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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 256

Section 256.975

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256.975 MINNESOTA BOARD ON AGING.
    Subdivision 1. Creation. There is created a Minnesota Board on Aging consisting of 25
members to be appointed by the governor. At least one member shall be appointed from each
congressional district and the remaining members shall be appointed at large. No member shall
be appointed for more than two consecutive terms of four years each. In making appointments,
the governor shall give consideration to individuals having a special interest in aging, and so far
as practicable, shall include persons affiliated with agriculture, labor, industry, education, social
work, health, housing, religion, recreation, and voluntary citizen groups, including senior citizens.
The governor shall designate the chair. Other officers, including vice-chair and secretary,
shall be elected by the board members.
    Subd. 1a. Removal; vacancies. The membership terms, compensation, removal of members,
and filling of vacancies on the board shall be as provided in section 15.0575.
    Subd. 2. Duties. The board shall carry out the following duties:
(a) to advise the governor and heads of state departments and agencies regarding policy,
programs, and services affecting the aging;
(b) to provide a mechanism for coordinating plans and activities of state departments and
citizens' groups as they pertain to aging;
(c) to create public awareness of the special needs and potentialities of older persons;
(d) to gather and disseminate information about research and action programs, and to
encourage state departments and other agencies to conduct needed research in the field of aging;
(e) to stimulate, guide, and provide technical assistance in the organization of local councils
on aging;
(f) to provide continuous review of ongoing services, programs and proposed legislation
affecting the elderly in Minnesota;
(g) to administer and to make policy relating to all aspects of the Older Americans Act of
1965, as amended, including implementation thereof; and
(h) to award grants, enter into contracts, and adopt rules the Minnesota Board on Aging
deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
    Subd. 2a. Electronic meetings. (a) Notwithstanding section 13D.01, the Minnesota Board
on Aging may conduct a meeting of its members by telephone or other electronic means so long
as the following conditions are met:
    (1) all members of the board participating in the meeting, wherever their physical location,
can hear one another and can hear all discussion and testimony;
    (2) members of the public present at the regular meeting location of the board can hear all
discussion and testimony and all votes of members of the board;
    (3) at least one member of the board is physically present at the regular meeting location; and
    (4) all votes are conducted by roll call, so that each member's vote on each issue can
be identified and recorded.
    (b) Each member of the board participating in a meeting by telephone or other electronic
means is considered present at the meeting for purposes of determining a quorum and participating
in all proceedings.
    (c) If telephone or other electronic means is used to conduct a meeting, the board, to the
extent practical, shall allow a person to monitor the meeting electronically from a remote location.
The board may require the person making a connection to pay for documented marginal costs
that the board incurs as a result of the additional connection.
    (d) If telephone or other electronic means is used to conduct a regular, special, or emergency
meeting, the board shall provide notice of the regular meeting location, of the fact that some
members may participate by telephone or other electronic means, and of the provisions of
paragraph (c). The timing and method of providing notice is governed by section 13D.04.
    Subd. 3. Policy. The board shall recommend to the state legislature no later than January 1,
1977, a proposed state policy for citizens dependent on long term care and services. The proposed
state policy shall address, but need not be limited to, the following:
(a) Developing alternatives to institutionalization in long term care facilities and other
programs which will assist each citizen dependent on long term care and services to maintain
the highest level of self-sufficiency and independence which the citizen's mental and physical
condition allows;
(b) Developing methods for ensuring citizens dependent on long term care and services an
effective voice in determining which programs and services are made available to them;
(c) Protecting citizens dependent on long term care and services from unnecessary
governmental interference in private and personal affairs; and
(d) Informing citizens dependent on long term care and services of the programs and services
for which they are eligible.
    Subd. 4. Home-delivered meals. The Board on Aging shall take appropriate action to secure
reimbursement from public and private medical care programs, health plans, and health insurers
for home-delivered meals that are a necessary part of medical treatment for the elderly.
    Subd. 5. Programs for senior citizens and disabled persons. Any sums collected under
section 325F.71 must be deposited into the state treasury and credited to the account of the state
Board on Aging. The money credited to the account of the state Board on Aging is annually
appropriated to the state board on aging and shall be expended for the following purposes:
(1) to prepare and distribute educational materials to inform senior citizens, disabled persons,
and the public regarding consumer protection laws and consumer rights that are of particular
interest to senior citizens and disabled persons; or
(2) to underwrite educational seminars and other forms of educational projects for the benefit
of senior citizens and disabled persons.
