256B.0913 Alternative care program.
Subdivision 1. Purpose and goals. The purpose of the alternative care program is to provide funding for or access to home and community-based services for frail elderly persons, in order to limit nursing facility placements. The program is designed to support frail elderly persons in their desire to remain in the community as independently and as long as possible and to support informal caregivers in their efforts to provide care for frail elderly people. Further, the goals of the program are:
(1) to contain medical assistance expenditures by providing care in the community at a cost the same or less than nursing facility costs; and
(2) to maintain the moratorium on new construction of nursing home beds.
Subd. 2. Eligibility for services. Alternative care services are available to all frail older Minnesotans. This includes:
(1) persons who are receiving medical assistance and served under the medical assistance program or the Medicaid waiver program;
(2) persons who would be eligible for medical assistance within 180 days of admission to a nursing facility and served under subdivisions 4 to 13; and
(3) persons who are paying for their services out-of-pocket.
Subd. 3. Eligibility for funding for services for medical assistance recipients. Funding for services for persons who are eligible for medical assistance is available under section 256B.0627, governing home care services, or 256B.0915, governing the Medicaid waiver for home and community-based services.
Subd. 4. Eligibility for funding for services for nonmedical assistance recipients. (a) Funding for services under the alternative care program is available to persons who meet the following criteria:
(1) the person has been screened by the county screening team or, if previously screened and served under the alternative care program, assessed by the local county social worker or public health nurse;
(2) the person is age 65 or older;
(3) the person would be financially eligible for medical assistance within 180 days of admission to a nursing facility;
(4) the person meets the asset transfer requirements of the medical assistance program;
(5) the screening team would recommend nursing facility admission or continued stay for the person if alternative care services were not available;
(6) the person needs services that are not available at that time in the county through other county, state, or federal funding sources; and
(7) the monthly cost of the alternative care services funded by the program for this person does not exceed 75 percent of the statewide average monthly medical assistance payment for nursing facility care at the individual's case mix classification to which the individual would be assigned under Minnesota Rules, parts 9549.0050 to 9549.0059. If medical supplies and equipment or adaptations are or will be purchased for an alternative care services recipient, the costs may be prorated on a monthly basis throughout the year in which they are purchased. If the monthly cost of a recipient's other alternative care services exceeds the monthly limit established in this paragraph, the annual cost of the alternative care services shall be determined. In this event, the annual cost of alternative care services shall not exceed 12 times the monthly limit calculated in this paragraph.
(b) Individuals who meet the criteria in paragraph (a) and who have been approved for alternative care funding are called 180-day eligible clients.
(c) The statewide average payment for nursing facility care is the statewide average monthly nursing facility rate in effect on July 1 of the fiscal year in which the cost is incurred, less the statewide average monthly income of nursing facility residents who are age 65 or older and who are medical assistance recipients in the month of March of the previous fiscal year. This monthly limit does not prohibit the 180-day eligible client from paying for additional services needed or desired.
(d) In determining the total costs of alternative care services for one month, the costs of all services funded by the alternative care program, including supplies and equipment, must be included.
(e) Alternative care funding under this subdivision is not available for a person who is a medical assistance recipient or who would be eligible for medical assistance without a spenddown, unless authorized by the commissioner. A person whose application for medical assistance is being processed may be served under the alternative care program for a period up to 60 days. If the individual is found to be eligible for medical assistance, the county must bill medical assistance from the date the individual was found eligible for services reimbursable under the elderly waiver program.
(f) Alternative care funding is not available for a person who resides in a licensed nursing home or boarding care home, except for case management services which are being provided in support of the discharge planning process.
Subd. 5. Services covered under alternative care. (a) Alternative care funding may be used for payment of costs of:
(1) adult foster care;
(2) adult day care;
(3) home health aide;
(4) homemaker services;
(5) personal care;
(6) case management;
(7) respite care;
(8) assisted living;
(9) residential care services;
(10) care-related supplies and equipment;
(11) meals delivered to the home;
(13) skilled nursing;
(14) chore services;
(15) companion services;
(16) nutrition services;
(17) training for direct informal caregivers; and
(18) telemedicine devices to monitor recipients in their own homes as an alternative to hospital care, nursing home care, or home visits.
