The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.
SNSA compliance update
By Doug Beardsley | December 16, 2022 | All providers
We realize that licensed healthcare facilities have been very dependent on the use of staffing agencies, which in Minnesota are called supplemental nursing services agencies (SNSA). The growth of SNSAs has been substantial, as has anecdotal regulatory non-compliance questions received by the Association.
Earlier this year, Care Providers of Minnesota shared some SNSA regulatory concerns with our partners at the Health Regulations Division (HRD) at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). This resulted in a written reminder from HRD to SNAs about their regulatory compliance responsibilities as well as a handful of SNSA compliance surveys. Because SNSA surveys are not publicly posted (something Care Providers of Minnesota has been requesting for years), we requested copies of all SNSA surveys conducted in 2021 and 2022.
Last week, HRD representatives provided Care Providers of Minnesota staff with eight SNSA surveys conducted during the requested time period. Following is a summary of correction orders issued at the eight SNSAs:
We all know survey schedules and MDH staff assignments were turned upside down during the peak of the pandemic, but we also know more and more facilities have become dependent on SNSA staff to backfill for quarantined staff and support staffing to support good care and the ability to admit residents. Given the large number of SNSAs and high use of SNSAs, we do not think there is currently adequate oversight of SNSAs in Minnesota.
The SNSA statues requires MDH to conduct annual unannounced surveys and investigations of SNSAs. Care Providers of Minnesota has asked MDH what their plan is to be in compliance with their survey responsibilities under 144A.70 Subd.7 (oversight). In addition, Care Providers of Minnesota has asked MDH a series of questions regarding the SNSA survey process, annual legislative SNSA reports, methods used to verify SNSA charges are compliant with maximum allowable charges, verification of dementia training and other required training, and more. We will share any responses we receive from MDH with our members.
SNSAs are needed to help facilities during difficult staffing situations, but we want them to have oversight just as our assisted living facilities and nursing facilities have. As a reminder, if you have a complaint regarding an SNSA you are, or have, worked with—complaints should be sent to the Office of Health Facility Complaints, who is charged with investigating SNSAs.
Doug Beardsley | Vice President of Member Services | firstname.lastname@example.org | 952-851-2489