News

Category: State News

Welcome to the State News category. The following news items will keep you informed about state legislation, state-level advocacy and other information about aging services in Minnesota.

DHS Seeks Public Comments on 4th Set of HCBS Setting Evidentiary Packages

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking public comments through Jan. 2, 2020 on evidentiary packages related to the heightened scrutiny process under the Home and Community-Based Settings rule. Adult day, customized living, foster care, and prevocational/structured day services are included in this set of evidentiary packages, including several LeadingAge Minnesota members. 

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End of Banding Means Disability Waiver Rate Changes in 2020 for Adult Day, Other Providers

The banding process for disability waiver rates, which ties the rates paid to many providers to their historical rate rather than paying the full Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) rate, is ending in 2020.  The end of banding will mean rate changes for adult day and other providers serving disability waiver clients.  

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Senior LinkAge Line Issues Advisory on Medicare Plan Finder

The Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging (MAAA) is advising Medicare Beneficiaries who have used the Medicare Plan Finder to call health plans and confirm costs. 

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CMS Addresses Survey Question on Refrigeration Temperature

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has provided clarifying guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on food safety requirements regarding refrigeration temperatures. When checking refrigeration temperatures, CMS said that the actual temperature of the food should be checked and that surveyors should not cite based just on the refrigerator thermometer readings. 

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MDH Provides Guidance for Influenza Outbreak Management

It’s now officially influenza season! The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has posted Interim Guidance for Influenza Outbreak Management in Long-Term Care Facilities to help nursing homes prepare for the flu season and identify, report and manage respiratory outbreaks.  

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Elderly Waiver Rate Caps Increase Jan. 1

The customized living and overall case mix caps in the Elderly Waiver (EW) program increase effective Jan.1 because they are tied to the increase in nursing home rates. The customized living caps increase by 6.14%, which is the full amount of the 2019 nursing home increase. The overall caps are going up by only 5.39% due to some increases that did occur for home delivered meals and PCA services.  

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COMING SOON: 2020 Rate Notices for Care Centers

The fifth set of annual rates calculated using the new Value Based Reimbursement (VBR) system will take effect on Jan.1, 2020 and they are due to be released to providers by Nov. 15. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has indicated that as of now they expect that rate notices for most care centers will be posted on the provider portal by that deadline.  

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LeadingAge MN Members Receive Live Well at Home Grants

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has announced the newest grant recipients for the Live Well at Home Program. In total, 45 organizations received funding to help older adults maintain their health, independence and community involvement. Among them are five LeadingAge Minnesota members:  

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MSC+ and MSHO Plan Choices Will Be Mostly Unchanged in 2020

Minnesotans enrolled in Minnesota SeniorCare Plus (MSC+) and Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO) will have the same health plan choices in 2020 as they did in 2019, except in Morrison County, Todd County and Wadena County. 

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Home Care Matters Provider Call Takes Place Nov. 14

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will host a Home Care and Assisted Living Program teleconference on Thurs., Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Featured topics include regulatory updates and issues affecting home care in Minnesota.  

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Deadline Extended for State Grants to Elderly Waiver Customized Living Providers

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has extended the deadline for responding to the RFP for a grant program to improve the resident experience in  Customized Living. The deadline to submit a proposal is now Dec. 9. 

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Consolidated RMS Worksheet for Day and Employment-Related Services

In response to feedback from partners who requested a simplified process, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has consolidated all Rate Management System (RMS) worksheets for day and employment services into a single form. 

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Senior Linkage Line: Support for Residents & Clients During Open Enrollment

Medicare open enrollment runs from Oct. 15 – Dec. 7. The Senior LinkAge Line can help your residents and clients on Medicare navigate changes and ensure they have a plan Jan. 1 that meets their needs. 

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Senior LinkAge Line Reminder: Medicare Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 15

LeadingAge MN members are encouraged to share the following information with their residents: Medicare Open Enrollment will begin on Oct. 15 and run through Dec. 7. Senior LinkAge Line®, the state’s designated State Health Insurance & Assistance Program (SHIP), provides unbiased counseling and support to Medicare beneficiaries who would like to review their plan options. As a result, the Senior LinkAge Line’s call volume and wait time may be longer than usual during this busy time of the year.  

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Ombudsman Recognizes Volunteers Who Advocate for Older Adults

The Minnesota Office of Ombudsman for Long Term Care is recognizing Minnesotans who volunteer to advocate for the rights of residents in long-term care facilities as part of Resident Rights Month in October. 

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DHS Launches HCBS Provider Toolkit

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has released a new Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Provider Toolkit that provides guidance, frequently asked questions, and examples of provider practices that support choice and autonomy for people who receive these services.  

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FluSafe: Help Protect Residents from Flu

21 LeadingAge Minnesota members were recently recognized for their commitment to protecting patient and resident health through high flu vaccination rates among health care personnel. Care centers across Minnesota can take proactive measures to protect the people you serve from the flu by enrolling in FluSafe.  

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Antibiotic Stewardship Honor Roll Recognizes LeadingAge MN Members at Gold and Silver Level

23 LeadingAge Minnesota members have been recognized on the Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Honor Roll for their commitment to antibiotic stewardship from the highest levels of administration to prescribers and caregivers.  

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MDH Releases Norovirus Toolkit

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has released the 2019 -2020 Norovirus Toolkit for Long-Term Care Settings.  

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Proposed Rule Expands Exemption of Salon Licensure to Some Assisted Living Settings

The Minnesota Board of Cosmetology is proposing changes in rules related to certain salon licensing and practice requirements that could exempt some assisted living settings. The revised language states: 

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