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Minnesota Legislature

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256B.0916 Expansion of home and community-based services; management and allocation responsibilities.

Subdivision 1. Reduction of waiting list. (a) The legislature recognizes that as of January 1, 1999, 3,300 persons with mental retardation or related conditions have been screened and determined eligible for the home and community-based waiver services program for persons with mental retardation or related conditions. Many wait for several years before receiving service.

(b) The waiting list for this program shall be reduced or eliminated by June 30, 2003. In order to reduce the number of eligible persons waiting for identified services provided through the home and community-based waiver for persons with mental retardation or related conditions, during the period from July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2003, funding shall be increased to add 100 additional eligible persons each year beyond the February 1999 medical assistance forecast.

(c) The commissioner shall allocate resources in such a manner as to use all resources budgeted for the home and community-based waiver for persons with mental retardation or related conditions according to the priorities listed in subdivision 2, paragraph (b), and then to serve other persons on the waiting list. Resources allocated for a fiscal year to serve persons affected by public and private sector ICF/MR closures, but not expected to be expended for that purpose, must be reallocated within that fiscal year to serve other persons on the waiting list, and the number of waiver diversion slots shall be adjusted accordingly.

(d) For fiscal year 2001, at least one-half of the increase in funding over the previous year provided in the February 1999 medical assistance forecast for the home and community-based waiver for persons with mental retardation and related conditions, including changes made by the 1999 legislature, must be used to serve persons who are not affected by public and private sector ICF/MR closures.

Subd. 2. Distribution of funds; partnerships. (a) Beginning with fiscal year 2000, the commissioner shall distribute all funding available for home and community-based waiver services for persons with mental retardation or related conditions to individual counties or to groups of counties that form partnerships to jointly plan, administer, and authorize funding for eligible individuals. The commissioner shall encourage counties to form partnerships that have a sufficient number of recipients and funding to adequately manage the risk and maximize use of available resources.

(b) Counties must submit a request for funds and a plan for administering the program as required by the commissioner. The plan must identify the number of clients to be served, their ages, and their priority listing based on:

(1) requirements in Minnesota Rules, part 9525.1880;

(2) unstable living situations due to the age or incapacity of the primary caregiver;

(3) the need for services to avoid out-of-home placement of children; and

(4) the need to serve persons affected by private sector ICF/MR closures.

The plan must also identify changes made to improve services to eligible persons and to improve program management.

(c) In allocating resources to counties, priority must be given to groups of counties that form partnerships to jointly plan, administer, and authorize funding for eligible individuals and to counties determined by the commissioner to have sufficient waiver capacity to maximize resource use.

(d) Within 30 days after receiving the county request for funds and plans, the commissioner shall provide a written response to the plan that includes the level of resources available to serve additional persons.

(e) Counties are eligible to receive medical assistance administrative reimbursement for administrative costs under criteria established by the commissioner.

Subd. 3. Failure to develop partnerships or submit a plan. (a) By October 1 of each year the commissioner shall notify the county board if any county determined by the commissioner to have insufficient capacity to maximize use of available resources fails to develop a partnership with other counties or fails to submit a plan as required in subdivision 2. The commissioner shall provide needed technical assistance to a county or group of counties that fails to form a partnership or submit a plan. If a county has not joined a county partnership or submitted a plan within 30 days following the notice by the commissioner of its failure, the commissioner shall require and assist that county to develop a plan or contract with another county or group of counties to plan and administer the waiver services program in that county.

(b) Counties may request technical assistance, management information, and administrative support from the commissioner at any time. The commissioner shall respond to county requests within 30 days. Priority shall be given to activities that support the administrative needs of newly formed county partnerships.

Subd. 4. Allowed reserve. Counties or groups of counties participating in partnerships that have submitted a plan under this section may develop an allowed reserve amount to meet crises and other unmet needs of current home and community-based waiver recipients. The amount of the allowed reserve shall be a county specific amount based upon documented past experience and projected need for the coming year described in an allowed reserve plan submitted for approval to the commissioner with the allocation request for the fiscal year.

