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Legislature Acts to Extend Background Studies Deadline

Although the Health and Human Services conference committee could not agree on new funding measures, the committee reached a consensus on a package of policy changes that passed both the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives on the last day of the legislative session. The policy bill includes two provisions that provide some relief for providers relating to background studies.

Extends Deadline for Resubmissions

The bill extends the July 2 deadline, by which employees with emergency background studies must clear fingerprint-based studies, until Jan. 1, 2023. Members across the state have shared stories of their difficulties with securing appointments and other NETStudy challenges, and this extension will provide additional time to complete these required resubmissions.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) will continue to have authority to permit an individual to work without supervision while that individual's background study is being processed as providers continue to transition to fingerprint-based background studies.

Addresses Duplicative Studies

The bill also eliminates the requirement for the DHS to conduct a background check for individuals who have a valid license issued by a health-related licensing board and have completed the background check required. This applies to the Board of Executives for Long Term Services and Supports, the Board of Nursing, the Board of Medical Practice, and the Board of Social work.

The language states that an entity affiliated with individuals who meet these requirements must separate those individuals from the entity's roster for NETStudy 2.0. No additional information is yet available, but we will work with DHS to understand the impact and practical effect.

Next Steps

For these provisions to take effect, Gov. Walz must sign the bill. We are confident he will do so and will let members know when it happens. Once the legislation is signed, the background study provisions will become effective the following day, and DHS will provide additional information for providers.

Even with this good news, we encourage providers to continue working on the background study resubmissions process for affected employees.

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