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.

Latest Workforce Data Illustrates Caregiving Crisis

The Long Term Care Imperative recently completed the analysis of the 2015 legislative survey, and the results confirm what we have been hearing from members over the last several months. The workforce challenges faced by members grew dramatically in 2014, as measured by vacancies, retention rates and turnover.

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LeadingAge Minnesota Members Receive Discount to Performance Excellence Network Conference

Do you want to improve your organization’s results – increase customer and stakeholder satisfaction, improve workforce engagement and effectiveness, improve mission-related outcomes while improving budgetary performance?  Are you dealing with increasing need to change?  Would you like to deepen your knowledge of continuous improvement and performance excellence?

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Governor Proposes $25 Million for Care Center Wage Increases

Governor Mark Dayton yesterday released his supplemental budget, and it featured some good news for long term care. The Governor included $25 million for a one-time rate adjustment specifically dedicated to wages for care center employees. While the budget details have not yet been released, we understand that under this proposal, the Governor would contemplate a sort of application process where care centers would apply for funding to help boost wages and fill positions based on regional economic analysis. 

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Long Term Care Bills Advancing—Take Action Today!

With the policy deadline fast approaching, it’s been a busy week at the State Capitol. Here is a quick update on several of the key bills we are following this session:

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Legislative Update: Senior Care Payment Reform

Chronic underfunding and a piecemeal approach to senior care for more than a decade has weakened senior care providers, which has made it nearly impossible to pay caregivers competitive wages and benefits, find resources to continue to innovate, and to fulfill their missions of serving seniors and families in their communities.

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LeadingAge Minnesota Members Host Minnesota House Speaker and Majority Leader

Advocacy takes place in a variety of ways, from email campaigns, phone calls and legislative hearing testimony to local meetings with lawmakers. LeadingAge Minnesota was pleased to host Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt and House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin at two of our member communities last week.

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In-Depth Review of HF316 Dominates House HHS Reform Hearing

In-depth technical questions on quality, peer groups, cost and health insurance dominated an informational hearing on HF316: Senior Care Reimbursement Reform in the House Health & Human Services (HHS) Reform Committee last night. The hearing closed on a positive note when Representative Matt Dean, Chair of the House HHS Finance Committee, said: “We know we are going to spend a lot of money in this area this year and we have to make sure we do it right.”

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As the Budget Process Begins, We Need You to Take Action

News of a larger state surplus last week added momentum to our push this session to reform and transform the senior care reimbursement system. The February Forecast showed $1.89 billion in additional revenues for the upcoming FY2016-17 budget.

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CMS 5-Star System Revision Results

Revisions to the five-star rating system made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) two weeks ago produced these overall results:

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Two Opportunities to Meet with Lawmakers

Members will have two opportunities in the month ahead to have a have to face-to-face meeting with their local lawmakers. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities as the Minnesota Legislature is honing in on budget targets and we need your continued support to make sure our Senior Care Reimbursement Reform Bill is a top funding priority.

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Register for Regional Town Hall Forums Today

The schedule for our upcoming Regional Town Hall Forums is final. Due to construction at the State Capitol, meeting space is very limited and hosting a group of our size is just not feasible this session– so instead of our traditional Day at the Capitol, we are bringing the Capitol closer to you.

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CMS Moves the Goalpost on 5-Star Ratings

During last week’s Institute, LeadingAge Minnesota provided an update at its Care Center Policy Forum regarding the significant changes made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to the 5-star rating system. The most important revisions in the expanded 5-star ranking system involves quality measures, which include higher scores required to achieve stars and the addition of two new quality measures related to antipsychotic medications.

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Senator Bakk: “We’re pretty darn interested” in Long Term Care Reform Proposal

At last week’s Opinion Leaders forum, Senator Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) told nearly 100 LeadingAge Minnesota members that the Senate DFL is “pretty darn interested” in the long term care finance proposal authored by Senator Tony Lourey this session.

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Senior Care Reimbursement Reform Bill Heard in the Legislature

Last Wednesday, the House Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee heard the Senior Care Reimbursement Reform bill (HF 316, Schomacker, R-Luverne). This bill is supported by LeadingAge Minnesota and the Long Term Care Imperative. Click here for a summary of this proposal.

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New Study Shows Long History of Workers Leaving Long Term Care Faster than Joining

There has been a long history of workers leaving long-term care at a faster rate than joining, according to a new study by the University of California, San Francisco.

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DHS Announces Grants to Expand Home and Community-Based Services

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced the availability of Live Well at Home Grants—formerly known as the Community Service/Service Development (CSSD) Grant Program. They are currently seeking proposals from qualified responders to improve their community’s capacity to develop, strengthen, integrate and maintain home and community-based services for individuals’ age 65 and older who are at-risk of long-term nursing home use and/or spending down into Medical Assistance. Grant funds are available for state fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) with projects proposed to start July 1, 2015.

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Governor Releases Budget Recommendations

Calling for investments in children and families, Governor Mark Dayton released his FY16-17 budget recommendations yesterday. The $42 billion budget prioritizes a vast majority of spending – more than 50 percent – on education. It spends $13 billion in the area of health and human services, of which $183 million is new funding.

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LeadingAge Minnesota Members Implore Aging Committee to Reform Payment System

Testimony from several LeadingAge Minnesota members at the Aging and Long Term Care Policy Committee last week caused one lawmaker to declare “help is on the way.”

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Start the Conversation: Like & Share Face Aging MN

We’ve created quite the buzz with our new Face Aging MN campaign, with more than 500 people liking our Facebook page and more visiting the new web site within the first week of its launch. Now we need Face Aging MN to go viral. Help us by taking these simple steps:

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Legislature to Consider New Care Center Payment System

The care center payment system has been broken for well over a decade now. While annual increases in rates are dependent on action by the Minnesota Legislature, which in many years is not forthcoming, costs continue to go up and competition for labor continue to put providers in a weaker position. The Long-Term Care Imperative is introducing a major reform initiative this week addressing the workforce challenges that providers face while improving quality and preserving access throughout the state.

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