Summary of Long Term Care Activities

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In April 2003, Commissioner of Health Dianne Mandernach began an initiative to address concerns surrounding long-term care regulations, the survey process and other issues affecting the industry.

For a period of one month, MDH collected concerns and comments from nursing home administrators regarding these issues. The goal was to use this feedback as a starting point to frame the discussions of a long-term care “kitchen cabinet” to be created in August 2003.

Long Term Care Committee

The first meeting of the Long Term Care Issues Ad Hoc Committee was held on August 28, 2003. Representation on the committee includes two administrators, two directors of nursing, two certified nurse assistants, and one family member from the long-term care system. In addition, representatives from the Advocacy for Long Term Care, the State Ombudsman’s Office, AARP for Retired Persons, each of the provider organizations, MN Directors of Nursing Association, MN Home Care Association, the Department of Human Services and MDH are also included in the committee membership.

Since the August meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee has met two additional times – in November and January. The discussion at each meeting centered around the information gathered from the commissioner’s survey, as well as several other presentations on the MDH survey process, survey results from a Joint Project of Seniors and Workers for Quality and the Office of Ombudsman for Older Minnesotans, and an MDH Facility and Provider Compliance report on a survey completed by MDH surveyors and management staff.

During the January meeting, two subcommittees were formed to work on more focused areas of the committee’s discussions – the Survey Findings/Review Subcommittee and the Survey Communications Subcommittee. Membership interest is currently being collected from committee members, with the intent to begin meeting in February and March.

  • The Survey Findings/Review Subcommittee will focus on issues relating to the number, type and severity of deficiencies issued by MDH. The goal of the effort is to jointly identify the underlying causes of deficiencies, develop a process for analyzing identified trends, and identify areas of focus that will enhance the quality of care. This group is chaired by the CEO of a health care quality improvement organization and is scheduled to meet on February 24, 2004.
  • The Survey Communications Subcommittee will focus on ways to minimize tensions created by the survey process and the regulatory relationship. Among other factors, the group will examine current communication processes and clarify roles and responsibilities of MDH and provider staff in order to foster productive communication. This group will also examine ways to better integrate information from family members and staff into the survey findings. MDH has asked the MN Department of Administration Management Analysis Division (MAD) to facilitate the meetings of this group and is scheduled to meet on February 27, 2004.

MDH Activities

Other MDH activities that have been completed or are underway regarding the long-term care process:

  • Developed Paid Feeding Assistant training policy and curriculum.
  • Developed draft Alternative Informal Dispute Resolution Process policy.
  • Requested MAD conduct an organizational and management review of the MDH Facility and Provider Compliance Division’s licensing and certification activities, including an assessment of the organizational structure, management and stakeholder relationship. MAD will prepare a report with recommendations.
  • Developed Web-based information to assist providers in completing forms and viewing updated information online (such as Nursing Assistant Registry updates).
  • Created a clinical web window to provide updates to practitioners, as well as provide a forum for clinical discussions.
  • Implemented supervisory onsite mentoring and coaching for MDH surveyors.
  • Survey findings will be available on the MDH Web site on March 1, 2004. Information on the last survey cycle and the current survey findings will be available for viewing.
  • Implemented the continuation of supervisors overseeing staff from other teams and sharing observations and clarifications with surveyors statewide.
  • Increased communication between supervisors and surveyors via weekly conference calls.
  • Charged with the effort to create a report card that can be used by consumers to evaluate the quality of care at each of Minnesota’s nursing homes.

A Long Term Care Issues Web site has also been created for committee members and interested others to have access to the information that has been distributed or discussed at committee meetings. Committee membership, meeting presentations and materials, as well as a meeting summary from the January 15 meeting are available at this Web site.

The fourth meeting of the Long Term Care Issues Ad Hoc Committee will be held in April 2004.

For More Information

For more information on the committee, visit the Long term Care Issues As Hoc Committee Web site or contact Lin Nelson at 651/215-5816 or or Shawn Holmes at 651/215-8987 or

Updated Tuesday, 16-Nov-2010 12:27:53 CST