Good News: Developments on Background Studies, Care Center Recertification Surveys

We received good news today on two fronts:

Background Studies: The Minnesota Department of Human Services will be returning to emergency COVID-19 background studies that were previously in place. The Department is finalizing its implementation plan and anticipates this will be effective Thursday morning (Nov. 19).

DHS is making the change in recognition that the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases is causing significant staffing challenges for numerous providers across Minnesota. DHS will post a formal announcement, but it was not available at the publication deadline for today’s newsletter. We will provide additional detail in Thursday’s daily update. A big thanks goes out to members who sent us information on the challenges you were facing with fingerprinting – your frontline feedback made the difference in our advocacy on this issue.

Care Center Recertification Surveys: The Minnesota Department of Health has stopped doing nursing facility recertification surveys for the time being. Recently MDH had done some recertification surveys, with approval from CMS, to ensure that newer surveyor staff had opportunities for adequate training, and to ensure they were able to take the Surveyor Minimum Qualifications Test required by CMS. However, the Department has suspended recertification surveys again and does not have a hard date on when those will restart. MDH will continue to conduct and prioritize Focused Infection Control surveys and Immediate Jeopardy level complaint surveys. If there are other complaints relating to a provider that the survey team is visiting, MDH will also have its staff conduct those while they are in the facility. Thanks to all of you for the incredible work you are doing on the front lines, and please contact me if you have any questions about these announcements.

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