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Questions continue to come in regarding the COVID Emergency Temporary Standard and whether it applies to settings that support people with disabilities. According to our contact from MN-OSHA, the rule is based on the services delivered at a particular setting. They offer free consultations to help you determine whether any of your setting locations would fit under the parameters of the standard. Information: Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation: Free assistance and on-site safety and health consultations, safety grants, etc. Call: 651-284-5060 or 800-657-3776 Email: osha.consultation@state.mn.us This topic was addressed ...
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Today, DHS released their guidance for the 2022 rate increase encumbrance report. We have been eagerly waiting for this bulletin to give providers clarity about how they can reward care staff in the last half of 2021 and whether those investments could count towards the encumbrance. The news is good! According to the announcement , providers who are subject to the rate increases that will go into effect starting on January 1, 2022 MAY COUNT increased compensation changes that occurred after July 1, 2021 to meet the 80% revenue requirement. However, providers may not seek additional rate changes before January 1, 2022. The distribution plans must include ...
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On June 21, I posted to this blog to describe what we knew about the 2022 DWRS rate increases that were passed by the Legislature, as well as the 80% encumbrance requirement. DHS hasn't officially released any new information since then, but we understand they are getting close to sending out guidance for providers. I have gotten a number of good questions, so will share more information here. Q: Do the 2022 rate increases replace the competitive workforce factor (CWF) that is currently in force? A: No. The CWF and the 2022 rate increases are independent of each other, but they do interact. The CWF remains in effect until the Legislature changes it. The 2019 ...
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On June 25, I posted to this blog about the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for healthcare around COVID-19 released by OSHA. We just learned a few days ago that the Minnesota OSHA adopted the standard in full on July 19, as posted in the State Register . Unfortunately, there is no information that makes any clearer whether the standard applies to HCBS settings. But, we are pleased that a staff member from MN OSHA will be joining our Q&A call this Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.
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Over the weekend, the House and Senate passed the agreed upon Health and Human Service Omnibus bill and sent it to Governor Walz for his approval. This bill contains significant funding from the federal government that was allocated to states this last April through the American Rescue Plan Act. This funding makes increased investments for people with disabilities through rate increases for PCA services, numerous grants to promote self-advocacy programs and language and training to support informed decision making and further independence to name a few. Along with these investments, the state omnibus bill provides funding for many of ARRM’s top priorities ...
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The 2021 regular legislative session ended this last Monday, May 17 th without the passage of a final state budget. Legislative leaders including Governor Walz, House Speaker Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka reached a broad budget deal on Sunday evening and announced budget targets on Monday morning, however, that did not leave enough time for legislators to complete their work by the constitutional deadline. Looking ahead, committee chairs were given instructions to complete their budget spreadsheets by May 28 th and have supporting language drafted by June 4 th , with a Special Session happening in mid-June. Health and Human Services were given ...
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Last week saw both the House and Senate take formal floor action on their Health and Human Service Omnibus bill. The House passed their version on party line vote, while the Senate proceeded with a bit more “across-the-aisle” backing, gaining votes from all three caucuses (GOP, DFL, and independents). With the House and Senate having drastically different provisions in their Omnibus proposals, a conference committee will be formed to work through the differences and come to a compromise piece of legislation. Below, please find an update of ARRM’s legislative priorities and where they stand in the House and Senate Omnibus bills, as well as an idea of what to ...
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You may remember that I reported at the end of January that ARRM and other interested parties had testified before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on changes to the rule on random sample extrapolation in monetary recovery proposed by the Department of Human Services (DHS). This rule applies to providers that serve people in Minnesota’s Medicaid program, including home and community based services waivers, and ARRM and the other testifiers were opposed to the proposed changes. On March 26, the ALJ issued a report that disapproved the rules, and on April 1, the Chief ALJ concurred with the ruling. Good news! Not to get too far into the weeds, but ARRM ...
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March Legislative Update

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Overview: Where are we today? Second Committee Deadline and Halfway Point: The second committee deadline was Friday, March 19 th . This is the deadline where policy bills must have been heard and acted upon in both the House and Senate. The Session is half over. Budget Targets: The Senate has released their budget targets with the Health and Human Service target being set at 0. The House has also released their initial budget targets and their budget included a $323 million increase to HHS' budget. Legislative Break: The legislature will be on break beginning next Friday, March 26 th , coming back Tuesday, April 5 th . Omnibus Bills: We anticipate ...
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Most of you are aware that the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) filed a notice of their intent to amend the rules regarding random sample extrapolation in monetary recovery ( Minnesota Rules, Part 9505.2220 ) late last year. I wrote about the proposed changes in this very blog , and asked you to join me in requesting a public hearing. Twenty-five valid requests were required in order for a public hearing to proceed, and you all helped reach that threshold – and then some! DHS received 147 total requests, and I personally know at least 25 of them came from ARRM members. Great job! Well, the hearing was held as scheduled on Thursday, January 28 before ...
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Did I make the title above obscure and confusing enough for you by throwing together several acronyms and a term like “random sample extrapolation?” What does that mean, anyway? Well, don’t let that minimize the importance of the topic to providers that participate in Minnesota Healthcare Programs, which includes services paid for under the disability waivers. Read below for clarity and a call to action. Minnesota Rule 9505.2220 addresses how the commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS) may use a statistical method known as random sample extrapolation to calculate the amount of money they may recover from a provider if there is an overpayment. ...
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Re-Election in Minnesota

