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.
Legislative Update on Abuse & Neglect—Now is the Time to Take Action
By Toby Pearson, Vice President of Advocacy, Care Providers of Minnesota
May 11, 2018 | All members
This week, legislation regarding abuse and neglect continued its meandering path toward the goal of becoming law. As you have read in past stories, the House has included their proposal which covers three key topics (prevention, transparency, and accountability) in their Omnibus Supplemental Spending proposal. This means that it is included with a plethora of other topics in one big bill that is being negotiated with the Senate and the Governor.
The Senate, on the other hand, did not include the language in SF3437 (Housley R-St. Mary’s Point) in their Omnibus Supplemental Bill. Instead, the Senate has included some spending items in their Supplemental Bill, but the language sits on the table in the Senate Finance Committee chaired by Senator Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont). It currently sits on the table because they ran into about $30 million worth of problems with the fiscal implications of the language. The Senate continues to negotiate language to attempt to address these fiscal challenges.
As we have stated in previous articles, and testified in committee, we still have grave concerns about several topics in Housley’s Senate Language. The concerns stem around five main areas:
Now is the time that you can take action.
- Definitions, rights and enforcement of interested persons
- Requirements of continuity of staff
- Definitions, interpretations, and enforcement of retaliation
- Overly broad definitions of deceptive marketing
- Rights and process of termination of leases and service
If you have not responded to the email that we sent out this week (listed below) please do so. Your voice needs to be heard now, to ensure a successful end of session for our very important issues.
We need you to call your legislators and tell them to support the House language on abuse and neglect.
As the Legislature winds down toward adjournment, they continue to discuss legislation that prevents maltreatment and protects vulnerable adults. Currently, the House has a comprehensive proposal that has passed off the floor and is included in the Omnibus Supplemental Spending Bill.
These are the three most important goals:
- Preventing abuse
- Increasing transparency
- Holding abusers accountable
The House position focuses on these three important goals and is an important first step. In addition to the immediate steps, the proposal allows for ongoing improvement and development by having working groups take a thoughtful look at outstanding issues. These working groups pull together various voices for a collaborative process, to achieve further steps to help protect seniors. We recognize this will be an ongoing community conversation because of the following:
- Soon Minnesota will be home to more than one million seniors. Most of them will need long-term care at some point. We have a growing need to recruit, train and retain professional senior caregivers.
- Before long, one in four Minnesota adults will be 65+.
- We need to keep working together to ensure that all Minnesota seniors receive the quality and compassionate care and services they need.
Here is your MESSAGE TO LEGISLATORS
I serve seniors in your district, and I support legislation that prevents maltreatment and protects vulnerable adults.
Strong, comprehensive reforms that prevent maltreatment and protect seniors in long-term care settings have advanced in the House, called the Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Prevention and Accountability Act of 2018, and is part of the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (SF 3656). The language:
- Improves the regulatory system of surveys, reporting, and investigations
- Provides greater security and confidence to Minnesota’s older adults and their families
- Supports providers in their efforts to prevent and deter maltreatment
- Addresses the concerns raised by the Office of Legislative Auditor about the Office of Health Facility Complaints and the regulatory environment
Seniors, their families, professional caregivers, consumer advocates, policymakers and others were all involved in developing these real, sustainable solutions focused on prevention, accountability, and transparency.
Encourage your colleagues on the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill Conference Committee to support the House language and advance legislation this Session that allows older adults to maintain a high quality of life as they age and to live their lives with meaning and purpose.
As our senior population continues to grow, we cannot afford to wait to prevent maltreatment. Tell the SF3656 conferees to advance the House language and take action this session.
Toby Pearson – 952-851-2480 – firstname.lastname@example.org