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ICYMI: Legislature Adjourns with Historic Funding for Aging Services
On May 25, 2023 by Libbie Chapuran
As of Monday at midnight, the Minnesota Legislature has adjourned the 2023 legislative session. After months of tireless advocacy by seniors, their families, and their caregivers, we are proud to report that we have left the session with historic investments in aging services that will help ensure access to care for Minnesota seniors and support caregivers with the wages they deserve.
Human Services Conference Committee Completes Its Work with Mixed Outcomes for Aging Services Providers
On May 18, 2023 by Erin Huppert
The Human Services Conference Committee closed the conference report on Wednesday with far-reaching implications for senior care. The report, which will proceed to each legislative chamber for final passage, includes mixed outcomes for aging services providers.
Despite Opposition, Nursing Home Workforce Board Set to Advance in 2023 Legislature
On May 11, 2023 by Erin Huppert
A proposal to create a regulatory Nursing Home Workforce Standards Board within the Department of Labor is poised to advance this session. The measure recently included in the Jobs and Labor Omnibus Conference Report will allow the Governor to appoint a nine-person commission to adopt rules establishing minimum nursing home compensation standards for nursing home workers.
LTC Imperative Financial Survey Shows Continuing Challenges for Providers
On April 27, 2023 by Jeff Bostic
A new survey of nursing home and assisted living providers conducted by the Long-Term Care Imperative shows that the challenges faced by providers are continuing. Lack of adequate state funding to support higher wages for Minnesota’s long-term care workforce has pushed nursing homes and assisted living settings deeper into financial distress, resulting in diminished access and fewer care options for Minnesota’s seniors and families.
Several Updates to SNF Quality Reporting Program in Proposed PPS Rule
On April 20, 2023 by Julie Apold
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its 2024 Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule. It includes several proposed SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) changes.
Waiver and Medical Assistance Financial Eligibility Renewals at the End of PHE Continuous Coverage Period
On April 13, 2023 by Bobbie Guidry
On April 7, the Minnesota Department of Human Services released Bulletin #23-21-08: DHS Announces Key MHCP Eligibility Policies during the Unwinding Period (PDF), which announces timelines for restarting Medical Assistance renewals after Public Health Emergency continuous coverage requirements end. These timelines also apply to reassessments for waiver and AC programs, including financial eligibility redeterminations for the AC program.
Reminder from DHS: CADI and BI Age Limit for New Customized Living Settings
On April 13, 2023 by Bobbie Guidry
In a recent bulletin, the Department of Human Services (DHS) reminded providers that effective Jan. 11, 2021, an age limitation was applied to new customized living (CL) services settings for Brain Injury (BI) and Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) waiver programs. Customized living services settings operational on or after Jan. 11, 2021, are limited to serving people on the BI and CADI waivers who are age 55 and older. This change was announced in the Implementation of the HCBS rule tiered standards, effective Jan. 11, 2021.
Listen: WCCO Radio Airs Fluence Forum on Senior Services Issues
On April 6, 2023 by Libbie Chapuran
WCCO political analyst Blois Olson hosted a new Fluence Forum, a conversation about the caregiving crisis in Minnesota.
Without Addressing Staffing Mandate, CMS Updates SNF Rates in Proposed PPS Rule
On April 6, 2023 by Jeff Bostic
Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the annual proposed rule that updates the Prospective Payment System (PPS) rates for care centers. The rule calls for an update in the rates starting Oct. 1, which averages 3.7%.
House Human Services Committee Releases Omnibus Bill with Mixed Results for Senior Care
On March 30, 2023 by Erin Huppert
The Minnesota House Human Services Committee released its omnibus finance bill this week. The budget bill includes some priority legislation like Elderly Waiver funding and a PACE rate study but stops short of investing in skilled nursing care for older adults.
New Housing Support Rate Effective July 1
On March 23, 2023 by Libbie Chapuran
On July 1, the Housing Support maximum monthly room and board rate will increase to $1,135.
Walz’s Revised Budget Addresses Hospital Back-Ups, Not LTC Funding
On March 23, 2023 by Jeff Bostic
Governor Tim Walz recently updated his budget proposal and introduced some new spending initiatives after the most recent budget forecast was released. Unfortunately, those initiatives do not include a rate increase for care centers despite the ongoing staffing and financial challenges. Despite the lack of support from the Governor, the Long-Term Care Imperative continues to work with legislators to advocate for this vitally needed funding.
Disability Waiver Rate Webinars Available From DHS
On March 16, 2023 by Bobbie Guidry
The Department of Human Services (DHS) will hold quarterly webinars for anyone interested in the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS). This webinar series will replace and expand the work formerly done by the DWRS Advisory Committee. The webinars will be held on the State TrainLink platform. Instructions to register for the webinars are on the DHS website.
Media Round-up: Advocates from Around the State Share Stories with Their Neighbors
On March 16, 2023 by Libbie Chapuran
Around the state, LeadingAge Minnesota members have been lifting their voices and sharing their stories in the media to advance our goal of supporting seniors and their caregivers through legislative action.
Employee Retention Credit Will Not Impact Care Center Rates
On March 16, 2023 by Jeff Bostic
Earlier this week, Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office informed LeadingAge that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will tell states with cost-based care center payment systems like Minnesota’s to treat Employee Retention Credit (ERC) funds like other federal CARES Act relief funds.
February Budget Forecast Shows Unprecedented Opportunity to Address Senior Care Funding Needs
On March 2, 2023 by Jeff Bostic
Minnesota’s updated state economic forecast was released Monday, and Minnesota’s budget and economic outlook remain historically strong, with a $17.5 billion balance projected for the next biennium. The Minnesota Legislature will use this forecast to determine how much money each budget area, including health and human services, will be allowed to spend.
New Supplemental Nursing Services Agency Caps in Effect
On February 2, 2023 by Jeff Bostic
Each year, the state calculates the average salary of RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and TMAs in care centers using the data from the annual cost reports. Then the state computes the statutory caps on the amount Supplemental Nursing Services Agencies (SNSAs) can charge per hour for each type of staff. The new caps, effective Jan. 1, show significant increases due to staffing cost increases during the pandemic.
Gov. Walz Releases Proposed Workforce Budget; Implications for Long-Term Care
On January 19, 2023 by Erin Huppert
This morning, Governor Tim Walz released a preview of his proposed budget addressing Minnesota's workforce challenges. This preview covers a variety of sectors and includes some investments benefitting aging services.
Six Care Centers Apply for Moratorium Exceptions Process Funding
On January 5, 2023 by Jeff Bostic
The current round of applications for nursing facility moratorium exceptions has closed. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently informed LeadingAge Minnesota that six care centers submitted proposals for this round. A review committee will hear the proposals in February, and the MDH commissioner will announce the approved projects by April 6.
DHS to Offset Employee Retention Credits from Care Center Rates
On January 5, 2023 by Jeff Bostic
The Department of Human Services (DHS) recently informed us that they intend to offset the revenue from the federal Employee Retention Credit (ERC) from care center costs based on the wages and taxes used in the ERC application. That means that some care centers will see reductions in their rate for the rate year that started this Jan. 1. DHS auditors have begun requesting detailed information from care centers that have applied for the ERC to determine these offsets.
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