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AL report card update

By Michaun Shetler  |  March 22, 2024  |  Assisted living providers

The assisted living report card advisory group met on Friday, March 15, 2024, and received the following updates:

  • Vital Research: data collection progress
  • Updates on AL report card website launch
  • Building measures from AL licensing survey data: resident health, safety, and staffing measures
  • Exploring the use of maltreatment investigation findings for quality measures

Vital Research update
Tier 1 resident surveys began in February and are scheduled to end March 31, 2024. Tier 1 includes 192 facilities located in Northern MN. 70 facilities completed as of March 4, 2024, 1149 AL interviews completed (not counting incomplete surveys), and 69 facilities met margin of error. Vital Research will continue to conduct tier 1 surveys into April as needed. No facilities have refused to participate in surveys. The first batch of family surveys were mailed the week of March 4, 2024. This included 80 facilities with 2200 representatives. Tier 2 surveys are scheduled to begin in April and end June 30, 2024. Tier 2 includes facilities located in the 7-county metro area. 

AL report card update
The AL report card was publicly launched on January 29, 2024. The advisory group expressed interest in learning how many people have viewed the report card since launch. The Department of Human Services (DHS) shared that there were 181 unique users who visited the website between March 7 and March 12, 2024. The data available to DHS is currently limited. DHS is working with MNIT to obtain more ongoing data and will provide updates to the advisory group at future meetings. DHS will be adding facility size to the report card. The facility’s licensed capacity will be used. This change will be implemented in a future update. 

2024 quality of life (QOL) scores will be based on surveys being conducted in facilities with less than 20 residents for the first time. UMN will analyze 2024 QOL survey data by provider size before ratings are published. DHS will decide whether to risk adjust QOL scores by provider size based on UMN’s recommendation. 

AL report card and Minnesota Help
DHS shared that some information will be duplicated however DHS sees the two resources working together. In the future they hope to add links that will allow individuals to toggle back and forth. The Assisted Living Report Card will contain the quality measures while Minnesota Help gives more comprehensive information about each type of setting. 

There were continued discussions regarding publishing ratings based on MDH’s initial licensure survey findings that are under the reconsideration process. The statutes provide the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 60 days to review and decide on the reconsideration. MDH is not currently meeting this requirement and confirmed that they are delayed by several months. DHS is working with MDH and the UMN to explore options that will allow DHS to provide consumers with timely information while accounting for the reconsideration process and timelines. Providers should be allowed due process.

DHS plans to begin publishing MDH licensing survey and investigation findings that are part of the identified measures tied to resident health, safety, and staffing in early 2025. New ratings will be added quarterly. DHS will use licensing surveys completed on or after July 1, 2024, for the ratings that will be published in early 2025. Communications plan includes GovDelivery email and MDH website announcement to AL providers before July 1, 2024.

DHS will use a threshold for star ratings that will be updated annually. UMN is establishing a star rating threshold for 2025 MDH licensure ratings based on surveys completed between September 2021 and December 2023. 

UMN update
UMN continues to establish a methodology for weighting tags according to scope and severity and developing a system for calculating scores and star ratings for resident health, safety, and staffing measures. They are determining the need and parameters for implementing risk adjustments and defining a schedule for updating scores across all measures, including MDH licensure surveys and resident and family quality of life surveys.

Current recommendations include weighting by scope and severity, standard deviation for star ratings, combining 2 rounds of licensure surveys and weighing them differently, and using peering recommendations that will include a peer group of facilities with similar characteristics. UMN explored the following: 
  • Geography-Twin Cities Metro and rest of state
  • Size-Micro (1-5 beds), small (6-50 beds), and large (51+beds)
  • Licensure type (ALF, ALF-DC)

They are currently recommending peering by size and geography currently. 

The next AL Report Card Advisory Group meeting is to be determined. The topics will include UMN updates on licensing survey measure development and DHS/Vital Research updates on 2024 resident and family quality of life surveys.  

For more information on the assisted living report card, including links to past reports that summarize the studies upon which this project has been founded, you can visit the “Assisted Living Report Card” webpage on the DHS site. To review presentation materials and notes from past advisory group meetings, please visit the “Report Card Advisory Group” page.  

Michaun Shetler  |  Director of Assisted Living & Home Care  |  |  952-851-2484




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