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Minnesota Legislature

New Law: Nursing home moratorium

Published (7/15/2011)
By Hank Long
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In the fall of 2010, a nursing home in New Richland was evacuated due to rising water levels in the building following the aftermath of an historic rain storm. Storm damage left the New Richland Care Center, a

50-bed facility, closed for three months. The facility still received a state bed surcharge that amounted to $20,000 for the number of beds it holds even though it was not housing anyone while it was closed for repair.

A new law ensures that nursing homes do not receive a surcharge for the time they are closed or evacuated for flooding or other natural disasters.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont), the legislation also modifies the criteria and process under which the health commissioner, in coordination with the human services commissioner, may approve the addition of new licensed and certified nursing home beds. A moratorium currently exists on new nursing home beds in Minnesota, but the law provides for exception in locations declared as “hardship areas,” where there is demonstrated insufficient access to nursing home beds.

Other provisions included in the law:

• allows the health commissioner to approve a request for consolidation of nursing facilities;

• requires the human services commissioner to calculate a property payment rate adjustment, based on the net cost savings to the state of a nursing facility consolidation; and

• amends the law related to nursing home reimbursement by adding a new subdivision that provides a method for determining budget-neutral nursing facility rates for relocated beds. 

The law is effective May 14, 2011.

HF937/ SF626*/CH22

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