(b) The county agency must ensure that the funds are used only to supplement and not supplant services available through other public assistance or services programs.
(c) Unless specified in statute, the service standards for alternative care services shall be the same as the service standards defined in the elderly waiver. Persons or agencies must be employed by or under a contract with the county agency or the public health nursing agency of the local board of health in order to receive funding under the alternative care program.
(d) The adult foster care rate shall be considered a difficulty of care payment and shall not include room and board. The adult foster care daily rate shall be negotiated between the county agency and the foster care provider. The rate established under this section shall not exceed 75 percent of the state average monthly nursing home payment for the case mix classification to which the individual receiving foster care is assigned, and it must allow for other alternative care services to be authorized by the case manager.
(e) Personal care services may be provided by a personal care provider organization. A county agency may contract with a relative of the client to provide personal care services, but must ensure nursing supervision. Covered personal care services defined in section 256B.0627, subdivision 4, must meet applicable standards in Minnesota Rules, part 9505.0335.
(f) A county may use alternative care funds to purchase medical supplies and equipment without prior approval from the commissioner when: (1) there is no other funding source; (2) the supplies and equipment are specified in the individual's care plan as medically necessary to enable the individual to remain in the community according to the criteria in Minnesota Rules, part 9505.0210, item A; and (3) the supplies and equipment represent an effective and appropriate use of alternative care funds. A county may use alternative care funds to purchase supplies and equipment from a non-Medicaid certified vendor if the cost for the items is less than that of a Medicaid vendor. A county is not required to contract with a provider of supplies and equipment if the monthly cost of the supplies and equipment is less than $250.
(g) For purposes of this section, residential care services are services which are provided to individuals living in residential care homes. Residential care homes are currently licensed as board and lodging establishments and are registered with the department of health as providing special services. Residential care services are defined as "supportive services" and "health-related services." "Supportive services" means the provision of up to 24-hour supervision and oversight. Supportive services includes: (1) transportation, when provided by the residential care center only; (2) socialization, when socialization is part of the plan of care, has specific goals and outcomes established, and is not diversional or recreational in nature; (3) assisting clients in setting up meetings and appointments; (4) assisting clients in setting up medical and social services; (5) providing assistance with personal laundry, such as carrying the client's laundry to the laundry room. Assistance with personal laundry does not include any laundry, such as bed linen, that is included in the room and board rate. Health-related services are limited to minimal assistance with dressing, grooming, and bathing and providing reminders to residents to take medications that are self-administered or providing storage for medications, if requested. Individuals receiving residential care services cannot receive both personal care services and residential care services.
(h) For the purposes of this section, "assisted living" refers to supportive services provided by a single vendor to clients who reside in the same apartment building of three or more units which are not subject to registration under chapter 144D. Assisted living services are defined as up to 24-hour supervision, and oversight, supportive services as defined in clause (1), individualized home care aide tasks as defined in clause (2), and individualized home management tasks as defined in clause (3) provided to residents of a residential center living in their units or apartments with a full kitchen and bathroom. A full kitchen includes a stove, oven, refrigerator, food preparation counter space, and a kitchen utensil storage compartment. Assisted living services must be provided by the management of the residential center or by providers under contract with the management or with the county.
(1) Supportive services include:
(i) socialization, when socialization is part of the plan of care, has specific goals and outcomes established, and is not diversional or recreational in nature;
(ii) assisting clients in setting up meetings and appointments; and
(iii) providing transportation, when provided by the residential center only.
Individuals receiving assisted living services will not receive both assisted living services and homemaking or personal care services. Individualized means services are chosen and designed specifically for each resident's needs, rather than provided or offered to all residents regardless of their illnesses, disabilities, or physical conditions.
(2) Home care aide tasks means:
(i) preparing modified diets, such as diabetic or low sodium diets;
(ii) reminding residents to take regularly scheduled medications or to perform exercises;
(iii) household chores in the presence of technically sophisticated medical equipment or episodes of acute illness or infectious disease;
(iv) household chores when the resident's care requires the prevention of exposure to infectious disease or containment of infectious disease; and
(v) assisting with dressing, oral hygiene, hair care, grooming, and bathing, if the resident is ambulatory, and if the resident has no serious acute illness or infectious disease. Oral hygiene means care of teeth, gums, and oral prosthetic devices.
