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Minnesota Increase in HCBS Reimbursement Rates Benefits Workers

June 25, 2014

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) joined long-term care advocates in celebrating a five-percent raise in reimbursement rates for home- and community-based services at the state Capitol building in St. Paul on June 10.

In a press release, Dayton said that a substantial raise for provider reimbursement rates was a priority of the 2014 legislative session. The rates had barely increased since 2007, trailing well behind inflation.

“As our state’s population ages, it is more important than ever to ensure we are attracting the very best health professionals to care for our parents, grandparents, and family members,” he said.

“Paying these workers fairly for their dedication and professionalism is essential, and I strongly support this increase,” Dayton added.

The state estimates that more than 86,000 home care workers in Minnesota will be affected by the raise. Those workers provide care for an estimated 109,000 elders and people with disabilities in Minnesota.

The law includes a wage pass-through for direct-care workers. It states:

Facilities that receive a rate increase under this subdivision shall use 80 percent of the additional revenue to increase compensation-related costs for employees directly employed by the facility on or after July 1, 2014.

Advocates from the 5% Campaign, a coalition of long-term care stakeholders dedicated to raising Minnesota’s HCBS rates, were among the people celebrating the increase at the June 10 gathering.

Steve Larson, the co-chair of the 5% Campaign, told the Minnesota Post that the rate increase “will help reduce employee turnover, improve quality care, and help people remain independent in their homes and active in their communities.”

— by Matthew Ozga

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