Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Waiver programs save state money

Published (1/21/2011)
By Patty Ostberg
Share on: 



The state will save about $275 million in 2010 by using the Elderly Waiver program instead of shifting people directly to nursing homes for care.

That was the message the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee received Jan. 13 from Todd Bergstrom, director of research and payment for Care Providers of Minnesota.

The program pays for home- and community-based services for people age 65 and older, who are eligible for Medical Assistance, but require medical care at the level of a nursing home and choose to stay in their community. The state currently uses various waiver programs to care for the state’s elderly and disabled to help save on overall costs.

The committee also heard overviews of the state’s long-term care and Medical Assistance funding.

Bob Meyer, director of fiscal analysis continuing care administration for the Department of Human Services, said about 69 percent of long-term care funding is spent on waivers and home care. Meyer described several different waiver programs, including Community Alternative Care that helps those under age 65, many of whom are young adults that need intensive care, such as feeding tubes and hospitalization. Another program includes Personal Care Assistance that helps children and adults with at-home services, such as bathing and toileting.

Committee Chairman Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) said the overviews in the next few meetings are to help members become more informed. “The more we know about the way these programs function, the better,” he said.

Although the committee doesn’t have a budget target, it will be faced with “daunting numbers,” Abeler added. He said he’s still waiting for interested groups to come to the committee with “best practice ways to serve more people,” a request he announced at the committee’s first meeting.

Session Weekly More...


Session Weekly Home



Related Stories


A positive balance
Omnibus health care law focuses on reform, restoring cuts and delaying pending cuts
(view full story) Published 5/25/2012

Looking out for children and families
Law offers new safe haven option for newborns; addresses adoption and child safety
(view full story) Published 5/25/2012

Caring for those who care for others
Omnibus health and human services bill remains a moving target
(view full story) Published 3/30/2012

Nursing home funding models
Should residents who can afford to, pay more?
(view full story) Published 3/23/2012

Minnesota Index: Smoking in the state
Facts and statistics on tobacco use in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 3/16/2012

Reform measures draw support
Health and human services reductions draw sharp DFL rebuke
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Delivery of health and human services
Governor says proposal puts too many people in health care jeopardy
(view full story) Published 7/15/2011

Surgical precision
HHS budget — end-of-session sticking point
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Advocating for patients and constituents
Nurses as legislators add their perspective to health care issues
(view full story) Published 5/13/2011

Aiming for reform
House approves omnibus health and human services finance bill
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Omnibus game and fish bill approved
Deer hunting, two-line fishing provisions push people’s buttons
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Care for underserved communities
Community paramedic program is a ‘first of its kind’ proponents say
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

A hand up in climb out of poverty
Bipartisan initiative looks to fund expansion of ‘Circles of Support’ program
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Feature: A healthier Minnesota
Long-term savings the goal of statewide improvement plan
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011

At Issue: No access for all
Report says more oversight needed of state-funded non-emergency transportation
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011