Blogs

Be the first person to recommend this.
The election last Tuesday had surprising outcomes, not just on the national level, but here in Minnesota as well. While most anticipated the Senate Republicans to maintain their majority, and the House to potentially flip to Republican control, we saw the opposite happen and now have all three branches of government controlled by the Democrats. Governor Walz has been officially re-elected to his second four-year term and all other constitutional offices will remain under Democratic control. The House DFL grew their majority by a couple seats and the Senate majority flipped from Republican to the Democrat controlled, with the Democrats now holding a one seat ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
As I posted in this blog on May 24 , the Regional Variance Factor (RVF) in the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) will be updated as of July 1, and will have an impact on rates calculated in the DWRS. The DHS bulletin on this change included a list of the new factors. As I described previously, the RVF is based in statute and is updated every 6 years. Factors are calculated in each of the 4 service buckets for each of the 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in Minnesota, and are a reflection of how the average median DWRS wages for each MSA compare to the statewide median. When the regional median is less than the statewide median, the factor will ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The legislature failed to pass a Health and Human Service appropriations bill before the constitutionally mandated midnight deadline this last Sunday, May 22 nd . This marked a disappointing end to the 2022 legislative session that saw much of the $9 billion surplus left un-allocated. Along with not passing the Health and Human Service appropriations bill, the legislature adjourned without passing many other omnibus funding bills, including, E-12 and Public Policy to name a couple, and while they came to an agreement on a $4 billion tax relief package, that bill was also not passed before deadline. As of this writing, the prospect of a special session remains ...
1 comment
Be the first person to recommend this.
There have been a lot of moving parts to the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) this year. As you may recall, changes made to the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver rate setting statute ( 256B.4914 ) in 2019 established a schedule for updating the wage values and inflationary adjustments going forward, beginning on July 1, 2022. But the 2021 Legislature passed a bill that moved the first updates up to January 1, 2022. (Don’t forget - an encumbrance report showing that at least 80% of this new revenue is due by December 31, 2022. See more information here .) Then, in early February of this year, DHS announced it was using its emergency powers to ...
0 comments
2 people recommend this.
Friday, April 8 th marked the third committee deadline for the legislature. This is the point where all bills must be through the committee process and both the House and Senate turn their attention to floor action. The third committee deadline is also the point where both the House and Senate release their omnibus policy and spending bills and set their positions going into the end of the legislative session. Below, please find an overview of the omnibus bills as they currently stand. Senate Human Services Reform and Finance Omnibus Policy Bill In late March, the Senate Human Services Reform and Finance committee passed out of committee their omnibus ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
It is hard to believe we are only in week 6 of the legislative session, as things have been moving at a rapid pace. Below is an update of where ARRM’s Legislative priorities sit and other pieces of legislation critical to disability services ARRM’s Legislative Agenda: Immediate Workforce Relief (SF 2968/ HF 3268) $1500 Retention Bonuses for staff that remain in their position until December 31, 2022 Monthly grants to help with the cost of childcare for DSPs HCBS scholarship fund for disability waiver services 5% rate increase for ICFs Removal of the separate license for Alternative Overnight Supervision ARRM’s Immediate Workforce ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Some of you may remember this tale of DHS acting to change the rules around random number extrapolation in recovering overpayments to providers. Believe it or not, it began over a year ago and I previously wrote posts to this blog here , here and here . While it may not be a terribly exciting topic, it matters when a provider finds themself on the receiving end of a monetary recovery action. The subject here is Minnesota Rule 9505.2220 on Monetary Recovery of overpayment through Random Sample Extrapolation. The rule has existed since 1981 and empowers the Surveillance and Integrity Review Section (SIRS) of DHS to recover overpaid funds due to fraud, abuse ...
0 comments

2022 ARRM Events and More

Be the first person to recommend this.
We are excited to announce ARRM’s 2022 event schedule, call for presentations, and sponsorship opportunities! ARRM relies on support of generous partners to create high quality resources for Minnesota's home and community-based service (HCBS) organizations at affordable rates, and we look forward to partnering with you in the coming year to make that happen. Download the 2022 Sponsorship Brochure to find your opportunities Pillar Events Overview ALI ( ARRM Leadership Institute ) 02/16, 05/18, 08/17, and 11/16: 4 annual workshops with newly-hired, promoted, or developing leaders in HCBS Business and Finance Forum 06/21 and 11/30: 2 annual full ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
This is my third update to the original post about the 2022 DWRS rate increase. I think you'll like this one! To recap, we know that the Legislature passed a schedule of bi-annual rate increases in 2019, beginning in 2022, that will affect wage values and inflationary increases for a few other component values. And we know that they used enhanced federal dollars this year to move the date of the 2022 rate increases up from July 1 to January 1 (upon federal approval, whichever is later). We further know that the rate increases will be phased in over 12 months as service authorizations renew. Using the information we knew at the time, ARRM released a set of rate ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
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 ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
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 ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
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 ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
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.
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
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 ...
0 comments
2 people recommend this.
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 ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
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 ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
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 ...
0 comments

March Legislative Update

Be the first person to recommend this.
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 ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
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 ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
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. ...
0 comments