Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Dual track policy bill debated

Published (3/9/2012)
By Sue Hegarty
Share on: 

A House committee approved a health care policy bill that contains two conflicting continuing care proposals.

HF2456 is the Department of Human Services’ continuing care policy bill. However, the Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota, a consortium of 150 providers supporting people with disabilities, had proposed its own bill based on a set of working group recommendations and industry experience.

Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) merged the ARRM proposals into HF2456, which he sponsors, with hope that a mutually-agreed upon piece of legislation will raise to the surface. The bill was approved as amended by the House Health and Services Reform Committee March 6 and sent to the House Civil Law Committee.

Sen. Sean Nienow (R-Cambridge) sponsors SF2234, a companion which awaits action by the full Senate.

New statewide standards and payment methods would be created under the bill to comply with new federal health care laws. A sample framework for calculating new payment rates was created by the department, but ARRM members said the proposed data used to create the framework doesn’t adequately reflect the work done by a working group and that estimated “shadow rates” would cause drastic cuts in fees for some provider services.

For example, Homeward Bound serves 60 people with severe disabilities through department waivers.

“We have run some initial shadow rates on a website that the department has created. The numbers are catastrophic for Homeward Bound,” said CEO Don Priebe, who estimated a 7.5 percent cut in revenue under the proposal.

“People with the most severe disabilities are going to suffer the most because they’re the ones who are the most dependent on service,” Priebe said.

The other challenge to compromise is that, in light of the state budget constraints, proposals must be revenue neutral. “It has to do no harm,” Abeler said.

Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester) said staying budget neutral is difficult.

“We can’t afford to waste a single dollar, but we have real needs for real people that we gotta pay for and I think that has been kind of dumped in your lap Rep. Abeler. I’d be glad to help if I could. This is a tough problem and I hope we can figure out a good way to solve it without really hurting some folks,” Liebling said.

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