Essential Community Providers
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the definition of “high-risk, special needs, and underserved”?
The Essential Community Provider Rule (Minnesota Rules Chapter 4688) refers to Minnesota Statutes 62Q.07, subd. 2 (e) for the definition of high risk, special needs. That statute was repealed in 2001. Since there is no other definition of high risk, special needs in the ECP statute or rule, the Minnesota Department of Health uses the repealed definition when reviewing applications to be designated as ECPs. That definition is:
Minnesota Statutes 62Q.07, subd. 2 (e) (repealed in 2001)
"High risk and special needs populations" includes, but is not limited to, recipients of medical assistance, general assistance medical care, and MinnesotaCare; persons with chronic conditions or disabilities; individuals within certain racial, cultural, and ethnic communities; individuals and families with low income; adolescents; the elderly; individuals with limited or no English language proficiency; persons with high-cost preexisting conditions; homeless persons; chemically dependent persons; persons with serious and persistent mental illness and children with severe emotional disturbance; and persons who are at high-risk of requiring treatment.
"Underserved" refers to a population or group of people with inadequate access to health care services.
What is the process for reviewing ECP applications?
The Minnesota Department of Health reviews applications to be designated as ECPs for compliance with Minnesota Statutes 62Q.19 and Minnesota Rules 4688. Upon receipt of the application a review is conducted to determine if the applicant satisfies the ECP criteria. Following this review, Minnesota Statutes 62Q.19, subd. 1(b) requires the department to publish the names of all ECP applicants in the State Register prior to designation, and the public is allowed 30 days from the date of publication to submit written comments on each application.
At the end of the public comment period, an on-site visit is conducted. This visit is an opportunity to discuss program elements; verify the details of the application; and establish a working relationship with key staff members of the organization. Upon completion of the on-site visit, the decision is made to approve or deny the application.
If approved, the applicant receives a letter and certificate designating approval for 5 years. If denied, the applicant is provided the reason(s) in writing.
Yearly, an ECP is required to file an annual report.