(3) Home management tasks means:
(iii) preparation of regular snacks and meals; and
(i) For establishments registered under chapter 144D, assisted living services under this section means the services described and licensed under section 144A.4605.
(j) For the purposes of this section, reimbursement for assisted living services and residential care services shall be a monthly rate negotiated and authorized by the county agency based on an individualized service plan for each resident. The rate shall not exceed the nonfederal share of the greater of either the statewide or any of the geographic groups' weighted average monthly medical assistance nursing facility payment rate of the case mix resident class to which the 180-day eligible client would be assigned under Minnesota Rules, parts 9549.0050 to 9549.0059, unless the services are provided by a home care provider licensed by the department of health and are provided in a building that is registered as a housing with services establishment under chapter 144D and that provides 24-hour supervision.
(k) For purposes of this section, companion services are defined as nonmedical care, supervision and oversight, provided to a functionally impaired adult. Companions may assist the individual with such tasks as meal preparation, laundry and shopping, but do not perform these activities as discrete services. The provision of companion services does not entail hands-on medical care. Providers may also perform light housekeeping tasks which are incidental to the care and supervision of the recipient. This service must be approved by the case manager as part of the care plan. Companion services must be provided by individuals or nonprofit organizations who are under contract with the local agency to provide the service. Any person related to the waiver recipient by blood, marriage or adoption cannot be reimbursed under this service. Persons providing companion services will be monitored by the case manager.
(l) For purposes of this section, training for direct informal caregivers is defined as a classroom or home course of instruction which may include: transfer and lifting skills, nutrition, personal and physical cares, home safety in a home environment, stress reduction and management, behavioral management, long-term care decision making, care coordination and family dynamics. The training is provided to an informal unpaid caregiver of a 180-day eligible client which enables the caregiver to deliver care in a home setting with high levels of quality. The training must be approved by the case manager as part of the individual care plan. Individuals, agencies, and educational facilities which provide caregiver training and education will be monitored by the case manager.
Subd. 6. Alternative care program administration. The alternative care program is administered by the county agency. This agency is the lead agency responsible for the local administration of the alternative care program as described in this section. However, it may contract with the public health nursing service to be the lead agency.
Subd. 7. Case management. Providers of case management services for persons receiving services funded by the alternative care program must meet the qualification requirements and standards specified in section 256B.0915, subdivision 1b. The case manager must ensure the health and safety of the individual client and is responsible for the cost-effectiveness of the alternative care individual care plan. The county may allow a case manager employed by the county to delegate certain aspects of the case management activity to another individual employed by the county provided there is oversight of the individual by the case manager. The case manager may not delegate those aspects which require professional judgment including assessments, reassessments, and care plan development.
Subd. 8. Requirements for individual care plan. (a) The case manager shall implement the plan of care for each 180-day eligible client and ensure that a client's service needs and eligibility are reassessed at least every 12 months. The plan shall include any services prescribed by the individual's attending physician as necessary to allow the individual to remain in a community setting. In developing the individual's care plan, the case manager should include the use of volunteers from families and neighbors, religious organizations, social clubs, and civic and service organizations to support the formal home care services. The county shall be held harmless for damages or injuries sustained through the use of volunteers under this subdivision including workers' compensation liability. The lead agency shall provide documentation to the commissioner verifying that the individual's alternative care is not available at that time through any other public assistance or service program. The lead agency shall provide documentation in each individual's plan of care and to the commissioner that the most cost-effective alternatives available have been offered to the individual and that the individual was free to choose among available qualified providers, both public and private. The case manager must give the individual a ten-day written notice of any decrease in or termination of alternative care services.
(b) If the county administering alternative care services is different than the county of financial responsibility, the care plan may be implemented without the approval of the county of financial responsibility.
Subd. 9. Contracting provisions for providers. The lead agency shall document to the commissioner that the agency made reasonable efforts to inform potential providers of the anticipated need for services under the alternative care program or waiver programs under sections 256B.0915 and 256B.49, including a minimum of 14 days' written advance notice of the opportunity to be selected as a service provider and an annual public meeting with providers to explain and review the criteria for selection. The lead agency shall also document to the commissioner that the agency allowed potential providers an opportunity to be selected to contract with the county agency. Funds reimbursed to counties under this subdivision are subject to audit by the commissioner for fiscal and utilization control.
