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.
Association staff & board member testify in Senate committee
By Toby Pearson | December 16, 2022 | All members
On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee held a hearing to discuss assisted living licensure and Minnesota Statutes 144G. Care Providers of Minnesota Vice President of Advocacy Toby Pearson testified along with Association board member Fartun Ahmed and our Long-Term Care Imperative partners. Toby walked through the history of the development of the licensure including outlining underlying principles:
- Ensure safe, quality services for seniors and their families
- Protect seniors’ choices and independence
- Establish transparency and accountability
Toby emphasized that the provider community repeatedly raised the importance and value of ensuring affordability and access to services for Minnesota seniors. After giving credit to Minnesota Department of Health for implementing the very difficult process and rulemaking during a pandemic, Toby reaffirmed that when you undertake such a massive effort to draft assisted living licensure, you know that the law will need continuous improvement as implementation rolled out and stakeholders developed a better understanding of the licensure law’s impact. That time is before us now.
Care Providers of Minnesota board member Fartun Ahmed testified to the providers frustrations with a couple of issues:
Having gone through the licensure process in the middle of a pandemic, we are very aware of challenges and opportunities for improvement for providers and residents. There are several current requirements that I would like to raise that are in need of a fresh look from advocates, providers, and the Department of Health.
First, address workforce shortages with flexibility on resident assessments. The current statute and rules require registered nurses (RNs) to complete all required resident assessments: an initial assessment as well as reassessments not later than 14 days after initiation of services, upon a change in a resident’s condition, and routinely every 90 days after the last assessment. Like all healthcare providers, assisted living facilities are facing a severe shortage of RNs, and we are seeking to maximize the role of licensed practical nurses (LPNs) as one means of addressing the shortage.
Second, food code exceptions for small residential settings. Currently all assisted living facilities, regardless of size or type of setting, are required to meet all applicable requirements of the Minnesota Food Code. Experience with assisted living surveys conducted to date have shown that some of these requirements are creating challenges for assisted living facilities that operate small, residential models of care in residential homes.
Third, portability of orientation to assisted living licensure requirements. Assisted living facilities are facing severe workforce shortages, and it is important that providers are able to on-board new employees as quickly and efficiently.
All staff providing and supervising direct services must complete an orientation to assisted living facility licensing requirements and regulations before providing assisted living services to residents, but the law states that the orientation is not transferable to another facility if the employee changes jobs.
Our partners in the Long-Term Care Imperative also brought a provider to testify who walked through more of the logistical and financial difficulties that providers have faced in light of the implementation of the assisted living licensure. Finally, staff from our LTC Imperative partners wrapped up testimony by reinforcing the need to have a look at some of the issues today, to try to improve the legislation.
At the conclusion of the testimony, the chair of the committee reinforced the need for the various groups to get together to see if they can agree on some areas that could be changed to remain consistent with the underlying principles, and also relieve some of the stress and struggles being felt by the providers.
Below is the link to the materials from the hearing.
Human Services Reform Finance and Policy
Wednesday, December 14, 2022, 10:00 AM
Chair: Senator Jim Abeler
Location: 1200 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Toby Pearson | Vice President of Advocacy | firstname.lastname@example.org | 952-851-2480
- Call to Order
- Discussion and budget update by the Department of Human Services
- Discussion about 144G - Assisted Living Licensure