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Deadline Approaching for Caregiver Scholarship Program

The application deadline for the LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation Caregiver Scholarship Program is Friday, June 26. Members are encouraged to share this opportunity with their team members who are interested in accessing higher education to advance their careers in older adult services.

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PTSD Featured Topic at Rural Palliative Care Meeting on June 18

PTSD: The Unrecognized Symptom will be the featured topic at the next Rural Palliative Care Networking Group, which takes place on Thursday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to Noon at Fairview Lakes HomeCare & Hospice in Chisago City.

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It’s Official: Senior Care Reform Now Law

Governor Mark Dayton last week signed the Health & Human Services Omnibus Finance bill into law. What began nearly one year ago as a concept to reform how the State of Minnesota cares for its aging citizens is now reality – thanks to the effort, time and commitment of our members!

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MHCP Providers Must Revalidate Enrollment Records Once Every 5 Years

Providers currently enrolled with Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) must revalidate their enrollment records at least once every five years. Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and DT&H providers will begin revalidation after January 2017, but home health agencies, hospice and other types of MHCP providers will begin the process in 2015.

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MDH Adds New Questions to Home Care FAQ

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Home Care and Assisted Living Program has posted two new FAQs on its website related to teaching of unlicensed staff and medication management for non-Medicare home care licensed agencies:

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Home Care Advisory Council Meets June 8

The next quarterly meeting of the Home Care Provider Advisory Council is on Monday, June 8 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Wilder Center in St. Paul. For more information including minutes from previous meetings, visit the Advisory Council’s web site or contact the Home Care and Assisted Living Program at 651.201.5273 or health.homecare@state.mn.us.

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Nonprofit Nursing Homes Earn Higher 5-Star Ratings

On May 27, 2015 by Evvie Munley, Senior Health Policy Analyst, LeadingAge

Nonprofit nursing homes tend to earn higher ratings on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Nursing Home 5-Star Rating System than their for-profit counterparts, according to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Register Now for Foundation Golf Tournament

Registration is now open for the third annual LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation golf tournament, which takes place Monday, August 17 at StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater.

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Episcopal Homes Receives Excellence Award from Finance & Commerce

Finance & Commerce is recognizing Minnesota's top construction projects with its eighth annual Top Projects Series. Episcopal Homes’ Midway Village campus expansion project in Saint Paul will be featured in the Wednesday, Aug. 19 issue.

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Legislature Approves Senior Care Reform in Final Hours of Session

It has been a wild final week of the legislative session. The Minnesota Legislature adjourned at midnight on May 18 after a difficult final 72 hours of session.

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Key Workforce Priorities in Final HHS Omnibus Bill

One of our top priorities this session was to secure support and funding for initiatives that help address the shortage of professional caregivers in our member settings. The Minnesota Legislature included the top two priorities from our Workforce Development proposal in the final Health & Human Services Omnibus Finance bill. The provisions include:

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Member Input Needed for 2015 Salary Survey

The annual Salary Survey, a joint project of LeadingAge Minnesota, Care Providers of Minnesota, and the Healthcare Human Resources Association of Minnesota, was recently mailed to all LeadingAge Minnesota members.

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Reminder: Send Dementia Care Disclosures to LTC Ombudsman

Housing-with-services dementia care providers covered by Minnesota Statute 325F.72 must send a copy of their disclosure statement to the Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman. The disclosure statement must also be given to the person seeking placement within a special dementia care setting, or the person's authorized representative, before a contract is signed.

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U.S. House THUD Bill Severely Underfunds Affordable Senior Housing

The FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill passed by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee last week severely underfunds affordable senior housing. The bill, which is $6.8 billion less than the President’s request in order to comply with the budget caps set by sequestration, is expected to receive a House floor vote in mid-June.

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Have You Registered for June District Meetings?

