The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.


First meeting of the AL licensure working group

   By Toby Pearson, Vice President of Advocacy, Care Providers of Minnesota  | September 21, 2018  |  All Members

On Monday, September 17, 2018, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm convened the first work meeting of the Licensure of Assisted Living Working Group. The meeting was held in the Capitol Complex room 316 and was attended by a variety of stakeholders including staff, provider members, business partner attorneys, advocates, staff from the departments of health and human services, and legislative staff from both the House and Senate. 

After months of informal discussions, meetings with external stakeholder groups, discussions with members at regions and committee meetings, and email exchanges, we are now moving ahead on 2019 session work in the area of “improving safety and protection for elders and vulnerable adults.” Since adjournment of the last legislative session, many of us have continued to talk and think about how to move forward with needed changes in both policy and practice—in state law, regulatory agencies, and provider practice. 
Following an introduction by Commissioner Malcolm, the group walked through a brief overview presentation by MDH staff of what currently exists in regulations and an overview of what it typically included in regulations. This served to give a common understanding of the variety of regulations that currently exist, as well as attempting to outline the variety of topics typically included in regulations. 

The next segment of the meeting was presentations by both the consumer advocates and providers.  Consumer advocates outlined some of the key provisions from their proposal last year and others in the group asked questions and clarified some understandings regarding their proposals. Advocates highlighted some the principles behind their work as well as identified some of the specifics they were attempting to address. 

Following the presentation by the advocates, providers went through and discussed the work that we have been doing with assisted living licensure. Starting with the statement that we support licensing of assisted living settings and raising three threshold questions:
  • What gaps in current structure are most important to address?
  • Should Minnesota continue to separate housing from services?
  • Should Minnesota continue policies that allow individuals to age in place?

We concluded by noting that there were a number of conceptual points of agreement with what the advocates had discussed and that many of the similar values had been expressed by our members in our discussions. Values including keeping the senior at the center, autonomy, choice, transparency, clarity, safety, continuity of care, and aging in place. 

The meeting ended with comments from Commissioner Malcolm and the announcement of the next meeting date being Monday, October 1, 2018, from 10:00 AM–noon in Capitol 316.

As a reminder, there are workgroups formed on the following topics:
  • Licensure approaches for assisted living facilities
  • An assisted living report card
  • Certification of dementia care units
  • Prevention strategies to improve quality and safety in care settings and communities
  • Consumer rights
  • Electronic monitoring in care facilities

On each of these topics, a great deal of work has already been done by one or more groups so none of the workgroups will be starting from ground zero. Commissioner Malcolm’s view of the workgroups is that they should be open to anyone interested in participating. These are informal and not officially appointed. 

The Association will be represented on each of those groups and sharing information as it becomes available with the membership. IF you have a particular interest in any of the areas above and/or would like to attend the workgroup meetings or receive information from the meetings, send an email to Patti Cullen and I will be sure our designated staff members for that workgroup includes you in their work!


Toby Pearson – 952-851-2480 –

About Care Providers of Minnesota

Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.

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