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E-Newsletter of June 12, 2012 | Vol. 4, No. 74

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UPCOMING ANNUAL MEETING & GOVERNING COUNCIL MEETING

All Elder Law Section members are invited to attend the Annual Meeting on June 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm at the offices of Estate & Elder Law Services, Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418.  If you are not able to attend in person, the following is a conference call number: Dial 1-800-406-9170 and enter Conference ID 2637797#.  Agenda items include voting on nominated candidates for Governing Council as listed below as well as name Committee Chairs for the upcoming Section Year.

Elder Law Governing Council Candidates 2012-2013

Officers (2012-2013):
Chair: Laura Zdychnec
Chair-elect: David Rephan
Treasurer: John Kantke
Secretary: Lori Skibbie

New Members (2012-2014):
Mary Frances Price
Sheila Kelly
Andrea Wing
Ja Paul Harris
Allison Burke
Adam Rohne
Stuart Deuring

Returning Members (2012-2014):
Joel Button
Laura Orr
Cathryn Reher
Suzanne Sandahl
Suzy Scheller
Joel Smith
Dan Steinhagen
Julian Zweber

Current Members (2011-2013):
Vicki Ahl
Stuart Bear
Kathleen Eveslage
Margaret Grathwol
Richard Hawke
Paulette Joyer
Kenneth LaBore
Theresa Lewis
Vicki McIntyre
Kristine Mullmann

Ex Officio Education Committee Chair:
Jill Adkins

Ex Officio By-Laws Committee Co-Chair:
Tom O’Connell

Student Members (2012-2013):
Brenna Galvin - William Mitchell
Courtney Allensworth - William Mitchell
Dustin Bethke - Hamline

Members Leaving the Board:
Sally Mortenson
Marjorie Austin
Sarah Rowley
Jennifer Lammers
Jennifer Wright

Following the Annual Meeting will be the Governing Council Meeting.  Elder Law Section members are welcome to stay and attend the Governing Council meeting as well.  Agenda items include discussing the future of the Medicaid State Plan Committee and/or addition of a Litigation Committee.  All Governing Council Members are asked to attend on June 15.  Our next Governing Council meeting will be in August 2012. 


COMMITTEE CHAIRS SOUGHT

After many years of service, Laurie Hanson will be stepping down as the Communications Committee Chair.  Laurie has worked diligently to coordinate the E-Newsletter and website structure to allow Elder Section Members to receive timely information and resources.  Among MSBA sections, the Elder Section E-Newsletter is held in high esteem for the efficient and frequent dissemination of information, largely thanks to Laurie.  Please join me in expressing our appreciation of Laurie and her efforts as Communications Committee Chair.  A search for a new Communications Committee Chair is underway.  Please forward names of interest to Suzy Scheller at suzy@schellerlegalsolutions.com.

Kristine Mullman has served as chair of the Pro Bono Committee for at least three years and worked tirelessly to make the National Health Care Decisions Day (NHDD) a success.  Record numbers of attorneys and consumers have attended multiple NHDD events under her leadership.  Please extend your appreciation to Kristine for her work.  Kristine remains a member of the Governing Council but has decided to step down as the Chair of the Pro Bono Committee.  Please forward names of interest for Chair of the Pro Bono Committee to Suzy Scheller at suzy@schellerlegalsolutions.com.

Vicki McIntyre has provided many years of leadership in the Elder Law Section, including as Editor of the E-Newsletter, Chair of the Elder Law Section, Webmaster, and most recently as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee.  While Vicki will remain on the Governing Council, at this time she is stepping down as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee due to the need to focus on improving her health after a recent cancer diagnosis.  The Elder Law Section has benefited from her tremendous administrative skills.  As the current Chair, I have personally benefited from her past leadership and encouragement to become more involved in Section activities.  Her hands-on leadership at this time will be missed.  Please join me in sending Vicki best wishes and encouragement as well as keeping her in your thoughts and prayers.  We look forward to working with her whenever she is able, which we pray is often.  We are seeking a new Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee immediately and ask that you forward names of interest to Suzy Scheller at suzy@schellerlegalsolutions.com.

