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S.F. No. 590 - Long-Term Care Workforce Development - the First Engrossment
 
Author: Senator Dan Sparks
 
Prepared By: Liam Monahan, Senate Analyst (651/296-1791)
 
Date: April 15, 2015



 

SF 590 improves long-term care workforce development by expanding application eligibility for the health professional education loan forgiveness program; creating a home and community-based services employee scholarship fund; permitting nursing facilities to apply for a rate adjustment to provide employee scholarships; permitting nursing facilities to apply for a rate adjustment to increase the wages of employees who complete leadership or apprenticeship programs; establishing a grant program to promote long-term care careers; appropriating money to study ways to improve the long-term care workforce; and appropriating money for programs within Minnesota Workforce Centers that address workforce shortages in senior care settings.

Section 1 (144.1501, subd. 3) expands the application eligibility for the health professional education loan forgiveness program to include registered or licensed practical nurses who have graduated from a nursing program. Under current law, only nursing students are eligible to apply for the loan forgiveness program. Section 1 also reduces from three to two the number of years a participating nurse must commit either to practice full-time in a nursing home or intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities, or to teach a minimum of 12 credit hours in a postsecondary nursing program.

Section 2 (144.1503) establishes a new home and community-based services employee scholarship program. Under the program, home and community-based services providers that primarily serve individuals over the age of 64 and have an established employee scholarship program may apply for a grant from the Commissioner of Health. Money from a grant must be used to cover costs incurred by an employee of the provider that are related to a course of study that is expected to lead to career advancement with the provider or in the field of long-term care.

Section 3 (256B.431, subd. 36) Paragraph (a) requires the Commissioner of Human Services to adjust the reimbursement rate for any nursing facility that requests an adjustment for the purposes of providing scholarships to the facility’s employees.  The scholarships must be used to provide job-related training in English as a second language or to reimburse student loan expenses for nurses or training expenses for nursing assistants.

Paragraph (b) requires nursing facilities to apply annually for the scholarship rate adjustment, and allows the rate adjustment to equal costs.

Paragraph (c) expands the costs covered by the scholarship rate adjustment to include child care and transportation.

Paragraph (d) clarifies that the scholarship rate adjustment is optional, an add-on to the facility’s rate, and must be applied for annually.

Paragraph (e) permits the scholarship rate adjustment to be recalculated in cases in which a facility closes beds.

Section 4 (256B.441, subd. 13) expands the definition of external fixed costs to include the career ladder rate adjustment under section 256B.441, subdivision 65.

Section 5 (256B.441, subd. 53) includes the career ladder rate adjustment in the calculation of the nursing facility payment rate for external costs.

Section 6 (256B.441, subd. 65) Paragraph (a) creates a new nursing facility rate adjustment to provide increased wages to nursing facility employees who participate in or complete leadership training or apprenticeship programs.

Paragraph (b) requires a nursing facility to apply to the Commissioner of Human Services in order to receive the career ladder rate increase.

Paragraph (c) specifies the required elements of the rate increase application.

Paragraph (d) provides a calculation for the maximum rate increase.

Paragraph (e) requires the commissioner to allocate the available career ladder funds on a pro rata basis if the cost of all submitted proposals exceed the appropriation for the rate adjustment. 

Paragraph (f) specifies the reporting requirements for nursing facilities receiving the career ladder rate adjustment, and provides a recoupment provision if a facility does not incur the costs expected in their application for the rate adjustment.

Section 7 (Appropriation) makes a onetime appropriation in fiscal year 2016 of an unspecified amount from the general fund to the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development for a grant program to further the advancement of long-term care careers.

Section 8 (Appropriation) makes a onetime appropriation in fiscal year 2016 of an unspecified amount from the general fund to the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development for a study and report to the legislature on ways tax-credits and hiring incentives can improve recruitment and retention of long-term care workers.

Section 9 (Appropriation) makes a onetime appropriation in fiscal year 2016 of $260,000 from the general fund to the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development for programs within Minnesota Workforce Centers that address the shortage of paid caregivers in senior care settings.

Section 10 (Appropriation) makes a onetime appropriation in fiscal year 2016 of an unspecified amount from general fund to the Commissioner of Health for the forgiveness of nurses’ student loans under the health professional education loan forgiveness program.

Beginning in fiscal year 2016, Section 11 (Appropriation) makes an ongoing appropriation of an unspecified amount from the general fund to the Commissioner of Health for the purposes of the home and community-based services employee scholarship program.

Beginning in fiscal year 2016, Section 12 (Appropriation) makes an ongoing appropriation of an unspecified amount from the general fund to the Commissioner of Human Services for the purposes of nursing facilities’ career ladder rate adjustments.

 
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