    Subd. 6. Indian elders position. The Minnesota Board on Aging shall create an Indian elders
coordinator position, and shall hire staff as appropriations permit for the purposes of coordinating
efforts with the National Indian Council on Aging and developing a comprehensive statewide
service system for Indian elders. An Indian elder is defined for purposes of this subdivision as an
Indian enrolled in a band or tribe who is 55 years or older. The statewide service system must
include the following components:
(1) an assessment of the program eligibility, examining the need to change the age-based
eligibility criteria to need-based eligibility criteria;
(2) a planning system that would grant or make recommendations for granting federal and
state funding for services;
(3) a plan for service focal points, senior centers, or community centers for socialization and
service accessibility for Indian elders;
(4) a plan to develop and implement education and public awareness campaigns including
awareness programs, sensitivity cultural training, and public education on Indian elder needs;
(5) a plan for information and referral services including trained advocates and an Indian
elder newsletter;
(6) a plan for a coordinated health care system including health promotion/prevention,
in-home service, long-term care service, and health care services;
(7) a plan for ongoing research involving Indian elders including needs assessment and
needs analysis;
(8) information and referral services for legal advice or legal counsel; and
(9) a plan to coordinate services with existing organizations including the Council of
Indian Affairs, the Minnesota Indian Council of Elders, the Minnesota Board on Aging, and
tribal governments.
    Subd. 7. Consumer information and assistance; senior linkage. (a) The Minnesota Board
on Aging shall operate a statewide information and assistance service to aid older Minnesotans
and their families in making informed choices about long-term care options and health care
benefits. Language services to persons with limited English language skills may be made
available. The service, known as Senior LinkAge Line, must be available during business hours
through a statewide toll-free number and must also be available through the Internet.
    (b) The service must assist older adults, caregivers, and providers in accessing information
about choices in long-term care services that are purchased through private providers or available
through public options. The service must:
    (1) develop a comprehensive database that includes detailed listings in both consumer- and
provider-oriented formats;
    (2) make the database accessible on the Internet and through other telecommunication and
media-related tools;
    (3) link callers to interactive long-term care screening tools and make these tools available
through the Internet by integrating the tools with the database;
    (4) develop community education materials with a focus on planning for long-term care and
evaluating independent living, housing, and service options;
    (5) conduct an outreach campaign to assist older adults and their caregivers in finding
information on the Internet and through other means of communication;
    (6) implement a messaging system for overflow callers and respond to these callers by
the next business day;
    (7) link callers with county human services and other providers to receive more in-depth
assistance and consultation related to long-term care options;
    (8) link callers with quality profiles for nursing facilities and other providers developed
by the commissioner of health; and
    (9) incorporate information about housing with services and consumer rights within the
MinnesotaHelp.info network long-term care database to facilitate consumer comparison of
services and costs among housing with services establishments and with other in-home services
and to support financial self-sufficiency as long as possible. Housing with services establishments
and their arranged home care providers shall provide information to the commissioner of human
services that is consistent with information required by the commissioner of health under section
144G.06, the Uniform Consumer Information Guide. The commissioner of human services
shall provide the data to the Minnesota Board on Aging for inclusion in the MinnesotaHelp.info
network long-term care database.
    (c) The Minnesota Board on Aging shall conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the
statewide information and assistance, and submit this evaluation to the legislature by December
1, 2002. The evaluation must include an analysis of funding adequacy, gaps in service delivery,
continuity in information between the service and identified linkages, and potential use of private
funding to enhance the service.
    Subd. 8. Promotion of long-term care insurance. Within the limits of appropriations
specifically for this purpose, the Minnesota Board on Aging, either directly or through contract,
shall promote the provision of employer-sponsored, long-term care insurance. The board shall
encourage private and public sector employers to make long-term care insurance available to
employees, provide interested employers with information on the long-term care insurance product
offered to state employees, and provide technical assistance to employers in designing long-term
care insurance products and contacting companies offering long-term care insurance products.
    Subd. 9. Prescription drug assistance. The Minnesota Board on Aging shall establish and
administer a prescription drug assistance program to assist individuals in accessing programs
offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers that provide free or discounted prescription drugs or
provide coverage for prescription drugs. The board shall use computer software programs to:
(1) list eligibility requirements for pharmaceutical assistance programs offered by
manufacturers;
(2) list drugs that are included in a supplemental rebate contract between the commissioner
and a pharmaceutical manufacturer under section 256.01, subdivision 2, clause (23); and
(3) link individuals with the pharmaceutical assistance programs most appropriate for the
individual. The board shall make information on the prescription drug assistance program
available to interested individuals and health care providers and shall coordinate the program
with the statewide information and assistance service provided through the Senior LinkAge
Line under subdivision 7.
History: 1961 c 466 s 1,2; 1974 c 536 s 1; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1976 c 134 s 59,60; 1976 c 275 s
1; 1986 c 404 s 10; 1986 c 444; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 121; 1989 c 294 s 1; 1995 c 207 art 3 s 17;
1Sp2001 c 9 art 4 s 2; art 8 s 13; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 12 s 11; 2005 c 56
s 1; 1Sp2005 c 4 art 8 s 16; 2007 c 147 art 6 s 16; art 7 s 5