World Elder Abuse Day

Remember World Elder Abuse Day is this week, June 15, with various activities in the area.  See the “CLE” section below for more details.

 

Sincerely,
Suzy Scheller, Chair of the Elder Law Section
suzy@schellerlegalsolutions.com

 

Item of Interest

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IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW COMMUNITY SPOUSE SUPPORT OBLIGATION DELAYED INDEFINITELY

The latest word from the Minnesota Department of Human Services is that the new Community Spouse Support Obligation under Minn. Stat. 256B.14, subd. 3a (Laws 2011, 1st Spec. Sess., Ch. 9, Art. 3, Sec. 5),  is not expected to be implemented by July 1, 2012, the date set by statute for implementation.  When implemented the new support obligation is not expected to be retroactive.  Questions have been raised whether the new support obligation violates federal law that treats the income of a community spouse as not available to the medical assistance spouse, and restricts recovery of medical assistance benefits correctly paid.  The complexity of the new statute also raises concerns about the administrative burden placed on county agencies.  The county agencies are supposed to calculate and collect the support obligation.  The statute also provides for hardship waivers and appeals, all of which contribute to administrative expense.  The original fiscal note prepared by DHS when the legislation was first introduced, showed that the new statute would apply only to a very small number of community spouses and would cost more to administer than expected collections.  On that basis DHS originally opposed the legislation.  Despite the fiscal note and DHS opposition, the proposal continued to receive support from influential legislators and was included in the compromise legislation that helped end the State shut-down in 2011.

Submitted by Julian J. Zweber
Legislative Coordinator
Elder Law Section
julianzweber@qwestoffice.net


Elder Law News

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Minnesota's Medicaid program under investigation by yet another federal agency | Pioneer Press

Minn. Hospital Association disagrees with hospital grades | Kare 11

Memory loss conference draws stories, tears | MN Daily

Senior citizen housing option offers community feel | USA Today

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.
joel@koslawfirm.com



Elder Law Cases

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There are no cases to report this week.


Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

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The following appeared in the State Register on June 4th, 2012:

Continuing Care Administration
Public Notice Regarding Changes to Nursing Facility Payment Rates and
Methodologies under the Medical Assistance Program

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to recipients, providers of services, and to the public of certain statutory changes made to the Medical Assistance (MA) Program that the 2012 Minnesota Legislature enacted during the regular session.
This notice is published pursuant to 42 United States Code §1396a(a)(13)(A) (§1902(a)(13)(A) of the Social Security Act), which requires the Department to publish final institutional payment rates, the methodologies underlying the establishment of such rates, and the justification for such rates. It is also published pursuant to Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, part 447, section 205 (42 CFR §447.205), which requires publication of a notice when there is any significant proposed change in the methods and standards for setting payment rates for Medicaid services.
This legislative change is estimated to have no effect on MA program expenditures for state fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012), and is estimated to result in a net increase in MA program expenditures of $88,275 for state fiscal year 2013 (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013).
The change in law is contained in Minnesota Laws 2012, Chapter 247. This is available by calling the House of Representatives Public Information Office at (651) 296-2146 (voice) or (651) 296-9896 (TTY) or 1-800-657-3550 (Greater Minnesota) or 1-800-627-3529 (TTY); or the Senate Information Office at (651) 296-0504 (voice) or (651) 296-0250 (TTY); for Greater Minnesota call 1-888-234-1112 (voice) or 1-888-234-1216 (TTY). These laws are also available here.

Information relating to implementation of this provision will be sent to local human services agencies and nursing facility providers through a bulletin.

MA Institutional Payment Rates
Nursing Facilities
A change to the nursing facility rate-setting system was proposed during the 2012 legislative session. The Minnesota Legislature considered the proposed change, gathered information, and held public hearings at which nursing facility residents’ advocates, trade associations, providers, facility employee union representatives, and the general public were invited to attend. The legislature considered the public’s input and enacted legislation changing the rate-setting system as follows:
Effective June 5, 2012, and contingent upon federal approval, construction projects under the nursing facility moratorium exception process of Minnesota Statutes chapter 144A.073 that are completed after August 30, 2010, shall be allowed the highest set of replacement-cost-new limits between the dates of project approval and project completion. The increase in payment rates will be funded by reducing the balance of moratorium exception process funds available to future rounds of the process. Minnesota Laws 2012, Chapter 247, Article 4, Section 30.

