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256B.0918 EMPLOYEE SCHOLARSHIP COSTS.
    Subdivision 1. Program criteria. Beginning on or after October 1, 2005, within the limits of
appropriations specifically available for this purpose, the commissioner shall provide funding to
qualified provider applicants for employee scholarships for education in nursing and other health
care fields. Employee scholarships must be for a course of study that is expected to lead to career
advancement with the provider or in the field of long-term care, including home care or care of
persons with disabilities, or nursing. Providers that secure this funding must use it to award
scholarships to employees who work an average of at least 20 hours per week for the provider.
Executive management staff without direct care duties, registered nurses, and therapists are not
eligible to receive scholarships under this section.
    Subd. 2. Participating providers. The commissioner shall publish a request for proposals
in the State Register by August 15, 2005, specifying provider eligibility requirements, provider
selection criteria, program specifics, funding mechanism, and methods of evaluation. The
commissioner may publish additional requests for proposals in subsequent years. Providers
who provide services funded through the following programs are eligible to apply to participate
in the scholarship program: home and community-based waivered services for persons with
developmental disabilities under section 256B.501; home and community-based waivered
services for the elderly under section 256B.0915; waivered services under community alternatives
for disabled individuals under section 256B.49; community alternative care waivered services
under section 256B.49; traumatic brain injury waivered services under section 256B.49; nursing
services and home health services under section 256B.0625, subdivision 6a; personal care services
and nursing supervision of personal care services under section 256B.0625, subdivision 19a;
private duty nursing services under section 256B.0625, subdivision 7; day training and habilitation
services for adults with developmental disabilities under sections 252.40 to 252.46; and
intermediate care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities under section 256B.5012.
    Subd. 3. Provider selection criteria. To be considered for scholarship funding, the provider
shall submit a completed application within the time frame specified by the commissioner. In
awarding funding, the commissioner shall consider the following:
(1) the size of the provider as measured in annual billing to the medical assistance program.
To be eligible, a provider must receive at least $300,000 annually in medical assistance payments;
(2) the percentage of employees meeting the scholarship program recipient requirements;
(3) staff retention rates for paraprofessionals; and
(4) other criteria determined by the commissioner.
    Subd. 4. Funding specifics. Within the limits of appropriations specifically available for this
purpose, for the rate period beginning on or after October 1, 2005, to September 30, 2007, the
commissioner shall provide to each provider listed in subdivision 2 and awarded funds under
subdivision 3 a medical assistance rate increase to fund scholarships up to three-tenths percent of
the medical assistance reimbursement rate. The commissioner shall require providers to repay any
portion of funds awarded under subdivision 3 that is not used to fund scholarships. If applications
exceed available funding, funding shall be targeted to providers that employ a higher percentage
of paraprofessional staff or have lower rates of turnover of paraprofessional staff. During the
subsequent years of the program, the rate adjustment may be recalculated, at the discretion of the
commissioner. In making a recalculation the commissioner may consider the provider's success at
granting scholarships based on the amount spent during the previous year and the availability of
appropriations to continue the program.
    Subd. 5. Reporting requirements. Participating providers shall report to the commissioner
on a schedule determined by the commissioner and on a form supplied by the commissioner for a
scholarship rate for rate periods beginning October 1, 2007. The report shall include the amount
spent during the reporting period on eligible scholarships, and, for each scholarship recipient,
the name of the recipient, the amount awarded, the educational institution attended, the nature of
the educational program, the expected or actual program completion date, and a determination
of the amount spent as a percentage of the provider's reimbursement. The commissioner shall
require providers to repay all of the funds awarded under subdivision 3 if the report required in
this subdivision is not filled according to the schedule determined by the commissioner.
    Subd. 6. Evaluation. The commissioner shall report to the legislature annually, beginning
March 15, 2007, on the use of these funds.
History: 2005 c 56 s 1; 1Sp2005 c 4 art 8 s 47; 2006 c 282 art 20 s 17-19