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The 2020 Election results are in and there is a lot to report! 2020 has certainly proven to be an even more competitive year than 2016. ARRM has compiled the most recent Election news and we're here to break things down for you. Congressional Results This cycle, Minnesota had one Senate seat and all eight House seats up for reelection. On the Senate side, incumbent Tina Smith won over challenger Jason Lewis with 48.8% of the vote. Senator Smith will go on to serve another term, lasting 6 years. As things stand in the Senate, the Republican Party has control over 48 seats and the Democrats have 46 seats. Four races have yet to be called. In the House, ...
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It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here about the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) or related topics, but I’ve started to get some questions from providers about the Competitive Workforce Factor (CWF) distribution report requirements, so I thought I would provide some information. First, a little background. When the legislation that included the CWF passed in 2019, it included some broad language about a distribution report that providers would have to prepare by December 31, 2020. At that time, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) advised that guidance would be provided in early 2020 to give providers the information needed in a ...
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It's Time to Vote!

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Hello there, Grassroots Organizer Madeleine Lerner here with all you need to know about voting in 2020! I have written a blog each month since May, detailing a different aspect of voting. This month marks the last voting blog as next month is the Election! To read last month's blog, click here . If you have further inquiries, please reach out to me via email or visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's website . Graphic from MN Secretary of State Election Details Election Day is Tuesday, November 3 You can currently register to vote HERE You can currently register for an absentee ballot HERE You can vote early in person now ...
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Hello there, Grassroots Organizer Madeleine Lerner here with all you need to know about voting in 2020! Each month, from May until November, I will be writing about a different aspect of voting. To read last month's blog, click here . If you have further inquiries, please reach out to me via email or visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's website . Graphic from MN Secretary of State Learning About Candidates *First and foremost, no one can tell you who to vote for. Selecting and voting for your candidate is a private matter. It is up to you alone to share the information if you so choose. Before you vote, learn about the candidates running ...
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Contributed by: Dianne Naus , Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) Greetings from the Minnesota Disability Law Center! For those not familiar, MDLC provides legal advocacy and representation to individuals with disabilities in matters of abuse and neglect, community integration, self-determination, employment, education, assistive technology, accessibility, discrimination, and VOTING. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) , provides funding for agencies like ours to ensure marginalized groups have access to their polling places. To that end, MDLC partners with the Secretary of State's office to survey polling places for accessibility, staffs a Voter Hotline ...
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Voting Absentee

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Hello there, Grassroots Organizer Madeleine Lerner here with all you need to know about voting in 2020! Each month, from May until November, I will be writing about a different aspect of voting. If you have further inquiries, please reach out to me via email or visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's website . Graphic from MN Secretary of State Absentee Ballot 101 What is an absentee ballot? Under normal circumstances, an absentee ballot is a vote cast by an individual who is unable to or cannot visit their polling place in person. This allows a voter to mail in their ballot prior to Election Day. What if I'm not registered to vote ...
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ARRM previously shared the news of the Health and Human Service Omnibus bill passing and being signed into law by Governor Walz during the June special session. Provisions in that bill will go into place on August 1 st , 2020. Below, please find some updated information on items that we previously reported on, as well as a more in-depth look at other provisions included in the bill that will have an impact on ARRM members. Items Previously Reported On: ARRM Provisions 5 th bed exception extension Extends the exception for adding a fifth person to a home to December 31, 2020. Also changes the date to which a provider must be licensed ...
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Hello there, Grassroots Organizer Madeleine Lerner here with all you need to know about voting in 2020! Each month, from May until November, I will be writing about a different aspect of voting. If you have further inquiries, please reach out to me via email or visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's website . Registration graphic from City Limits Registering to Vote When can I register to vote? You can register to vote right now! You will need to register in order to participate in the Primary Election on August 11, 2020 AND the General Election on November 3, 2020. How do I register online? To register online, visit this ...
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The Special Session, which was called to order on Friday, June 12 th , adjourned around 6:00 am on Saturday, June 20 th without passing any of their high priorities including: significant criminal justice reform, a bonding bill and a bill that would allocate dollars to the cities and counties for COVID relief from the Federal CARES Act. While this was a disappointing end to the special session, the legislature did pass two pieces of legislation critical to ARRM members. The first, the Health and Human Service Omnibus bill was considered unfinished business from the 2020 regular session. The bill failed to pass during regular session due to language in the ...
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