Subd. 5. Priorities for reassignment of resources and approval of increased capacity. In order to maximize the number of persons served with waiver funds, the commissioner shall monitor county utilization of allocated resources and, as appropriate, reassign resources not utilized and approve increased capacity within available county allocations. Priority consideration for reassignment of resources and approval of increased capacity shall be given to counties with sufficient capacity and counties that form partnerships. In addition to the priorities listed in Minnesota Rules, part 9525.1880, the commissioner shall also give priority consideration to persons whose living situations are unstable due to the age or incapacity of the primary caregiver and to children to avoid out-of-home placement.

Subd. 6. Waiver request. (a) The commissioner shall submit to the federal Health Care Financing Administration by September 1, 1999, a request for a waiver to include an option that would allow waiver service recipients to directly receive 95 percent of the funds that would be allocated to individuals based on written county criteria and procedures approved by the commissioner for the purchase of services to meet their long-term care needs. The waiver request must include a provision requiring recipients who receive funds directly to provide to the commissioner annually, a description of the type of services used, the amount paid for the services purchased, and the amount of unspent funds.

(b) The commissioner, in cooperation with county representatives, waiver service providers, recipients, recipients' families, legal guardians, and advocacy groups, shall develop criteria for:

(1) eligibility to receive funding directly;

(2) determination of the amount of funds made available to each eligible person based on need; and

(3) the accountability required of persons directly receiving funds.

(c) If this waiver is approved and implemented, any unspent money from the waiver services allocation, including the five percent not directly allocated to recipients and any unspent portion of the money that is directly allocated, shall be used to meet the needs of other eligible persons waiting for services funded through the waiver.

(d) The commissioner, in consultation with county social services agencies, waiver services providers, recipients, recipients' families, legal guardians, and advocacy groups shall evaluate the effectiveness of this option within two years of its implementation.

Subd. 7. Annual report by commissioner. Beginning October 1, 1999, and each October 1 thereafter, the commissioner shall issue an annual report on county and state use of available resources for the home and community-based waiver for persons with mental retardation or related conditions. For each county or county partnership, the report shall include:

(1) the amount of funds allocated but not used;

(2) the county specific allowed reserve amount approved and used;

(3) the number, ages, and living situations of individuals screened and waiting for services;

(4) the urgency of need for services to begin within one, two, or more than two years for each individual;

(5) the services needed;

(6) the number of additional persons served by approval of increased capacity within existing allocations;

(7) results of action by the commissioner to streamline administrative requirements and improve county resource management; and

(8) additional action that would decrease the number of those eligible and waiting for waivered services.

The commissioner shall specify intended outcomes for the program and the degree to which these specified outcomes are attained.

Subd. 8. Financial information by county. The commissioner shall make available to interested parties, upon request, financial information by county including the amount of resources allocated for the home and community-based waiver for persons with mental retardation and related conditions, the resources committed, the number of persons screened and waiting for services, the type of services requested by those waiting, and the amount of allocated resources not committed.

Subd. 9. Legal representative participation exception. The commissioner, in cooperation with representatives of counties, service providers, service recipients, family members, legal representatives and advocates, shall develop criteria to allow legal representatives to be reimbursed for providing specific support services to meet the person's needs when a plan which assures health and safety has been agreed upon and carried out by the legal representative, the person, and the county. Legal representatives providing support under consumer-directed community support services pursuant to section 256B.092, subdivision 4, or the consumer support grant program pursuant to section 256B.092, subdivision 7, shall not be considered to have a direct or indirect service provider interest under section 256B.092, subdivision 7, if a health and safety plan which meets the criteria established has been agreed upon and implemented. By October 1, 1999, the commissioner shall submit, for federal approval, amendments to allow legal representatives to provide support and receive reimbursement under the consumer-directed community support services section of the home and community-based waiver plan.

HIST: 1Sp1993 c 1 art 4 s 8; 1998 c 407 art 4 s 39; 1999 c 245 art 4 s 61; 2000 c 488 art 11 s 7