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New Nursing Pool Caps Updated

Each year, the state calculates the average wages of RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and TMAs in care centers using the data provided from the annual cost reports, and then computes the statutory limits on the amount that Supplemental Nursing Services Agencies (SNSAs) can charge per hour for each type of staff. The new caps are effective Jan. 1, 2021.

The 2021 increases, similar to those last year, reflect an ongoing stabilization of direct care wage rates in care centers. The highest increase is 2.8% for nursing assistants, reflecting the priority that providers have placed on increasing wages for those employees. The increases for other nursing staff were less than 1%, and for TMAs there was no increase at all.

Member care centers need to be sure that SNSAs are not billing, and even more important that they are not paying, rates higher than the limits for temporary direct care staff. Members should also check any new agency against the Minnesota Department of Health provider list (choose "supplemental nursing services agency"). Any pool providing staffing in nursing homes must be registered with the state, so care centers should not contract with any organization that is not on the state’s list.

During the public health emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the state is allowing a waiver of the pool caps if necessary to provide adequate staffing in a emergency situation. The state has put out a memo with details on applying for one of those waivers.

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