News

Category: Featured News

Welcome to the Featured News category. The following news items include major developments in the aging services world, as well as important notifications and timely reminders.

Calling All Safe Care Champions

Get involved or reengage in Safe Care by designating your Safe Care Champion.

Safe Care begins with you and your communities—every day in all that you do. Next week we will be launching the activities and resources to help you hold a Safe Care Living the Pledge – Every Day Event in June or July.

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Act Now! Advocacy Essential to Ensure Access to Care for Minnesota’s Seniors

It’s crunch time on the advocacy front! At the state level, we are in the final days of the legislative session and funding for aging services in still in play. Without our encouragement, funding could easily be left out of a final budget agreement.

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MDH Provides Further Clarification and Pathways for Staff Working Under Nurse Aide Waiver

On June 6, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will terminate the COVID-19 waiver that has allowed basic care aides and caregivers to serve seniors without being on the Nursing Assistant Registry.

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Advocacy Update: LTC Professionals Sound Off to Spur Action

LeadingAge Minnesota members have been lifting their voices in support of caregivers and the seniors they serve to advocate for higher wages and access to care for Minnesota’s seniors.

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DHS Temporarily Waives Supervision Requirements for Background Study Subjects

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is temporarily waiving mandatory direct contact supervision requirements for new hires while their fingerprint-based background studies are being processed. The waiver remains in effect until June 30.

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Long Overdue Frontline Worker Bonuses Signed into Law

On Friday, April 29, the legislature passed a bill to provide frontline workers a bonus check for their commitment to serving our community during the height of the pandemic. The measure will use $500 million of federal funds to provide "hero" payments to an estimated 667,000 frontline workers in specified sectors, including long-term care and home care settings like nursing homes and assisted living.

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11% of Nursing Homes; 20% of Assisted Living Face Closure According to New Long-Term Care Imperative Survey

Aging services providers across the state face dire financial conditions that jeopardize access to care for Minnesota's seniors, according to a recent survey conducted by the Long-Term Care Imperative.

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Minnesota Senate Passes Funding for Long-Term Caregiver Wages Increases

On Tuesday, April 26, the Minnesota Senate passed SF 4410, its Health and Human Services (HHS) Omnibus Bill on a strong bipartisan vote (60-5). The measure includes $358 million in investments for nursing homes and improves Minnesota's Elderly Waiver rate phase-in (from 18.8% to 27.2%).

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Coming Soon! Track and Compare Your Workforce Data in New Data Portal Application

On Monday, May 2, LeadingAge Minnesota will launch an exciting new resource to allow members to track and benchmark critical workforce data. In LeadingAge Minnesota's data portal, members can access a new workforce data application containing data entry and comparison reports on employee turnover, employee retention, and vacancy rates for each quarter. 

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Breaking: Minnesota Legislature Reaches Tentative Deal on Frontline Worker Bonuses, UI Trust

Legislative leaders reached a tentative deal today to restore the Unemployment Insurance Trust and issue frontline worker bonuses, a stalemate that has plagued elected officials for months.

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CMS Updates COVID-19 Test Reporting Requirements

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its test reporting guidance, making reporting negative or inconclusive COVID-19 test results optional for nursing homes.

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MN Legislature Resumes Business; the House Releases its Budget Targets

The Minnesota Legislature returned from a weeklong break on Tuesday, April 19. There are now just five weeks remaining for legislators to complete their work, including passing bonding and tax bills and finding a compromise on spending our state's $9.2 billion surplus.

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Many Assisted Living Providers Receive Request for Documents from OOLTC

Last week, the Office of the Ombudsman for Long Term Care (OOLTC) reached out to assisted living settings without a contract copy on file with the OOLTC per the requirement. The OOLTC asked each of these settings to submit a copy of the assisted living contract.

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CMS Releases Proposed SNF PPS Rule that Calls for Rate Cuts

Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its annual proposed rule for updating the Medicare Prospective Payment System (PPS) rates for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). In addition to the rate update, the proposed rule covers numerous topics impacting SNFs, including proposed staffing standards and updates to quality reporting and value-based purchasing (VBP).

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National Academies Release Recommendations for Improving Nursing Home Quality

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on April 6 released a highly-anticipated and comprehensive study of the challenges facing nursing homes in the United States.

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Health and Human Services Budget Bills Released: Senate Bill Includes Key Workforce Funding Priorities

This week the House and Senate have each introduced supplemental budget bills that fund health and human services areas. We were pleased to see that the Senate bill provides significant funding for the Long-Term Care Imperative workforce agenda. Unfortunately, the House bill does not, but the bill does include a few scattered positive elements.

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CMS Announces End Dates for Various COVID Waivers, Including Nurse Aide Certification

In a Memorandum released on April 7, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will terminate several temporary emergency declaration blanket waivers that have provided nursing facilities and other provider types with flexibilities designed to support the COVID response.

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Mandatory Consultation Confirmation Codes Changing – LTCC Recodified

The Senior LinkAge Line will be updating their verification codes, which will have a slightly different look than previously generated codes. The change is anticipated to take effect in April.

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Workforce Payment Bill Advances at the Legislature

On Tuesday, March 29, LeadingAge Minnesota testified in support of our bill to provide permanent wage increases to caregivers in the Senate’s Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee.

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Assisted Living Survey Data Updates

MDH recently shared data on surveys of Assisted Living facilities that had been conducted through February 2022. Since the initiation of Assisted Living Licensure, 126 surveys of conversion licensees were completed.

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