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get the inside scoop on all of the details of the Health & Human Services Omnibus Finance bill that passed the Minnesota Legislature with strong bipartisan support. While we wait to see whether Governor Mark Dayton will sign the bill, our Public Policy Team is preparing their presentation for June District Meetings. Join us to discuss the outcomes of the legislative session at one of these seven upcoming meetings:

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Get Serious About Security - New Service from LeadingAge MN Solutions Center

The security of your residents, team members and facility needs to be more than a policy and procedure.

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Advocacy Champions: A Big Thank You!

We had many Advocacy Champions this year who undoubtedly made a huge difference in our success at the State Capitol. We profiled our Advocacy Champions each week in Advantage, and wanted to again thank them for their support this session. Our 2015 Advocacy Champions are: 

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Florence Fon, CNP, Joins Optage® House Calls

Florence Fon, CNP, has joined Optage® House Calls, which is the primary care service of Optage Home & Community Services, a division of Presbyterian Homes & Services.

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Legislative Update: Don’t Delay. Call Today!

With just five days left in the regular legislative session, lawmakers are down to the wire to reach a deal on a state budget for the next two years. As of early this morning, legislative leaders and Governor Dayton continue to meet behind closed doors. They have not yet reached an agreement on the overall framework on that budget, leaving conference committees stalled.

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Business Intelligence at Your Fingertips

LeadingAge Minnesota has revised our Environmental Scan, which provides a comprehensive view of the rapidly changing environment faced by older adult services providers, with updated data including declining care center utilization, increased use of home and community-based alternatives, state funding trends, and the impact of development trends on the senior housing market.

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Customized Living Self-Assessments Due May 15

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) said the response rate for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Self-Assessment Surveys due this month has been slow. As a reminder, Customized Living and Residential Care providers must submit their online self-assessments by Thursday, May 15.

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Draft Food Code Includes Definition of Neighborhood Kitchen

The Long Term Care Imperative has long sought to add the concept of a neighborhood kitchen for senior residential buildings to the Minnesota Food Code. Our definition has now been included in a draft revision of the food code, which is a significant first step toward recognizing that senior buildings have food serving areas and areas for tenants’ snacks that do not need to meet all the standards required for commercial kitchen.

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Get Ready for the Assisted Living Finder

The long-awaited Assisted Living Finder, previously called the Report Card, will launch on Wednesday, July 1. To help you prepare for this new consumer tool, we will feature the Assisted Living Finder during our housing breakout session at June District Meetings, and have developed a checklist to help ensure the Finder best reflects the quality care and service you provide.

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Two Opportunities to Test ICD-10 before Oct. 1 Implementation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is accepting applications for volunteers to participate in ICD-10 end-to-end testing July 20-24. Applications are due by Friday, May 22.

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April OIG Exclusion List Now Available

We have posted the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) April exclusion list to our Provider Resources Page. Members who participate in Medicare or Medicaid programs are prohibited from employing anyone listed on the OIG exclusion list, and are encouraged to review this list each month.

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Disability Most Common Basis of Fair Housing Complaints in 2014

Disability was the most common basis of complaints filed with the U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD) and its partner agencies, being cited in 4,606 complaints or 54 percent of the overall total in 2014.

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CMS Proposes Major Changes for Medicare Hospice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed FY 206 Medicare Hospice rule that would increase FY2016 payments by an estimated 1.3 percent and create a Service Intensity Add-On (SIA) Payment for the last seven days of life among other changes.

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Section 202 PRAC Providers Should Complete Preservation Needs Survey

To gather information on the current and future physical needs of Section 202 PRAC projects, LeadingAge is urging all 202 PRAC providers to respond to its survey by May 31. This survey is designed for 202/PRACs only, meaning properties built after 1990 using HUD Section 202 funds.

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Advocacy Champion: Care Ventures

The final Advocacy Champion for this legislative session is Care Ventures Cooperative, a collection of rural independent long term care facility leaders from North Central Minnesota.

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Greenwood Connections Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Greenwood Connections in Menagha recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a heartwarming event that featured community participation and appreciation for the organization that has served aging and disabled adults since 1965.

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