The lead agency must select providers for contracts or agreements using the following criteria and other criteria established by the county:
(1) the need for the particular services offered by the provider;
(2) the population to be served, including the number of clients, the length of time services will be provided, and the medical condition of clients;
(3) the geographic area to be served;
(4) quality assurance methods, including appropriate licensure, certification, or standards, and supervision of employees when needed;
(5) rates for each service and unit of service exclusive of county administrative costs;
(6) evaluation of services previously delivered by the provider; and
(7) contract or agreement conditions, including billing requirements, cancellation, and indemnification.
The county must evaluate its own agency services under the criteria established for other providers. The county shall provide a written statement of the reasons for not selecting providers.
Subd. 10. Allocation formula. (a) The alternative care appropriation for fiscal years 1992 and beyond shall cover only 180-day eligible clients.
(b) Prior to July 1 of each year, the commissioner shall allocate to county agencies the state funds available for alternative care for persons eligible under subdivision 2. The allocation for fiscal year 1992 shall be calculated using a base that is adjusted to exclude the medical assistance share of alternative care expenditures. The adjusted base is calculated by multiplying each county's allocation for fiscal year 1991 by the percentage of county alternative care expenditures for 180-day eligible clients. The percentage is determined based on expenditures for services rendered in fiscal year 1989 or calendar year 1989, whichever is greater.
(c) If the county expenditures for 180-day eligible clients are 95 percent or more of its adjusted base allocation, the allocation for the next fiscal year is 100 percent of the adjusted base, plus inflation to the extent that inflation is included in the state budget.
(d) If the county expenditures for 180-day eligible clients are less than 95 percent of its adjusted base allocation, the allocation for the next fiscal year is the adjusted base allocation less the amount of unspent funds below the 95 percent level.
(e) For fiscal year 1992 only, a county may receive an increased allocation if annualized service costs for the month of May 1991 for 180-day eligible clients are greater than the allocation otherwise determined. A county may apply for this increase by reporting projected expenditures for May to the commissioner by June 1, 1991. The amount of the allocation may exceed the amount calculated in paragraph (b). The projected expenditures for May must be based on actual 180-day eligible client caseload and the individual cost of clients' care plans. If a county does not report its expenditures for May, the amount in paragraph (c) or (d) shall be used.
(f) Calculations for paragraphs (c) and (d) are to be made as follows: for each county, the determination of expenditures shall be based on payments for services rendered from April 1 through March 31 in the base year, to the extent that claims have been submitted by June 1 of that year. Calculations for paragraphs (c) and (d) must also include the funds transferred to the consumer support grant program for clients who have transferred to that program from April 1 through March 31 in the base year.
Subd. 11. Targeted funding. (a) The purpose of targeted funding is to make additional money available to counties with the greatest need. Targeted funds are not intended to be distributed equitably among all counties, but rather, allocated to those with long-term care strategies that meet state goals.
(b) The funds available for targeted funding shall be the total appropriation for each fiscal year minus county allocations determined under subdivision 10 as adjusted for any inflation increases provided in appropriations for the biennium.
(c) The commissioner shall allocate targeted funds to counties that demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commissioner that they have developed feasible plans to increase alternative care spending. In making targeted funding allocations, the commissioner shall use the following priorities:
(1) counties that received a lower allocation in fiscal year 1991 than in fiscal year 1990. Counties remain in this priority until they have been restored to their fiscal year 1990 level plus inflation;
(2) counties that sustain a base allocation reduction for failure to spend 95 percent of the allocation if they demonstrate that the base reduction should be restored;
(3) counties that propose projects to divert community residents from nursing home placement or convert nursing home residents to community living; and
(4) counties that can otherwise justify program growth by demonstrating the existence of waiting lists, demographically justified needs, or other unmet needs.
(d) Counties that would receive targeted funds according to paragraph (c) must demonstrate to the commissioner's satisfaction that the funds would be appropriately spent by showing how the funds would be used to further the state's alternative care goals as described in subdivision 1, and that the county has the administrative and service delivery capability to use them.
