The article below is an archived survey tip from a past ACTION newsletter--our weekly newsletter for members. New nursing facility and home care survey tips are published each week. To sign up for ACTION if you're a member, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). Interested in becoming a Care Providers of Minnesota member? Learn more about how to join here!

Survey Tip: Signatures When Modifying a Service Plan

Jill ScheweBy Jill Schewe, Director of Assisted Living, Housing & Home Care, Care Providers of Minnesota
From the archives: May 19, 2017  |  Senior Housing & Home Care

We have heard from several providers who are worried about being out of compliance because they are finding it difficult to get signatures from a family/responsible person when they have a modification to a service plan. So, we asked the following questions to the Home Care & Assisted Living Provider (HCALP) Division at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH): 

  • Is it acceptable for a provider to receive an email confirmation from a family/responsible person okaying a modification to the service plan if it contains all the elements of the modification in the email? 
  • Is it acceptable if a provider prints off the email and attaches it to the modification to the Service Plan? 

On the home care matters teleconference that HCALP held earlier this month, they answered our questions—and we are thrilled how the MDH responded! MDH answered:

  • Yes—it is acceptable for you to send an email to a family/responsible person outlining the following:
        o Description of changes in service
        o Frequency of new service or of old service if terminated
        o Who is to perform the service
        o Frequency of supervision
        o Charge for the service
  • You will need to ask for an email confirmation of acceptance
  • AND, when the family/responsible person replies to the email with a confirmation of the changes, that email can be printed and attached to the service plan as verification of receipt and signature—just make sure your staff still sign off on the service plan modification—the sending and receipt of the email does not take the place of your staff signature

Jill Schewe – 952-851-2484 –


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