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DHS guidance issued on emergency nursing facility staffing grants



Todd Bergstrom
By Todd Bergstrom  |  December 17, 2021  |  SNF/NF providers providers




On January 4, 2022, Minnesota nursing facilities will receive a payment based on a facility’s Medicaid days from the 2020 cost report multiplied by $10.97 per Medicaid day. In November 2021, Governor Tim Walz authorized the use of $50 million from the state fiscal relief fund (ARPA) to administer emergency grants for nursing facilities’ staffing shortages (legislative COVID-19 response commission action order #8).

The “Provider Use of Funds Requirements” document and a Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) table providing preliminary DHS estimates of how the emergency grant monies will be distributed are now posted on the DHS website. These funds will automatically be allocated to nursing facilities as a gross adjustment on the January 4, 2022, remittance. If a facility elects to decline this funding, the facility must notify the Department in writing to: DHS.NFRP.CostReport@state.mn.us by December 27, 2021.

Please read the “Provider Use of Funds Requirements” document! Important considerations and requirements include the following:
  • Nursing facilities agree to use at least 90 percent of the new funding received for hiring and retention financial incentives to hire or retain existing employees.
  • Eligible employees are current or new employees who:
    • Offer proof of vaccination or otherwise meet a facility’s requirements for medical or religious exemptions; and
    • Are employees of the nursing facility working on-site in the nursing facility
  • Nursing facilities can use these funds for one or more of the following, as applicable:
    • Costs for hiring and retention incentives or bonuses provided to eligible employees;
    • For retention incentive payments to current employees who are subject to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, distributed in accordance with the requirements of that collective bargaining agreement;
    • Employee taxes including FICA, Medicare taxes, worker’s compensation premiums, and federal and state unemployment insurance associated with the incentive payments/bonuses; or
    • New hiring bonuses paid in full to eligible employees within 90 days of their hire.
  • Providers will complete documentation of these requirements in a form and manner prescribed by DHS to report authorized uses of the emergency grant and submit to DHS within 90 days of receipt of the funds.
  • Funds must be either spent or booked as an obligated accrual to specified eligible employees within this 90 day period.

Other things to consider as understood by Care Providers of Minnesota:
  • Contracted employees are not eligible. As stated in the memo, bonuses must be paid to employees of the nursing facility.
  • Corporate/Central office staff are not eligible.
  • The emergency grant funding is for incentive pay and hiring bonuses, not wage increases.
  • There is no attestation. If you do not decline in writing and receive the funding, you are agreeing to the Provider Use of Funds Requirements.

Please contact Todd Bergstrom at the Association office if you have any questions. 

Todd Bergstrom  |  Director of Research and Data Analysis   |   tbergstrom@careproviders.org  |  952-851-2486


 


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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.


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