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E-Newsletter of August 23, 2011 | Vol. 4, No. 33



Item of Interest


Message from the Chair, Elder Law Communications Committee

Marjorie Austin has served as the editor of this E-Newsletter since March, 2010.  During her tenure, the newsletter has been published weekly with great content and the look of the Newsletter has become decidedly more professional.   I am sad to announce that she is resigning and want to thank her for excellent service over the past year and a half.  If you want to thank her yourself…you can send her an email at or send a “letter to the editor” for publication.  In the five years of our E-Newsletter, we have never had a letter to the editor…and we would welcome one!  THANK YOU MARGIE.

All is not lost, though. Allison Burke has agreed to serve as our next editor.  Allison is a 2009 graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and a shareholder in her law firm, Buchholz and Burke, PLLC.  Allison will be training with Marjorie until mid-September and will begin her term as editor beginning with the September 13, 2011 issue.  If you are interested in submitting an article (or a letter to the editor), please email it to Allison at  

I am also pleased to report that the following members have agreed to be responsible for content of the news letter for one month for the balance of this year’s term:

November, 2011:        Adam Rohne
December, 2011:        David Rephan
January, 2012:           Sally Mortenson
February, 2012:          Kathy Eveslage
March, 2012:              Paulette Joyer

We still need members who are willing to be responsible for e-newsletter content for September and October. If you could help us out, we would greatly appreciate it. Please email me at if you are interested. 

I would like also to thank Cathy Thatcher (a new Communications Committee Member) for her book reviews over the past year.  Each review was a great summary of the book and I enjoyed reading the reviews and purchased the books based upon her recommendation.   

We look forward to a great year and invite you to join our committee.

Submitted by Laurie Hanson, Esq.
Chair, Elder Law Section
Communications Committee


Link of the Week


Solo Contendere

The Elder Law Section’s profile for June, 2011 showed that over half of our section’s membership works in law firms of ten or fewer attorneys.  This number accounts for over 75% of our members who work in law firms.  Thus, resources related to small firm practice either are or may become applicable your practice in elder law.

At the end of May, Minnesota Lawyer introduced Solo Contendere, a blog by and for solo practitioners and small firm lawyers.  Last week, the blog’s editor asked for three things a small firm can do—for less than $100—to improve its practice.  Visit the blog to share your thoughts or gain the insights of other attorneys.

Solo Contendere is located at

Submitted by Laura Orr, Esq.


Elder Law News


State law has huge gap in punishing elder neglect | Star Tribune

Editorial: Keep eye on health care experiment |Star Tribune

For downsizing seniors, a helping hand | Pioneer Press

For Minneapolis nursing home, it's vacation, the sequel | Star Tribune

The personal costs of budget cuts (The new budget holds out the hope of major reforms -- but first thousands who are aged or disabled must absorb another round of cuts) |Star Tribune


Elder Law Cases

There are no Minnesota cases to report this week.

Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins


DHS BULLETIN #11-69-03: 2011 Minnesota Legislature authorizes rate changes for continuing care providers.  The purpose of this bulletin is to 1) notify lead agencies (counties, health plans, and tribes) and providers of rate reductions for continuing core service providers and actions required of them, 2) notify affected providers, state grantees and contractors of the rate reductions, and 3) notify lead agencies of the change to federal mileage reimbursement change from 50 to 55 cents per mile.  The bulletin, dated August 16, 2011, is available here.

DHS BULLETIN #11-77-01: State Operated Services Cost of Care Rates as of September 1, 2011.  The purpose of this bulletin is to provide notification of the charges for the cost of care for Mental Health Forensic and other services provided by State Operated Services.  The bulletin, dated August 25, 2011, is available here. 


Upcoming Events and CLE Programs


Minnesota CLE
Highlights from the 2011 Probate & Trust Law Section Conference
August 30, 2011

Ramsey County Bar Association
Medical Assistance – Dealing with the Five-Year Look-Back Period and the Problems It Can Cause
September 23, 2011

Minnesota CLE
2011 Elder Law Institute
SAVE THE DATE: October 6 and 7, 2011
The Elder Law Institute (ELI), a collaboration between the MSBA’s Elder Law Section and Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, is an annual conference designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for attorneys and others interested in the practice of Elder Law.  The ELI offers a wide range of educational programming, ranging from discussions of nursing home and Medical Assistance issues to legislative updates and policy analysis.  ELI Attendees receive from nine to eleven Continuing Legal Education credits, depending upon the length of the conference. Stay tuned for more information and online registration.


Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18, 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 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, Suite 106, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. 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 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2011.  The meeting will be held following the Elder Law Institute at Minnesota CLE in Minneapolis.  For further information, please contact Suzy Scheller, Chair, at:


Elder Law Website


DON'T FORGET THAT THE ELDER LAW WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE. Here’s what you can find on the Elder Law Section 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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