Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 2, 2011     Hays Free Press
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February 2, 2011

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Page 6A + NEWS Hays Free Press February 2, 2011 + BY BEN PHILPO'rr The Texas Tribune The current state House and Senate budget propos- als include a 10 percent cut in the rate that the state will pay Medicaid providers. Some health care lobby- ing groups say that when you add in the loss of the enhanced federal Medicaid match paid for by stimulus dollars that have now dried up, you get a 33 percent reduction overall. Now take those cuts and apply them to your average Texas nurs- ing home, where a majority of residents are covered by Medicaid. "If you would take you know 75 percent, just as an average, of the income we have coming in and cut it by a third, it would put most nursing homes between a rock and a hard place," said Susan Cotton- brook, the administrator at Avalon Place nursing home in Trinity, a small town that sits'north of Lake Livings- ton in East Texas. While the lakefront offers several planned high-end com- munities, within Trinity city limits, many of the residents are far from affluent. That's reflected in the demograph- ics at Avalon Place. Only 16 of its 86 residents pay with private insurance. The rest are covered by Medicaid, a joint state-federal program for the disabled and needy. If those funds are cut by a third, Cottonbrook said, at the very least, the current level of service is unsustain- able. "If Medicaid were not a viable source of income to represent residents in the nursing home, then yes, [we] would look at the other alternatives first because [we] would have to be able to supplement what [we] were losing on Medicaid," Cottonbrook said. And if the home couldn't find enough money to make up the difference, it might have to consider closing. That would leave patients with few choices. They could find another nursing home. But in rural Trinity County that's a 30- to 40- mile drive. And there's no LAW OFFICE OF ~: " :~'~"~"~'~' " '~ ~': '~ ':~ FtmJl7 Law Mediator Colhbortdve l.,nAttomey 906 Gan),onWren Drive Buda, Tens guarantee those homes will have available space. Option No. 2: move in with family. For Jo Anne Vandyke, whose mother lives Avalon, that's not much of an option. "I have tried to take care of my mother before I put her in here and it made me sick," Vandyke said. Vandyke said mental fa- tigue and her own bout with cancer made it impossible provide care for her mother. PHOTO IIJ.USTRATION BY TODD ~EIAAN But thanks to Medicaid, Vandyke was able to get her mother into Avalon Place nine years ago. If the facil- ity were to close, she and her family would once again have to provide around-the- clock care. She said that's not an option for many residents. Ben Philpott reports for KUT News where this story was originally published. PI~OTO B ~C&B IIOIJ.~ A blaze came within feet of homes in the Goforth Road and Cody Ddve area before flrefighters extinguished the fire on Thursday. STAFF REPORT A brush fire threatened dozens of homes in the Green Acres neighborhood east of Kyle on Thursday afternoon, creeping into backyards as residents doused the ground with hoses, but was contained before it reached any structures. The fire, which started about 12:30 p.m., consumed about four or five acres before firefighters brought it under control within a half-hour of arriving on the scene, Kyle Fire Depart- ment Chief Glen Whittaker said. The fire chief said he sus- pects the fire was started by someone burning trash, but the cause is currently listed as undetermined. The fire for a time movedquickly through an overgrown, brushy area bound by closely spaced mobile homes on Go- forth Road, Cody Lane and Jennifer Drive, eventually coming within 50 feet of the nearest residence. "Most people had short grass up to their houses and that helps tremendously," Whittaker said. "It doesn't bum as hot and as fast in short grass as it does in tall." The Kyle and Buda fire departments responded to the scene and the last left about 4 p.m. An outdoor bum ban remains in effect in Hays County. "This time of year can be very deceiving to people. We get some rain and it all goes into the ground and the dead stuff on top will still bum like crazy," Hays County Fire Marshal Mark Chambers said. 122, Buda 295-9444 Open Everyday 295-6008 Jumbo Certificate of De )osit Money Markel Account NCUA + Minimum into action a home e loan. ree Checking 21 Metro Locations 250+ Free ATMs 00" Upto Deposit of $95,000 Required 12 Months Minimum Daily Balance of $2,000 Required *** *** $75,000 24 Months to $124,999 *** $125,000 and Above 80% or lell; oonltmctlon/devetogm~ Ioen mtes/teo~ may vary, **'Annual Percentl~ Yield, Peflaltlel for ledy wflhdrlwll rnay i~q, Retm lid Wine It lubJ~ to dl~gl ~ ~. Austin Telco Federal Credit Union Is Insured to at lust ~50,000 per member by the N~onal.Credlt Union Ad~, 4- I I I