Minnesota: Size of Direct-Care Workforce, 2015

Total: 124,860

Minnesota: Occupational Growth Projections, 2014-2024

Minnesota: Median Hourly Wages for Direct-Care Workers, 2015

Minnesota: Median Hourly Wages for Direct-Care Workers, 2005 - 2015

Adjusted for Inflation (2015 dollars)

Minnesota: Direct-Care Workers Without Health Insurance, 2012-2014

MN figures are for West North Central division (MN, IA, MO, ND, SD, NE, KS)

Minnesota: Direct-Care Workers Covered by Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance, 2012-2014

MN figures are for West North Central division (MN, IA, MO, ND, SD, NE, KS)

Minnesota: Direct-Care Worker Households Relying on Means-Tested Public Assistance, 2012-2014

MN figures are for West North Central division (MN, IA, MO, ND, SD, NE, KS)

Nurse Aides

 Minimum Training HoursMinimum Clinical Hours
Minnesota 75 16
Federal standard 75 16

Source: Follows Federal Code of Regulations: CFR Title 42, Vol. 3, 483.
See also: In-depth comparison of state nurse aide training requirements

Minnesota Administrative Rules, 4668.0130.

Home Health Aides

 Minimum Training HoursMinimum Clinical Hours
Minnesota 75 16
Federal standard 75 16

Source: Minnesota Administrative Rules, 4668.0100.
See also: In-depth comparison of state home health aide training requirements

Personal Care Aides

Minnesota offers personal assistance services through the Medicaid State Plan and four Medicaid HCBS Waivers: the Community Alternative Care Waiver, the Elderly Waiver, the Developmental Disabilities Waiver, and the Community Alternative Disabled Individuals Waiver. In May 2009, the governor of Minnesota signed into law comprehensive reform of Personal Care Services, which included the establishment of mandatory Department of Health Services-administered training for PCAs. This training and a competency test are available free online in six languages for all agency-employed and independent PCAs. The online training covers the following topics: emergencies, infection control and standard precautions, body mechanics, understanding behaviors, boundaries and protection, timesheet documentation, fraud, and self-care. Participant-directed PCAs receive additional participant-specific training at the discretion of the participant.

Source: This chart is based on information collected by PHI researchers in 2012.
See also: In-depth comparison of state personal care aide training requirements

HF 3172: The Minnesota legislature passed a 5% reimbursement rate increase for home care providers. Providers are required to use 80% of the additional funds to raise wages and compensation for home care workers. The Minnesota DHS bulletin on the rate increase is available here. (Adopted May 20, 2014.)

Minn. Stat. §256B.0659, subd. 20(6)(b), 21(12) and 24(9): All PCA agencies enrolled with Minnesota Health Care Programs must pay personal care assistants wages and benefits equal to 72.5 percent of the revenue from the Medical Assistance rate. These wages and benefits could include tuition reimbursement or continuing education benefits.

SF 2934: This bill modified the personal care assistance program. It required training for direct providers and supervisors by July 2010. It allowed for electronic training with competency-based online training. (Referred to Finance on April 13, 2010. Died in committee.)

SF 14/HF 252: This bill would have provided an annual $50,000 grant to A Chance to Grow, Inc. for establishing an outcomes-based personal assistance pilot project for disabled children. Another important requirement was an increase in the wages of personal care assistants by up to $3, based on the experience of the individual. (Referred to Health and Human Services Committee on January 10, 2011 in the Senate and January 27, 2011 in the House. Died in committee.)

HF 950/SF 778: This legislation was passed and signed by the governor extending the right to join a union in Minnesota. The affected workers will have the ability to vote to join a union, collectively bargain with the state for better wages and benefits, and file grievances. (signed May 24, 2013)

Minnesota Home Care Workers Unionize: Personal care assistants who provide consumer-directed home care in Minnesota voted in favor of representation by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on August 26, 2014. Additionally, Minnesota Chief US District Judge rejected a challenge to the unionization vote by the National Right Work Foundation (NRWF), thereby affirming workers' right to unionize as long as the union does not collect "fair share" dues. "Fair share" dues were determined unconstitutional in Harris v. Quinn--a recent US Supreme Court Case.

Hope Haven: Hope Haven is a nonprofit organization serving adults and children with developmental disabilities. Based in Iowa but also serving Minnesota, it gives its direct-care workers the opportunity to advance through a career ladder. Direct support professionals who take part in the program acquire new skills and earn wage increases along the way.

Bigfork Valley Communities: Bigfork Valley, an Eden Alternative facility in northern Minnesota, maintains a person-centered model of care by using career ladders, weekly team decision-making meetings, and a blended workforce in which frontline staff at all levels are trained as certified nursing assistants. These strategies have helped it reduce turnover and improve the quality of care.

Home Care at a Crossroads: Minnesota's Impending Long-Term Care Gap (pdf): Explains that Minnesota will need to overcome a "care gap" of 53,000 home care workers over the next decade in order to sufficiently care for its rising elder population.

Home Care Jobs Are Being Overlooked: Minnesota Home Care Association CEO Neil Johnson provides a March 2010 guest commentary piece to Quality Care/Quality Jobs about the need to invest in home care workers.

Status and Trends in the Direct Support Workforce in Self-Directed Supports: This 2010 article describes the results of a survey of individuals participating in a consumer-directed model of care in Minnesota. The authors found considerable satisfaction among consumers, but also challenges in recruiting, retaining, and training direct support workers.

Evaluation Report: Personal Care Assistance (pdf): Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor released this 2009 evaluation of personal care services in the state during the period 2002-2007. The report includes recommendations for analysis of claims data and training for provider agencies and individuals responsible for assessing client needs, as well as identification of core areas for PCA training.

Defining the Direct-Care Worker in Nursing Facilities (pdf): This 2009 report, prepared by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and presented to the Minnesota legislature, analyzes direct-care staffing definitions used in nursing facilities and recommends reclassifications to improve the integrity of direct-care staffing data.

Costs and Options for Insuring Minnesota’s Long-Term Care Workforce (Word doc): This 2009 report, written for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, provides information and recommendations to the Legislature on options for providing health insurance coverage to long-term care workers in the state. It also provides cost estimates and other recommendations for how this coverage could be provided and funded.

Ready to Serve? PFund Foundation Report of the Aging Network and LGBT Older Adults (pdf): This report, issued by the University of Minnesota and the PFund Foundation in December 2010, includes results from a survey of 15 aging agency directors from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota on LGBT-training for their workers. The report makes recommendations on how to address the needs of LGBT elders.

Recommendations for Minnesota’s Personal Care Assistance Program from Focus Groups of PCA Consumers and PCAs (pdf): This 2009 study by the Lewin Group and the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration presents findings from a series of focus-group discussions conducted with PCAs and PCA consumers throughout Minnesota. The report provides recommendations to the Department of Human Services to strengthen the infrastructure and improve the integrity of personal care assistance program services in Minnesota.

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