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Licensing clarification (new law)

Published (5/30/2008)
By Patty Ostberg
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The state, instead of individual counties, will certify providers of waiver services for people with disabilities, under a new law.

Sponsored by Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester) and Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes (DFL-Winona), the new law makes changes to waiver services and the certification process to bring the state into compliance with federal standards. The human services commissioner is to biennially review each service provider to make sure they are meeting the minimum standards.

Norton said many of the changes in the law are merely technical and came at the request of the Human Services Department.

Also under the new law, technical changes were made to senior nutrition services to ensure funds are spent on current services, rather than new ones.

The commissioner is to review the definitions of nursing facility direct care staff so the public can compare staffing in facilities. The commissioner is also to review how new and emerging staff positions could be incorporated into facilities. Recommendations are due to the Legislature Jan. 15, 2009.

The law is effective Aug. 1, 2008.


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