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    Subdivision 1. Designation. (a) The commissioner shall designate essential community
providers. The criteria for essential community provider designation shall be the following:
(1) a demonstrated ability to integrate applicable supportive and stabilizing services with
medical care for uninsured persons and high-risk and special needs populations, underserved, and
other special needs populations; and
(2) a commitment to serve low-income and underserved populations by meeting the
following requirements:
(i) has nonprofit status in accordance with chapter 317A;
(ii) has tax exempt status in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service Code, section
(iii) charges for services on a sliding fee schedule based on current poverty income
guidelines; and
(iv) does not restrict access or services because of a client's financial limitation;
(3) status as a local government unit as defined in section 62D.02, subdivision 11, a hospital
district created or reorganized under sections 447.31 to 447.37, an Indian tribal government, an
Indian health service unit, or a community health board as defined in chapter 145A;
(4) a former state hospital that specializes in the treatment of cerebral palsy, spina bifida,
epilepsy, closed head injuries, specialized orthopedic problems, and other disabling conditions; or
(5) a sole community hospital. For these rural hospitals, the essential community provider
designation applies to all health services provided, including both inpatient and outpatient
services. For purposes of this section, "sole community hospital" means a rural hospital that:
(i) is eligible to be classified as a sole community hospital according to Code of Federal
Regulations, title 42, section 412.92, or is located in a community with a population of less than
5,000 and located more than 25 miles from a like hospital currently providing acute short-term
(ii) has experienced net operating income losses in two of the previous three most recent
consecutive hospital fiscal years for which audited financial information is available; and
(iii) consists of 40 or fewer licensed beds.
(b) Prior to designation, the commissioner shall publish the names of all applicants
in the State Register. The public shall have 30 days from the date of publication to submit
written comments to the commissioner on the application. No designation shall be made by the
commissioner until the 30-day period has expired.
(c) The commissioner may designate an eligible provider as an essential community provider
for all the services offered by that provider or for specific services designated by the commissioner.
(d) For the purpose of this subdivision, supportive and stabilizing services include at a
minimum, transportation, child care, cultural, and linguistic services where appropriate.
    Subd. 2. Application. (a) Any provider may apply to the commissioner for designation as an
essential community provider by submitting an application form developed by the commissioner.
Except as provided in paragraph (d), applications must be accepted within two years after the
effective date of the rules adopted by the commissioner to implement this section.
(b) Each application submitted must be accompanied by an application fee in an amount
determined by the commissioner. The fee shall be no more than what is needed to cover the
administrative costs of processing the application.
(c) The name, address, contact person, and the date by which the commissioner's decision is
expected to be made shall be classified as public data under section 13.41. All other information
contained in the application form shall be classified as private data under section 13.41 until
the application has been approved, approved as modified, or denied by the commissioner.
Once the decision has been made, all information shall be classified as public data unless the
applicant designates and the commissioner determines that the information contains trade secret
(d) The commissioner shall accept an application for designation as an essential community
provider until June 30, 2004, from one applicant that is a nonprofit community services agency
certified as a medical assistance provider that provides mental health, behavioral health, chemical
dependency, employment, and health wellness services to the underserved Spanish-speaking
Latino families and individuals with locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
    Subd. 2a. Definition of health plan company. For purposes of this section, "health plan
company" does not include a health plan company as defined in section 62Q.01 with fewer
than 50,000 enrollees, all of whose enrollees are covered under medical assistance, general
assistance medical care, or MinnesotaCare.
    Subd. 3. Health plan company affiliation. A health plan company must offer a provider
contract to any designated essential community provider located within the area served by
the health plan company. A health plan company shall not restrict enrollee access to services
designated to be provided by the essential community provider for the population that the
essential community provider is certified to serve. A health plan company may also make other
providers available for these services. A health plan company may require an essential community
provider to meet all data requirements, utilization review, and quality assurance requirements on
the same basis as other health plan providers.
    Subd. 4. Essential community provider responsibilities. Essential community providers
must agree to serve enrollees of all health plan companies operating in the area in which the
essential community provider is located.
    Subd. 5. Contract payment rates. An essential community provider and a health plan
company may negotiate the payment rate for covered services provided by the essential
community provider. This rate must be at least the same rate per unit of service as is paid to other
health plan providers for the same or similar services.
    Subd. 5a. Cooperation. Each health plan company and essential community provider shall
cooperate to facilitate the use of the essential community provider by the high risk and special
needs populations. This includes cooperation on the submission and processing of claims, sharing
of all pertinent records and data, including performance indicators and specific outcomes data,
and the use of all dispute resolution methods.
    Subd. 5b. Enforcement. For any violation of this section or any rule applicable to an
essential community provider, the commissioner may suspend, modify, or revoke an essential
community provider designation. The commissioner may also use the enforcement authority
specified in section 62D.17.
    Subd. 6. Termination or renewal of designation; commissioner review. The designation as
an essential community provider shall be valid for a five-year period from the date of designation.
Five years after the designation of essential community provider is granted to a provider, the
commissioner shall review the need for and appropriateness of continuing the designation for that
provider. The commissioner may require a provider whose designation is to be reviewed to submit
an application to the commissioner for renewal of the designation and may require an application
fee to be submitted with the application to cover the administrative costs of processing the
application. Based on that review, the commissioner may renew a provider's essential community
provider designation for an additional five-year period or terminate the designation. Once the
designation terminates, the former essential community provider has no rights or privileges
beyond those of any other health care provider.
    Subd. 7. Rulemaking. By January 1, 1996, the commissioner shall adopt rules for
establishing essential community providers and for governing their relationship with health plan
companies. The commissioner shall also identify and address any conflict of interest issues
regarding essential community provider designation for local governments. The rules shall require
health plan companies to comply with all provisions of section 62Q.14 with respect to enrollee
use of essential community providers.
History: 1994 c 625 art 4 s 6; 1995 c 234 art 2 s 26; 1996 c 451 art 2 s 1,2; 1997 c 225 art 2
s 42; 1999 c 239 s 33; 2000 c 340 s 1,2; 2001 c 170 s 3; 2003 c 100 s 1; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 7 s
22,23; 2004 c 279 art 9 s 1; 2006 c 212 art 3 s 4

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes