All News

DHS to Release Bulletin on Waiver Rate Increase Linked to Quality

A rate increase linked to quality improvement and averaging one percent for waiver providers is effective July 1. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) said waiver providers will have until Dec. 31 to submit their updated quality improvement plan.

Wavier providers who did not submit a quality improvement plan by last December will be able to submit a new plan by the 2015 deadline in order to retain the 2015 rate increase.

DHS plans to issue a bulletin on this process in mid-June and the submission tool will be available in early July. We expect the submission tool will look much like the online form used for the initial quality improvement program submissions last year.  

As noted in the story in this week’s Advantage story on the Assisted Living Finder, the goals selected for the quality improvement program are proposed to be included in the information consumers would see when using the, which launches July 1.

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U.S. Senate Passes “Doc Fix” Bill; President Expected to Sign

In a 92-8 vote yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed a permanent repeal of Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for physician reimbursement under Medicare.

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Assisted Living Finder/Report Card Launching July 1

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has identified most of the content of the Assisted Living Finder, previously called a report card, although some issues have not yet been resolved.

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Senior Care Reform Advances at Legislature

The Long Term Care Imperative Senior Care Reimbursement Reform proposal was the focus of discussion in both the House and Senate Health and Human Service (HHS) Finance Committees yesterday.

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Care Center Occupancy Remains Low in 2014

Occupancy percentage for all care centers remained low last year, according to a recent analysis by the Long Term Care Imperative on care center occupancy survey results through the end of calendar year 2014.

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DHS Requests Provider and Consumer Input for Gaps Analysis

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is asking enrolled providers to provide their perceptions about the capacity of all Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and mental health services and supports to meet the needs of the four target population groups: older adults; people with disabilities; children and youth with mental health conditions; and adults living with mental health conditions. DHS is also seeking input from older adults or persons with a disability, including family caregivers.

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Self-Assessment Survey Delivered to Waiver Providers’ MN-ITS Mailbox

Customized Living and other waiver providers required to complete the self-assessment survey related to compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Home and Community-Based Services settings rule should find the survey in their MN-ITS mailbox under “miscellaneous received” by today or tomorrow. The survey must be completed by Friday, May 15.

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Workforce Proposal Advances in Minnesota Legislature

Our workforce proposal is making progress in the Minnesota Legislature as it advances through its many committee stops.

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5% Campaign Receives Hearings in House and Senate

The 5% Campaign Bill (HF564/SF646) is making progress in the Minnesota Legislature after receiving a hearing in the House Health and Human Services (HHS) Finance Committee last week and securing a hearing in the Senate HHS Finance Committee today.

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MDH Accepting Applications for Electronic Health Record Loans

An estimated $4 million in interest-free loans are available from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to fund the implementation or support of interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems.
The six-year loans, which range from $100,000-$500,000 and defer the first year’s repayment, are intended for software, hardware, training and support expenses. Applications are due Monday, June 1.

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DHS Seeks Proposals for Personal Health Record Community Collaborative

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking proposals for a community collaborative to demonstrate the use of a Personal Health Record (PHR) system with beneficiaries of long term services and supports. DHS will provide up to $1 million over 30 months beginning Oct. 1 to support the project. Proposals are due Friday, June 19.

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CMS Planning for Electronic Payroll Staffing Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will develop a new Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ), an auditable system allowing staffing and census information to be collected on a regular and more frequent basis. All long term care facilities will have access to the new system at no cost.

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CMS Touts Successes of QIOs and Care Centers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week issued a progress report on the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program highlighting significant reductions in several areas that QIOs and care centers have jointly addressed.

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Now Available: February & March OIG Exclusion Lists

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last week provided the February and March exclusion lists, which are both available on our Provider Resources page. Members should review the lists to see if they have any employees on them.

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ALFA Approves New Credentialing Organization; CARF Revises Dementia Standards

The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) has announced it will establish a separate, independent credentialing organization to operate and govern industry certification and certificate programs.