(e) The commissioner shall request applications by June 1 each year, for county agencies to apply for targeted funds. The counties selected for targeted funds shall be notified of the amount of their additional funding by August 1 of each year. Targeted funds allocated to a county agency in one year shall be treated as part of the county's base allocation for that year in determining allocations for subsequent years. No reallocations between counties shall be made.
(f) The allocation for each year after fiscal year 1992 shall be determined using the previous fiscal year's allocation, including any targeted funds, as the base and then applying the criteria under subdivision 10, paragraphs (c), (d), and (f), to the current year's expenditures.
Subd. 12. Client premiums. (a) A premium is required for all 180-day eligible clients to help pay for the cost of participating in the program. The amount of the premium for the alternative care client shall be determined as follows:
(1) when the alternative care client's income less recurring and predictable medical expenses is greater than the medical assistance income standard but less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline, and total assets are less than $6,000, the fee is zero;
(2) when the alternative care client's income less recurring and predictable medical expenses is greater than 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline, and total assets are less than $6,000, the fee is 25 percent of the cost of alternative care services or the difference between 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline and the client's income less recurring and predictable medical expenses, whichever is less; and
(3) when the alternative care client's total assets are greater than $6,000, the fee is 25 percent of the cost of alternative care services.
For married persons, total assets are defined as the total marital assets less the estimated community spouse asset allowance, under section 256B.059, if applicable. For married persons, total income is defined as the client's income less the monthly spousal allotment, under section 256B.058.
All alternative care services except case management shall be included in the estimated costs for the purpose of determining 25 percent of the costs.
The monthly premium shall be calculated based on the cost of the first full month of alternative care services and shall continue unaltered until the next reassessment is completed or at the end of 12 months, whichever comes first. Premiums are due and payable each month alternative care services are received unless the actual cost of the services is less than the premium.
(b) The fee shall be waived by the commissioner when:
(1) a person who is residing in a nursing facility is receiving case management only;
(2) a person is applying for medical assistance;
(3) a married couple is requesting an asset assessment under the spousal impoverishment provisions;
(4) a person is a medical assistance recipient, but has been approved for alternative care-funded assisted living services;
(5) a person is found eligible for alternative care, but is not yet receiving alternative care services; or
(6) a person's fee under paragraph (a) is less than $25.
(c) The county agency must collect the premium from the client and forward the amounts collected to the commissioner in the manner and at the times prescribed by the commissioner. Money collected must be deposited in the general fund and is appropriated to the commissioner for the alternative care program. The client must supply the county with the client's social security number at the time of application. If a client fails or refuses to pay the premium due, the county shall supply the commissioner with the client's social security number and other information the commissioner requires to collect the premium from the client. The commissioner shall collect unpaid premiums using the revenue recapture act in chapter 270A and other methods available to the commissioner. The commissioner may require counties to inform clients of the collection procedures that may be used by the state if a premium is not paid.
(d) The commissioner shall begin to adopt emergency or permanent rules governing client premiums within 30 days after July 1, 1991, including criteria for determining when services to a client must be terminated due to failure to pay a premium.
Subd. 13. County biennial plan. The county biennial plan for the preadmission screening program, the alternative care program, waivers for the elderly under section 256B.0915, and waivers for the disabled under section 256B.49, shall be incorporated into the biennial community social services act plan and shall meet the regulations and timelines of that plan. This county biennial plan shall include:
(1) information on the administration of the preadmission screening program;
(3) information on the administration of the alternative care program.
Subd. 14. Reimbursement and rate adjustments. (a) Reimbursement for expenditures for the alternative care services as approved by the client's case manager shall be through the invoice processing procedures of the department's Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS). To receive reimbursement, the county or vendor must submit invoices within 12 months following the date of service. The county agency and its vendors under contract shall not be reimbursed for services which exceed the county allocation.
(b) If a county collects less than 50 percent of the client premiums due under subdivision 12, the commissioner may withhold up to three percent of the county's final alternative care program allocation determined under subdivisions 10 and 11.
(c) For fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 1993, the commissioner of human services shall not provide automatic annual inflation adjustments for alternative care services. The commissioner of finance shall include as a budget change request in each biennial detailed expenditure budget submitted to the legislature under section 16A.11 annual adjustments in reimbursement rates for alternative care services based on the forecasted percentage change in the Home Health Agency Market Basket of Operating Costs, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, compared to the previous fiscal year, unless otherwise adjusted by statute. The Home Health Agency Market Basket of Operating Costs is published by Data Resources, Inc. The forecast to be used is the one published for the calendar quarter beginning January 1, six months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year for which rates are set.