DHS Bulletin # 12-62-01 DHS Adjusts Nursing Home Property Limitations and Dollar Thresholds for 2012. The purpose of this bulletin is to announce limitations and dollar thresholds for the investment per bed limit, moratorium exceptions, equity incentives and alternative payment system property rate inflation index for nursing homes in 2012. The bulletin, released June 5, 2012, can be found here.

Submitted by Marit Anne Peterson, Esq.
MPeterson@gblawoffice.com


Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

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SAVE THE DATE!
What: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
When: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 from 8:00am – 5:00pm
Where: William Mitchell College of Law
Auditorium and Classrooms for Breakout Sessions
875 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Cost: FREE!

**NEW** Anoka County is planning to host a moment of silence on World Elder Abuse Day at the Anoka County Courthouse at Noon on June 15, 2012.

Submitted by Suzy Scheller, Esq.
Elder Law Section Chair
suzy@schellerlegalsolutions.com

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The Minnesota Department of Commerce will be holding a World Elder Financial Abuse Roundtable on June 15th from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.  Using video conferencing technology at DHS, the Roundtable will be simulcast to over 30 locations across the state. Members of the Elder Law Section are invited to participate. The format will be presentations from Commissioner Rothman and others, followed by an opportunity for any attendees to ask questions or provide examples of fraud or financial abuse in their communities.  For more information and to obtain a list of the videoconference locations, contact Ben Hill, Director of Consumer Outreach and Community Relations at the Minnesota Department of Commerce at (651) 296-5282 or benjamin.hill@state.mn.us.
  
Submitted by Jill A. Adkins, Esq.
jadkins@hennsnoxlaw.com

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The Hamline University School of Law Health Law Institute will be offering ELDER LAW in a compact format from June 16 to 21.  The course qualifies for 2 law school credits or 24 CLE credits.  To learn more, click here. 

The Health Law Institute is also offering four other courses in the same format in the same time-frame:

Health Reform: A New Age of Regulatory Enforcement (1cr)
Health Reform: Insurance Plans, Exchanges, and Mandates (1cr)
(Un)Healthy Choices: Tobacco, Obesity, and Beyond (2cr)
Health Care Compliance Summer Institute (3cr)
Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.
Director, Health Law Institute
Associate Professor of Law
Hamline University School of Law
tpope01@gw.hamline.edu

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SAVE THE DATE!  The 22nd Annual Elder Law Institute will be held on October 11-12, 2012 at the Minnesota CLE Center in Minneapolis. 

 

Elder Law Section Activities

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MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2011. The Medical Assistance Committee is a study group to analyze Elder Law Section member questions and case studies and to discuss administrative policies and procedures in relation to Medical Assistance in Minnesota.  Cathryn D. Reher of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Tracie Fenske with Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., at 952-929-0622 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Topics for the meeting may be submitted to tfenske@mnelderlaw.com under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 952-542-9201. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal Services), Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door which faces directly into the meeting room.

GOVERNING COUNCIL:  The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, June 15, 2011. The Annual Meeting will begin at 3:30 pm, and the Governing Council meeting will follow. The meetings will be held at the offices of the Volunteers of America (VOA) at 1900 Central Avenue NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55418.For further information, please contact Suzy Scheller, Chair, at: suzy@schellerlegalsolutions.com.

 

Elder Law Website

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DON'T FORGET THAT THE ELDER LAW WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE. Here’s what you can find on the Website:  Links to the DHS Health Care Programs Manual, the DHS Bulletin on treatment of uncompensated transfers, the Minnesota Bankers Association Compliance Bulletin on Powers of Attorney, legislative summary; Practice Links to organizations such as NAELA, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, Links to Federal and State Government Agencies, Statutes, and Regulations; Meeting Notices, Listings of Officers and Council Members, Section Bylaws, and more.

 

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