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Minnesota Legislature

New Law: Health services provisions modified

Published (7/15/2011)
By Hank Long
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A 2009 law required the Department of Human Services to develop a uniform statewide rate setting methodology to replace the county negotiated rates with providers of mental and chemical health care.

On top of those required changes, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently instructed the state to modify its rate setting methodology to improve integrity of its continuum of services for individuals with complex needs related to mental and chemical health care services.

A new law, sponsored by Rep. Diane Anderson (R-Eagan) and Sen. Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson), makes notable changes to chemical and mental health care-related statutes in order to reflect the 2009 legislative directive and to streamline the chemical and mental health care-related areas of the department to conform to the recent federal instruction. The changes reflect a three-tiered Medical Assistance reimbursement system.

Many of the changes were developed from the work of a 2010 Legislature-appointed task force charged with making recommendations to the human services commissioner on ways to improve quality care access for individuals with complex conditions, including mental illness, chemical dependency, traumatic brain injury and developmental disabilities. The result of the task force’s work is reflected in the new law that changes existing statutes related to care for such individuals.

Provisions contained in the new law include:

• an adult diagnostic assessment update to be completed when an assessment has been completed within three years preceding admission for health services and there has been no marked change in the client’s mental health status;

• changes to the consolidated chemical dependency treatment fund section of law due to a provision passed by the Legislature instructing the department to develop a new chemical dependency rate methodology that is uniform statewide;

• changes to the law authorizing Medical Assistance payments for intensive rehabilitation mental health services by requiring the commissioner to streamline the rate setting process of a certified community treatment teams and intensive residential services;

• changes to the definition of “intensive nonresidential rehabilitative mental health services” and clarifies that these services are for recipients ages 16 to 21 with a serious mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse addiction;

• modifing the foster care licensing moratorium by carving out an exception for the commissioner of human services to grant new foster care licenses if needed due to restructuring of state-operated services; and

• requiring that a mobile crisis intervention team must be available to meet face to face with a person in a hospital emergency room in a mental health crisis. The law also adds to the list of issues that must be evaluated in the crisis assessment, including the recipient’s preferences as communicated verbally or in a health care directive treatment plan, crisis prevention plan, or a wellness recovery action plan.

This law takes effect Aug. 1, 2011.

H1500/ SF1285*/CH86

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