(d) The county shall negotiate individual rates with vendors and may be reimbursed for actual costs up to the greater of the county's current approved rate or 60 percent of the maximum rate in fiscal year 1994 and 65 percent of the maximum rate in fiscal year 1995 for each alternative care service. Notwithstanding any other rule or statutory provision to the contrary, the commissioner shall not be authorized to increase rates by an annual inflation factor, unless so authorized by the legislature.
(e) On July 1, 1993, the commissioner shall increase the maximum rate for home delivered meals to $4.50 per meal.
Subd. 15. Service allowance fund availability. (a) Effective July 1, 1998, the commissioner may use alternative care funds for services to high function class A persons as defined in section 144.0721, subdivision 3, clause (2). The county alternative care grant allocation will be supplemented with a special allocation amount. The allocation will be distributed by a population based formula and shall not exceed the proportion of projected savings made available under section 144.0721, subdivision 3.
(b) Counties shall have the option of providing services, cash service allowances, vouchers, or a combination of these options to high function class A persons defined in section 144.0721, subdivision 3, clause (2). High function class A persons may choose services from among the categories of services listed under subdivision 5, except for case management services.
(c) If the special allocation under this section to a county is not sufficient to serve all persons who qualify for the service allowance, the county is not required to provide any services to a high function class A person but shall establish a waiting list to provide services as special allocation funding becomes available.
Subd. 15a. Reimbursement rate; Anoka county. Notwithstanding subdivision 14, paragraph (e), effective January 1, 1996, Anoka county's maximum allowed rate for home health aide services per 15-minute unit is $4.39, and its maximum allowed rate for homemaker services per 15-minute unit is $2.90. Any adjustments in fiscal year 1997 to the maximum allowed rates for home health aide or homemaker services for Anoka county shall be calculated from the maximum rate in effect on January 1, 1996.
Subd. 15b. Reimbursement rate; Aitkin county. Notwithstanding subdivision 14, paragraph (e), effective April 1, 1996, Aitkin county's maximum allowed rate for in-home respite care services is $6.62 per 30-minute unit. Any adjustments in fiscal year 1997 to the maximum allowed rate for in-home respite care services for Aitkin county shall be calculated from the maximum rate in effect on April 1, 1996.
Subd. 15c. Reimbursement rate; Polk and Pennington counties. Notwithstanding subdivision 14, paragraph (e), effective July 1, 1996, Polk and Pennington counties' maximum allowed rate for homemaker services is $6.18 per 30-minute unit. Any adjustments in fiscal year 1997 to the maximum allowed rate for homemaker services for Polk and Pennington counties shall be calculated from the maximum rate in effect on July 1, 1996.
Subd. 16. Conversion of enrollment. Upon approval of the elderly waiver amendments described in section 256B.0915, subdivision 1d, persons currently receiving services shall have their eligibility for the elderly waiver program determined under section 256B.0915. Persons currently receiving alternative care services whose income is under the special income standard according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 435.236, who are eligible for the elderly waiver program shall be transferred to that program and shall receive priority access to elderly waiver slots for six months after implementation of this subdivision. Persons currently enrolled in the alternative care program who are not eligible for the elderly waiver program shall continue to be eligible for the alternative care program as long as continuous eligibility is maintained. Continued eligibility for the alternative care program shall be reviewed every six months. Persons who apply for the alternative care program after approval of the elderly waiver amendments in section 256B.0915, subdivision 1d, are not eligible for alternative care if they would qualify for the elderly waiver, with or without a spenddown.
HIST: 1991 c 292 art 7 s 15; 1992 c 464 art 2 s 1; 1992 c 513 art 7 s 56-61; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 5 s 62-67; 1Sp1993 c 6 s 12; 1995 c 207 art 6 s 63-69; art 9 s 60; 1995 c 263 s 8; 1996 c 451 art 2 s 23-25; art 4 s 70; art 5 s 21,22; 1997 c 113 s 17; 1997 c 203 art 4 s 36-39; art 11 s 6; 1997 c 225 art 8 s 3