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S.F. No. 2414 - Modifying the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Melissa H. Wiklund
Prepared By: Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)
Liam Monahan, Senate Analyst (651/296-1791)
Date: March 14, 2016


Article 1 – Ombudsman for Long-Term Care

Section 1 (256.974 – Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care) updates a cross-reference to federal law and specifies that the office of the Ombudsman is no longer a program within the Board of Aging, but an entity distinct from any other state agency.

Section 2 (256.9741 – Office) updates the definition of the Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care.

Section 3 (256.9741 – Representatives of the office) provides a new definition specifying that employees of the office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, regional ombudsman, and certified ombudsman volunteers are all representative of the Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care.

Section 4 (256.9741, subdivision 8 – State long-term care ombudsman) provides a new definition for the ombudsman of long-term care.

Section 5 (256.9742 – Duties and Powers of the Office)

Subdivision 1 (Duties) specifies that the Office of the Ombudsman of Long-Term Care is a distinct office and not a program within the Board of Aging.

Subdivision 1a to Subdivision 6 updates existing language by incorporating the newly defined term “representative of the office.”

Subdivision 4, clause (6) (Access to long-term care and acute care facilities and clients) expands the authority of the ombudsman or a representative of the Office of the Ombudsman to examine a facility’s records pertaining to the care of a client when the ombudsman or the representative believe that the legal guardian is not acting in the best interests of the client when the guardian does not provide consent for such an examination.

Subdivision 5 (Access to state records) expands the authority of the ombudsman or a representative of the Office of the Ombudsman to examine all individual data relevant to a specific case without the consent of the client’s legal guardian if the ombudsman or the ombudsman’s representative believes that the legal guardian’s refusal to give consent is not in the client’s best interests.

Article 2 - Chemical and Mental Health Services

Section 1 (256B.0622) amends the section of law that relates to assertive community treatment (ACT) and Intensive residential treatment services (IRTS), by adding definitions, updating standards, and rearranging the section to clarify the difference between ACT and IRTS, which both fall under this section of law.

Section 2 (256B.0947) updates cross-references.

Section 3, Subdivision 1, requires the Commissioner of Human Services to design a reform of the state’s substance use disorder treatment system to ensure a full continuum of care.

Subdivision 2 lists the goals of the reform proposal.

Subdivision 3 lists the elements that the reform proposal must include, and requires the commissioner to seek all federal authority necessary to implement the proposal.  Implementation is contingent on legislative approval of the proposal.

Subdivision 4 requires the commissioner to update the Legislature by February 1, 2017, on the progress of the proposal, and make recommendations for any legislative changes or state appropriations that are necessary to implement the proposal.

Subdivision 5 requires the commissioner to consult with consumers, providers, counties, tribes, health plans, and other stakeholders in developing the proposal.

Article 3 - Miscellaneous

Section 1 (245A.11, Subdivision 2a) clarifies the corporate foster care moratorium exception, which allows an additional bed, up to five, under certain circumstances.

Section 2 (256.01, Subdivision 12a) prohibits a member of the child mortality review team from disclosing what transpired during a review, except if it is necessary to carry out the review team duties.  This section specifies that the proceedings and records are protected nonpublic data and are not subject to discovery.

Section 3 (256B.0911, Subdivision 3a) clarifies who may participate in a long-term care assessment by allowing participating family members or legal representatives to be service providers or have a financial interest in the provision of service.

Section 4 (256I.04, Subdivision 2a) makes clarifying modifications to the GRH staff qualifications section of law, which passed last session.

Section 5 (402A.18, Subdivision 3) amends the chapter of law related to the  state-county results, accountability, and service delivery redesign, specifically the conditions upon which the commissioner must impose a remedy, by modifying the language when a county has a performance disparity related to a racial or ethnic group, and striking language allowing the commissioner to average the performance over three years for counties that have a small number of participants in the program such that a reliable measurement is not possible.

Section 6 requires the commissioners of DHS, MDE, DEED and information technology to develop a collaborative action plan in alignment with the state’s Olmstead Plan.  This section specifies what the recommendations must include, which are due to the Legislature by January 1, 2017.

Section 7 requires the commissioner to design comprehensive housing services to support an individual’s ability to obtain and maintain stable housing. This section lists the goals, and specifies the components that must be included in the proposal for the housing support services benefit set, and requires the commissioner to seek all federal authority and funding necessary to implement the proposal.  In developing the proposal, the commissioner shall consult with stakeholders and by February 1, 2017, present an update on the progress of the proposal to the Legislature.

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