the quality and innovation of their services through implementation of improvements.

The program compensates facilities for meeting or exceeding certain goals, with sixteen percent of program funds dedicated to improving infection control and infection-related quality measures in publicly owned facilities. For more information about QIPP, visit the HHSC website.

Governor Abbott Announces Federally Funded COVID-19 Testing Sites In Harris County

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott Friday announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established four temporary COVID-19 surge testing sites in Harris County.

Two testing sites in Houston and Pasadena began operations last Thursday, and two testing sites in Houston and Kingwood will begin operations on Monday, August 10th.

Each location will be able to process 1,250 tests per day, or a total of 60,000 tests across the four sites.

These testing sites have been established through a partnership with HHS Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, the State of Texas, Harris County, and the City of Houston.  

“As we address surges in COVID-19 cases across the state, increasing testing is essential to detecting and mitigating the spread of this virus,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank Secretary Azar, Admiral Giroir, and all of our partners at HHS for providing our communities with the additional resources they need to combat COVID-19.”

“The Trump Administration is doubling-down on support to areas hard hit by COVID-19.  Standing up surge testing sites is one of many tools the Trump Administration is utilizing to assist local leadership to reduce community spread,” said ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD. “Data including positive rates and demographic data will inform how to shift state and local resources to reduce the occurrence of COVID-19.”

Testing locations currently open:

Ken Pridgeon Stadium

11355 Falcon Road 

Houston, TX 77065

San Jacinto College

8060 Spencer Hwy

Pasadena, TX 77505

Testing locations opening August 10th:

Darrell Tully Stadium

1050 Dairy Ashford 

Houston, TX 77079

Kingwood Park Community Center

4102 Rustic Woods Drive

Kingwood, TX 77345

For hours of operation and registration details, visit Registration will be available on-site.

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