Summary of 2003 legislation affecting MDH
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Summary of budget changes for 2004-2005 biennium
The budget adopted by the House and Senate and presented to Governor Pawlenty calls for the following adjustments to MDH’s budget over the next biennium:
- Net General Fund Reductions: ($14.416 million for the biennium), a slightly smaller reduction ($2.429 million) than recommended by the governor.
- Agency Operations Reductions: ($6.764 million reduction for the biennium), same as recommended by the governor.
- Grant Redesign: ($7.936 million General Fund reduction and $6 million TANF Fund reduction for the biennium), slightly lower than the governor’s recommendation.
- Grants: Eight grants (instead of the originally planned 13) will be consolidated into the Local Public Health Grant. Federal bioterrorism funds, state tuberculosis grants, Lead Safe Housing grants, Suicide Prevention grants, and FAS grants will remain independent. The Suicide Prevention grant program will be reduced by $246,000 for the biennium. MDH-based activities are reduced by $1.26 million for the biennium, slightly less than the governor’s recommendation since the department will continue to administer several competitive grant programs.
- Formula: The formula is an equal reduction for each Community Health Board, with a $5,000 multi-county incentive.
- Local Match: 75 percent of Local Public Health grant funds must be matched with non-state funds. 50 percent of federal Maternal and Child Health funds must be matched with non-federal funds.
- Tribal Grant: A consolidated grant of $3 million for the biennium is created as part of Local Public Health Redesign for distribution under a separate formula to Tribal Governments.
- Grant Reductions: ($3.962 million reduction for the biennium), as recommended by the governor. This includes reductions to Eliminating Health Disparities planning grants and Rural Hospital Capital Improvement grants, and elimination of the Long-term Care Planning grants and Quality Demonstration grants. In addition to these reductions, funding for the Rural Hospital Capital Improvement grants and Community Clinic grants are capped at FY03 levels.
- Minnesota Children with Special Health Needs (MCSHN) Treatment Program: While other MCSHN program activities will continue, $1.2 million for the MCSHN treatment program was eliminated as part of Agency Operations Reductions. Medical services provided after June 30, 2003 will not be covered under this program. Activities that will continue include the diagnostic clinics; follow-up for newborn screenings; and training and education for providers, educators and families.
- Family Planning Special Projects Grants: ($1.156 million reduction each year beginning in FY05—House proposal). No changes to statutory language for the grant program.
- Poison Information Center: ($2.3 million additional funds for the biennium), as recommended by the governor.
- Tobacco Prevention: ($6.68 million additional funds for the biennium), higher than the governor’s recommendation.
- Funding Source: Unspent endowment earnings from the current fiscal year will be used for tobacco prevention activities in FY04. General Fund appropriations will be used thereafter.
- Activities: Available funds will be used for competitive local grants, according to MS 144.396, subd. 6, to reduce tobacco use among youth. $150,000 is available the first year for evaluation and administration.
- Goal: The state will retain a goal to reduce tobacco use—by 25 percent, instead of the previous 30 percent.
- Endowment: The principal of the Tobacco Use Prevention Endowment will be transferred to the General Fund.
- Health Care Access Fund Grant and Operating Reductions: ($2.2 million reduction for the biennium), as recommended by the governor.
- MERC (medical education and research): ($17.276 million of dedicated cigarette tax revenue for the biennium), as recommended by the Governor.
- Funding source: 2.5 cents of the cigarette tax will be dedicated for MERC grants.
- Endowment: The principal of the Medical Education Endowment will be transferred to the General Fund.
- Revenue from the DHS GAMC match will be reduced by $6.734 million for the biennium.
- Newborn Screening: will be expanded, as recommended by the governor. The expansion will: increase the number of conditions for which newborns are screened, from five to 35; allow the program to partner with the Mayo Clinic to improve the quality of the screening; set one fee for all payors; and allow parents to opt out of the registry.
- Other Fee Programs: adjusted as recommended by the governor. Includes the plumbing program, pool plan review, alcohol and drug counselors (surcharge extended to 10 years), and hearing instrument dispensers and occupational therapists fee holidays.
- State Government Special Revenue Fund Transfers: ($4 million transfer to the General Fund for the biennium), higher than the governor’s recommendation. An additional $4 million transfer has yet to be allocated by the Minnesota Department of Finance.
Summary of policy changes in budget bill for 2004-2005 biennium
- Capital Expenditure reporting: current law MS 62J.17 was amended to raise the threshold to $1 million. Radiation therapy facilities can be built only by hospitals, or in partnership with hospitals.
- Nonprofit hospitals: allows them to use joint powers to enable them to purchase items, personal protective equipment, at bulk rates.
- Hearing aid coverage: is mandated and includes a provision for the commissioner of Commerce in consultation with the commissioner of Health to evaluate of any proposed health coverage mandates.
- Advisory Committee sunset date: provides no expiration date for State Community Health Advisory Committee, Rural Health Advisory Committee and extends the Maternal Child Health to 2007. SCHSAC, RHAC and MCH were all scheduled to sunset June 30, 2003.
- Hospital Construction Moratorium: exemption provided to a hospital in Carver County was adopted with an amendment that the extra 20 beds could NOT take MA, GAMC or MinnesotaCare.
Additional policy/budget changes
Minnesota Adverse Health Care Events Reporting Law SF 1019/Chapter 99: mandates that hospitals disclose to MDH when any of 27 “never” events occur. These events include such things as wrong-site surgery, retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery, and death or disability due to medication error. MDH will make information about adverse events available to the public.
Pharmacy scope of practice amended HF 692/Chapter 118: authorizes pharmacists to administer influenza and pneumococcal vaccine. MDH supports this provision because it can help increase vaccination rates by making vaccinations more accessible to the public.
Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy Established HF 692/Chapter 118 (sections 4-17, 19-26): Effective July 1, 2003, the bill requires state licensure of professional counselors practicing in Minnesota and creates a new board of behavioral health and therapy. The board is composed of professional counselors, alcohol and drug counselors and public members. In creating the new board, the bill transfers the licensing of Alcohol and Drug Counselors from the Department of Health. It also eliminates MDH responsibility for the oversight of Unlicensed Mental Health Practitioners. Savings to the Department and General Fund of $208,000 beginning in SFY05 accrue from eliminating the Unlicensed Mental Health Practitioners responsibility from MDH.
Woman’s Right to Know SF 187/Chapter 14: Requires health care providers to make certain information available to women considering abortion. Also mandates a 24-hour waiting period between the time a woman meets with a provider and a final decision is made whether to have an abortion. MDH is charged with creating printed materials and a Web site containing the information to be made available to women considering abortion. MDH will also collect reports from providers on how often the information was made available.