E-Newsletter of January 7, 2014 | Vol. 7, No. 2
On December 31, 2013 a letter from Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson announced that, at Governor Dayton’s request, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will delay implementation of the revised Nursing Facility Level of Care criteria and the Essential Community Supports program until January 1, 2015.
STATEMENT: The following is a statement from Governor Mark Dayton:
“The 2009 legislature eliminated eligibility for in-home services now being provided to about 3,300 Minnesota senior citizens, effective January 1, 2014. I have asked my administration to delay implementation for at least one year, to assure that the necessary community supports are in place to ensure those seniors will receive alternative care. This delay will also provide the 2014 legislature the opportunity to reexamine the law and make any changes deemed necessary.”
For detailed questions about this program, contact Jeremy Drucker at the Department of Human Services. Jeremy can be reached by email at Jeremy.Drucker@state.mn.us or by phone at (651) 431-2920.
The letter is posted on the Reports, Guides, and Memoranda page of the section website.
Submitted by Genevieve Gaboriault
COMMENTS ON THE CUTS TO THE EW PROGRAM
After reading the Star Tribune article on the cuts to the Elderly Waiver program, I had the experience of déjà vu. In 2003, the year I moved from Oregon to Minnesota, Oregon’s Medicaid agency took a similar step, deciding that people whose medical conditions had not changed were no longer eligible for waivered services, based on a new, higher standard of qualifying care needs. The Oregon elder law bar and health care providers’ groups worked together to challenge the cuts, based on federal Medicaid law. In a nutshell, the argument is that, in order to be eligible for EW, elders must have been found by the state to require a nursing home level of care. That determination is an objective one, based on the elders’ actual care needs. If a group of elders was eligible for EW last year, because the state certified that they needed a nursing home level of care, and if their care needs have not changed, then the state has to either: 1) tell the feds that they have been incorrectly certifying people for waivered services in the past, and reimburse CMS for benefits granted in error over the years; or 2) continue to accept that the elders are eligible for EW based on their unchanged care needs. I would encourage advocates representing elders whose EW benefits are being cut based on the new care needs standards to consider the applicability of this argument to their cases. I would also encourage those interested in challenging these cuts on a more coordinated basis to contact me at email@example.com. By the way, in Oregon, we were successful in greatly mitigating the cuts in waivered services.
Submitted by Jennifer Wright
State delays implementation of nursing facility care criteria for one year | Brainerd Dispatch
Lawmakers Push to Protect Against Nursing Home Thefts | Senior Housing News
D.C. program reflects national trend toward moving older Americans out of nursing homes | The Washington Post
Submitted by Joel Smith
There are no new cases to report this week.
There are no statutes, regulations, or bulletins to report.
There are no upcoming events or CLE programs to report.
VULNERABLE ADULT SUBCOMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENT: There are planned Vulnerable Adult Subcommittee meetings on the following dates from 12:00 to 1:30 to be held in my office in Edina (5001 Chowen Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410). The dates are January 16, 2014, and April 17, 2014. Please call Ken LaBore at 612-743-9048 or email him at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.
NEW LAWYERS COMMITTEE: Meetings will be held the second Thursday of every other month starting November 14, 2013 at noon. The new lawyers committee has set meeting topics for the coming year. The meetings are formatted so that a seasoned elder law attorney will speak for the first half hour, and the second half hour would be questions and answers.
The meeting topics have been set in the following order:
1. Building a Practice including marketing, networking, forms and software, office relationships. Meeting date 1/9/14
2. General Practice Tips including the initial client interview. Meeting date 3/13/14
3. Billing including software, forms, retainer agreement fee, how to collect payment. Meeting date 5/8/14
4. Probate including general overview, basic steps and forms. Meeting date 7/10/14
5. Guardianship/Conservatorship including general overview, basic steps and forms. Meeting date 9/11/14
6. Veteran's Affairs benefits. Meeting date 11/13/14
Meetings will be held at Chestnut Cambronne PA 17 Washington Ave N #300, Minneapolis, MN, 55401. Please contact Pook Grathwol at firstname.lastname@example.org or (612) 336-2919 or Jeanine Johnson at email@example.com (612) 630-3254.
MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2013. 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, Pook Grathwol of CHESTNUT CAMBRONNE P.A., is Committee Chair. For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Bill Lent with CHESTNUT CAMBRONNE, P.A., at 612-336-2948 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
Topics for the meeting may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 612-336-2940. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law 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 that faces directly into the meeting room.
GOVERNING COUNCIL: The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, February 21 at 3:30 pm. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law 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 that faces directly into the meeting room. For further information, please contact David Rephan, Chair, at: email@example.com.
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.
Go to the Section Website