Category: State News

Welcome to the State News category. The following news items will keep you informed about state legislation, state-level advocacy and other information about aging services in Minnesota.

At the Capitol: New Minnesota Senate Leadership and Special Session

This week, lawmakers have yet to call a special session to allocate the $250 million set aside for Hero Pay bonuses, and new Senate majority and minority leaders have been elected. Here is what you need to know about what is happening at the Capitol this week:

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Assisted Living Survey Observations Offer Helpful Reminders

At a meeting last week, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shared initial findings from assisted living surveys that have been conducted.

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Complete Affiliation of AL Background Studies Before Home Care Records Close

LeadingAge Minnesota encourages all assisted living providers to complete the background study affiliation process before the Minnesota Department of Health closes home care records. If your home care agency is closing, you must act quickly if you have staff to affiliate from your home care agency record.

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At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Enter the Final Stretch of Hearings on Hero Pay

In late July, a select working group began hosting hearings on allocating the money set aside during the 2021 special session for Hero Pay bonuses for frontline workers. Several different groups are vying for a piece of the $250 million. This week, the working group hosted a hearing to discuss the criteria used to allocate the money.

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DHS Planning to Conduct Quality of Life Surveys this Fall

After canceling them in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Department of Health (DHS) intends to conduct in-person resident quality of life surveys this fall in addition to mailed surveys to family members. For the first time, these surveys will include both care centers and licensed assisted living settings. As in past years, DHS has contracted with Vital Research to conduct these surveys, and they will contact administrators early this fall to set up the survey process. DHS is planning to send an informational letter to assisted living facilities about the new survey in advance of contact from Vital Research.

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At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Continue Hearings on Hero Pay

In late July, a select working group began hosting hearings on allocating the money set aside during the 2021 special session for bonuses for frontline workers. Several different groups are vying for the $250 million set aside for the bonuses and this week. The working group is hosting a hearing to discuss eligibility requirements and take more public testimony.

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AL Notices to OOLTC – Disclosure of Special Care Status

Assisted living providers must send a Disclosure of Special Care Status to the Office of Ombudsman for Long-term Care when applicable.

The requirement is not new. However, it is an excellent time to update and send this disclosure if it applies to your setting. The Disclosure of Special Care Status is required of any assisted living with dementia care setting. 

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No-Cost Employee Engagement Survey and Training Grant Funding Available

Grant funding is available for skilled nursing facilities to implement an employee engagement strategy and improvement program through Align’s Employee Engagement Solution.

CMS approves civil money penalty (CMP) grant dollars to address employee turnover and its impact on the resident experience and quality of life in Minnesota skilled nursing facilities.

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DHS announces Customized living services claims denying

Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that they will deny claims for customized living services for dates of service on or after Aug. 1 until they have updated provider records with the new assisted living facility license requirement. They are currently updating records and anticipate completing updates by the end of the day on Aug. 12. 

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Required Notices and Process to Submit to OOLTC under AL Law

Under the new assisted living (AL) law, providers must submit certain notices to the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care (OOLTC). A Cover Sheet for AL Notice to OOLTC has been developed to accompany every notice to OOLTC. Notices must be submitted to the fax number 651-431-7452 or emailed to Do not send the notices to the Regional Ombudsman. For any questions about this cover sheet, please email

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Moratorium Exceptions Proposals Announced

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently released a list of moratorium exception project proposals submitted in the current round of that process. Thirteen providers submitted proposals, and the total one-year state Medicaid cost of those proposals is roughly $2.7 million. The current round is funded using less than one million in state funding due to previously canceled projects, so, unfortunately, less than half of the proposals can be approved.

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BELTSS Licenses Over 1600 LALDs

The Minnesota Board of Executives for Long-term Services and Supports (BELTSS) received over 2,995 applications before June 30 and over 1,600 Licensed Assisted Living Directors (LALDs) were fully licensed as of July 26.

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MDH Reopens Basic and Temporary Home Care License Application Process

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reopened the application process for basic and temporary home care licenses as of July 16.

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Survey Forms posted for Assisted Living Licensed Settings

On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) posted the forms staff will use to conduct a survey under the new assisted living licensure laws.

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Assessments Versus Monitoring: What’s the Difference?

With the implementation of the new assisted living requirements on Aug. 1, organizations are attempting to work out their policies and processes related to assessments and ongoing review and monitoring. A comprehensive assessment, with the items listed as required in the uniform assessment tool, must be offered to all residents moving into an assisted living. The resident has the option to refuse this assessment. If the resident refuses the assessment, the organization should document this refusal.

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HHS Special Session Bill Extends Leave Days for Housing Support Program (GRH)

An extension to Housing Support payments for days absent was included in legislation passed during the legislative session.

The change requires that an agency must continue to pay an additional 74 days per incident, not to exceed a total of 92 days in a calendar year, for a person who is temporarily absent due to admission at a residential behavioral health facility, inpatient hospital, or nursing facility.

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HHS Bill Addresses Requirements for Settings Exempt from Assisted Living Licensure

The Health and Human Services (HHS) omnibus budget bill passed by lawmakers last month included important policy provisions that ensure that licensed assisted living providers and those providers exempt from assisted licensure will be eligible to receive customized living payments. This legislation paves the way for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to issue the Assurance Form for settings that are exempt from assisted living licensure and will ensure residents receiving services in these settings are not disrupted.

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MDH Implementing Assessment Changes from Special Session

Legislation approved during the special session that wrapped up last week made a couple of changes to resident assessment practices that care center members know. The first is the implementation of the requirement for a significant change assessment after therapy services end or after the completion of a period of required isolation for an infection. Those changes are effective Aug. 1.

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Payment & Background Checks Needed for Assisted Living Licensure Completion

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) clarified the final steps providers need to complete to receive their assisted living license by Aug. 1.

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LTCC Validation Expected to Resume Under Assisted Living Licensure

The requirement for an assisted living licensed setting to inform a prospective resident of the availability of and contact information for long-term care consultation services continues as we transition to assisted living licensure.

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