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Leadership Academy Class of 2015-2016 Announced

Five years ago, LeadingAge Minnesota launched the Leadership Academy—a unique leadership development program focused on transformational leadership and designed specifically to cultivate high potential leaders in the field of aging services. There are currently over 100 alumni of the program and the sixth class of Fellows has just been selected. 

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Regional Town Hall Forums Wrap Up

Over 60 members, volunteers and board members met with Senator Kevin Dahle (DFL-Northfield), Representative David Bly (DFL-Northfield) and Representative John Petersburg (GOP-Owatonna) at our seventh and final Regional Town Hall Forum in Owatonna last Friday.

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Advocacy Champion: Bruce Glanzer and Good Shepherd Communities

This week’s Advocacy Champion is Bruce Glanzer, President and CEO, Good Shepherd Community in Sauk Rapids. Bruce has been active throughout this legislative session and has engaged his whole team in grassroots advocacy. His efforts include:

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Save the Dates: LeadingAge Minnesota Workforce Solutions Conference Announced

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 23 and Wednesday, June 24 — the dates of LeadingAge Minnesota’s Workforce Solutions Conference

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Legislature Returns with Lengthy Agenda in Final 40 Days of Session

The Minnesota Legislature returned this week from its spring recess with much work to be done and just 40 days left to complete it. As Gayle Kvenvold, President and CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota said in her President’s Message last week “the pace will quicken, the negotiations begin to take shape and the politics intensify.”

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MDH Updates TB Resources, Members Should Review Recommendations

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has updated the Facility Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Assessment Worksheet for Health Care Settings and Recommendations for Completing Appendix B: TB Risk Assessment Worksheet to include 2014 United States and Minnesota TB statistics.

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MDH Seeks Proposals for Accountable Health Model e-Health Grants

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is requesting proposals for the second round of funding for its e-Health Grant Program. The grants are intended to support readiness to advance the Minnesota Accountable Health Model.

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Supreme Court Rules Providers Have No Right to Sue State Medicaid Programs

In a 5-4 decision issued last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that health care providers can’t sue a state to mitigate rising costs with higher Medicaid rates.

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HUD Issues Proposed Rules Implementing VAWA

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is seeking comments on proposed regulations implementing the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013 (VAWA 2013). Comments are due Monday, June 1.

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Four More Successful Town Hall Forums, Last Chance to Attend is Friday

During the legislative recess last week, LeadingAge Minnesota hosted four Regional Town Hall Forums with legislators across the state. These forums provided a platform to discuss the challenges Minnesota faces in caring for our growing aging population.

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ICD-10 Training Series About to Launch

October 1 is the planned implementation date for ICD-10 coding, and aging services providers have been gearing up for this change for several years. As the preparations head into the home stretch, we are hosting two webinars and three regional two-day workshops designed to help members prepare for this approaching deadline. Each program features top trainer and former LeadingAge Minnesota member professional Leah Killian-Smith, Director, Pathway Health Services.

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Early Bird Deadline Approaches for PENworks Conference

PENworks 2015, Minnesota’s largest conference focused on continuous improvement and enterprise performance excellence, is scheduled for April 27-28 at the Earle Brown Center in Brooklyn Center. As a member of LeadingAge Minnesota, we are pleased to announce your organization is eligible for the 50 percent member discount to this extraordinary event! Register by Friday, April 10 and save an additional $75 on the conference fee.

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LeadingAge Awards Open for Nomination

It’s time to show the rest of the country how exceptional older adult care is here in Minnesota! Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 national LeadingAge Awards in 10 categories for individuals and organizations.

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Free Home Health Quality Improvement Workshop Scheduled for May 6

The Minnesota HomeCare Association will kick off its Annual Meeting in May with a pre-conference open to all home health care providers at no cost. Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) will host “Building and Sustaining Data-Driven Quality Improvement” on Wednesday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 12

The annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day will be held on Friday, June 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul. The event, which costs $25 to attend, is open to 250 participants.

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