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.

Occupancy Increasing Slightly but Held Back by Staffing Challenges

The Long-Term Care Imperative recently completed an analysis of care center occupancy for the first three quarters of this year, and it shows some improvement in the third quarter. However, the modest uptick still puts occupancy far below pre-pandemic levels.

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Preventing CPR and Other Urgent Response Issues that Can Lead to Survey Citations

A LeadingAge Minnesota staff team recently reviewed 2020 and 2021 Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) citations issued to nursing homes during survey investigations. We identified several cases in which CPR was delayed or the code status was not appropriately followed when determining whether or not to initiate CPR.

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Nursing Home Rate Notices to be Delayed, Complicating Notice to Private Pay Residents

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) recently informed LeadingAge Minnesota that rate notices for care centers for the 2022 calendar year will be posted much later than the statutorily required date of Nov. 15. Rates will not be available until some time in 2022.

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Press Release: Long-Term Care Associations Applaud Nursing Home Workforce Solutions

SAINT PAUL, MN (Nov. 22, 2021) - We are facing unprecedented workforce shortages in senior care settings across our state. Many long-term care communities cannot afford to lose even one more caregiver. The actions the Governor is taking today will provide emergency staffing assistance to the exhausted professional caregivers who have been on the pandemic’s frontlines for over 20 months and will also provide financial incentives for our staff to continue their dedicated efforts for Minnesota’s seniors. 

There are 23,000 open long-term caregiver positions across the state, and each month we are losing more staff than we can recruit. A crisis of this scope requires bold solutions, and we cannot fix this problem without the State’s support. We greatly appreciate the legislative leaders who have shined a bright light on our workforce crisis and the Governor and his administration for taking swift action to step in with emergency staffing solutions for nursing homes. Today’s actions will help support the weary professional caregivers and the seniors they serve while we continue to work with the Governor and Legislature toward a permanent and lasting solution to address the staffing shortage across all senior care settings.

We look forward to our work ahead to ensure Minnesota’s seniors have access to the care they need in all the communities they call home.

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The Long-Term Care Imperative is a collaboration of LeadingAge Minnesota and Care Providers of Minnesota, two of the state’s largest long-term care associations. The Long-Term Care Imperative is committed to advancing a shared vision and future for older adult housing, health care and supportive services.

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Staffing Plans a Focus in Assisted Living Surveys

The assisted living rule contains specificity regarding several requirements of the assisted living statute, including staffing plans. The rule requires the Clinical Nurse Supervisor (CNS) to develop a staffing plan that considers several vital elements.

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Updates on CMS and OSHA Vaccine Mandates

As providers continue preparing to implement staff vaccination mandates, here are the latest available situational updates:

CMS Omnibus COVID–19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Rule

CMS has clarified that the Phase 1 implementation deadline is Dec. 6, not Dec. 5.

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Connect with Students and Interns at the University of Minnesota

Looking to recruit staff, build the pipeline, or increase engagement with students? The most effective way to reach University of Minnesota (U of M) students and alumni is through a no-charge job, internship, and volunteer database called Handshake.

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At the Capitol: Senate Holds Hearing on Vaccine Mandate and Long-Term Care Workforce Crisis

The Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee met on Wednesday, Nov. 10 to discuss the recently-released rules surrounding the federal vaccine mandate for long-term care workers and the broader workforce emergency occurring in the long-term care sector.

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MDH, DHS, CMS Clarify, Add Detail to Vaccination Rules

State and federal regulators have added clarifying information to the conversation about how vaccine rules will be implemented and enforced in long-term care settings.

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OSHA Issues Vaccination & Testing ETS

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) completed work on the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and published information about the ETS this morning. 

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CMS Issues Omnibus COVID-19 Vaccination Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released the long-awaited rule requiring COVID-19 vaccination of staff working in a wide-range of Medicare and Medicaid-certified provider types.

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Focus Areas in Early AL Surveys: Postings, Plans, Procedures, Training, and Infection Control

Findings during initial surveys of assisted living settings show a range of compliance with most providers well underway with incorporating new requirements. Several themes are evident in these initial findings. Learning more about these themes can assist providers in auditing their facilities for compliance. 

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Hero Pay Conversations Reach Impasse

The Frontline Worker Pay Work Group met for the final time yesterday. Unfortunately, the legislators could not find a consensus on a proposal for Hero Pay bonus distribution. After meeting over a dozen times, lawmakers sent a DFL-supported report, known as the majority proposal, and a Republican report, known as the minority proposal, to be reviewed by the legislature if a special session were to be called by Gov. Walz, an increasingly unlikely scenario.

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FDA, CDC Approve Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Booster Vaccinations

After weeks of discussions, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added booster vaccinations to the emergency use authorization (EUA) for both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The CDC endorsed recommendations for booster injections.

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Moratorium Exceptions Process Application Posted

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently posted the application materials for a new round of the nursing facility moratorium exceptions process on the MDH website. Care centers interested in applying for approval to fund a construction project will need to complete all of the required application materials and return them to MDH by March 17, 2022.

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Workgroup at an Impasse on Frontline Worker Bonuses; Prospects for Special Session Grow Dim

The Frontline Worker Pay Work Group met yesterday—more than a month past its designated deadline for reaching an agreement—and announced that there was still no agreement for distributing the $250 million designated by the legislature for frontline worker bonuses.

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Survey Tool for Assisted Living Meals and Menu Requirements Now Available

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has made the survey tool for assisted living meals and menus available. The tool provides insight into how compliance with the USDA Guidelines will be interpreted. 

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Self-Assessment Released for LALD Students

The Board of Executives for Long Term Services and Supports (BELTSS) has released the self-assessment tools for Licensed Assisted Living Director (LALD) students to utilize during their field experience. The self-assessment is part of a more extensive Assisted Living Director in Residence (ALDIR) toolkit, now available on the BELTSS website under "Forms and Tutorials."  This toolkit will be the foundation for the field experience as mentors, and LALD students begin their time together. 

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New Workforce, Demographics Data Updated in Environmental Scan

LeadingAge Minnesota has recently completed an update of our environmental scan, which tracks key trends and issues across various essential categories, including demographics, workforce, payment and consumer preferences. The scan is an excellent tool for use in strategic planning discussions with boards and other key leaders.

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Top Cited Deficiencies from Nursing Home Recertification Surveys

The information available from the CMS Quality, Certification and Oversight Reports (QCOR) database shows that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) completed 100 nursing facility recertification surveys during the federal fiscal year ending Sept. 30. There is some lag time in survey data entry, so the year-end total is likely slightly higher. Here's a sampling of the data:

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