Frequently asked questions about LPH Act annual reporting (FAQ)- Minnesota Dept. of Health

Frequently asked questions about LPH Act annual reporting

Last updated: March 14, 2021

If you have questions not answered below, please contact us.

General questions

  1. When is reporting due?
  2. How do I report Title V data?
  3. Do I report on behalf of my county, or my community health board?
  4. Where can I find resources to help gather my data?
  5. What does MDH do with all of this data?
  6. How do I update my community health board’s contact information?

REDCap questions

  1. Where is my REDCap account?
  2. Why can't I log into REDCap?
  3. Will my REDCap account still lapse if I don’t log in?
  4. How do I navigate REDCap?
  5. I can't see this year's forms, where I actually enter my data. Where did they go?
  6. Can I print the REDCap forms to use as templates to gather data?
  7. How do I access past years' data in REDCap?
  8. Can more than one person enter data into the same REDCap form at the same time?
  9. Will REDCap show me reporting errors?
  10. How will MDH know if I'm done reporting?
  11. Where can I get a copy of the data I entered? Can I download and print my data?
  12. NEW: Why does REDCap seem to have more questions when I print out the forms than when I look at the forms on screen?

Finance (expenditures) and staffing (workforce) questions

  1. What's new for this reporting period in finance and staffing?
  2. When is finance and staffing reporting due?
  3. Where can I find resources to help gather my finance and staffing data?
  4. What is validation?
    Related: Will REDCap show me reporting errors?

Questions specific to finance (expenditures)

  1. Does my community health board submit a budget during LPH Act annual reporting?
  2. Where can I find the current community health board funding awards?
  3. How do I submit expenditure data?
  4. NEW: Do I report on what my community health board was awarded, or what it actually spent?
  5. Where should I put specific funds and FTEs for programs like SHIP, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, or other topics?
  6. NEW: What if my community health boards spent SHIP or PHEP funds on COVID? Where should I put those funds?

Questions specific to staffing (workforce)

  1. Will number of persons include number of new filled FTE for COVID-19?
  2. Where do we report county staff used in our response that are not part of our public health department?
  3. We borrowed some hospital staff to assist with vaccination clinics. We paid the hospital for their assistance. How do we account for that?
  4. If you have part time employees who contracted to be full time for a period of time, do you count that within hiring new individuals?
  5. When estimating the number of volunteers should I include volunteers participating through Minnesota Responds or Minnesota Reserve Corp?
  6. What types of employees should we include when estimating the number of hours spent on COVID-19-related local public health activities?

Performance measures questions

  1. What's new for this reporting period in LPH Act performance measures?

 

General questions

 

1. When is reporting due?

You can report on 2021 calendar year data through March 31, 2022.

 

2. How do I report Title V data?

The MDH Child and Family Health Division communicates directly with local public health leadership about Title V reporting.

For help reporting Title V information, visit: Title V MCH Block Grant grantee information.

 

3. Do I report on behalf of my county, or my community health board?

LPH Act annual reporting occurs at the community health board level.

MDH recommends using instructions and guidance to gather your data from each county or local health department (if your community health board has more than one county), and then use that information to convey what’s happening within the community health board as a whole.

 

4. Where can I find resources to help gather my data?

Use the instructions and guidance for each module to gather your data and walk you through each question.

 

5. What does MDH do with all of this data?

During LPH Act annual reporting, MDH collects quantitative and qualitative data to describe our local public health system. We look for patterns in data and for local solutions in narrative responses.

This data informs how the MDH Center for Public Health Practice supports local public health in their efforts. If many community health boards are working on the same issue, MDH can better tailor trainings and technical assistance, and help connect local departments that might have information to share with each other.

MDH also uses narrative responses to consider adding quantitative questions to measure the impact of interventions and programs.

MDH subject matter experts in different divisions outside of the Center for Public Health Practice also use data to inform their own training and technical assistance.

Each fall, MDH provides a summary of the previous year's finance and staffing data.

  • For summaries of past years' data, visit: Past data: LPH Act annual reporting.
  • For your community health board's own past reports on performance measures, please contact your CHS administrator.

 

6. How do I update my community health board’s contact information?

Learn more: Community health board contact information.

 

REDCap questions

 

7. Where is my REDCap account?

MDH asked CHS administrators for the names of staff who will enter data into REDCap. If you have any questions about your REDCap account, please email kerri.sawyer@state.mn.us.

  • If you’re new to REDCap, you will not get an email from REDCap about your username and password until LPH Act annual reporting opens.
  • If you already have a REDCap account, you’ll be able to log in to REDCap, but you won’t see the current year's reporting forms until LPH Act annual reporting officially opens.

 

8. Why can't I log into REDCap?

If you are experiencing problems logging in, please first try logging out, clearing your internet browser cache, and logging back in. Remember: your REDCap username does not include the @ symbol.

If this does not work, please send a message to health.ophp@state.mn.us describing the problem and including a screenshot of your error message. MDH will respond as promptly as possible.

Find more REDCap help at: Help with REDCap for LPH Act annual reporting.

 

9. Will my REDCap account still lapse if I don’t log in?

Yes; if you do not continue to use your account for 180 days, your account will go dormant. If that happens, please email kerri.sawyer@state.mn.us.

 

10. How do I navigate REDCap?

Tutorials and guides for REDCap are available online, at Help with REDCap for LPH Act annual reporting.

 

11. I can't see this year's forms, where I actually enter my data. Where did they go?

If you can't see this year's forms after logging into REDCap and choosing this year's project, look for small text on the left side of the screen, under "Data Collection," that says "Show data collection instruments." Click on "Show data collection instruments" to view this year's forms.

 

12. Can I print the REDCap forms to use as templates to gather data?

You certainly can, but you might have an easier time using the instructions and guidance for each module to gather your data. There is guidance to walk you through each module.

 

13. How do I access past years' data in REDCap?

If you need past years’ LPH Act annual reporting data and cannot access past years’ projects in REDCap, please email health.ophp@state.mn.us.

 

14. Can more than one person enter data into the same REDCap form at the same time?

Yes; more than one person can enter data into the same form because REDCap allows individuals to log in under their own accounts. Be sure to save your data early and often.

 

15. Will REDCap show me reporting errors?

If there are errors in your data entry for the finance/staffing module, REDCap will let you know as you enter data. MDH will review data after LPH Act annual reporting closes.

If MDH continues to see any errors after you have submitted your data, MDH will contact you to follow up.

When reporting on calendar year 2021 (in spring 2022): If you see an error message in Finance: Section II related to LPH Grant, match, and COVID spending, please see the addendum on the first page of this year's instructions.

 

16. How will MDH know if I'm done reporting?

You let us know you have completed reporting via the validation form REDCap.

CHS administrators must complete validation when staff have finished entering all data.

 

17. Where can I get a copy of the data I entered? Can I download and print my data?

After using the appropriate guidance or instructions to gather data (see: LPH Act annual reporting modules), you can use the document as a reference for the data you entered.

You can also obtain a copy of your data from REDCap.

If you need past years’ LPH Act annual reporting data and cannot access past years’ projects in REDCap, please email health.ophp@state.mn.us.

 

18. Why does REDCap seem to have more questions when I print out the forms than when I look at the forms on screen?

The reason the PDF has slightly more fields than the on-screen REDCap form is because some questions have branching logic and will only be "viewable" (and so answerable) if you choose a specific prior answer that pops open that question.

For example: If you didn't indicate you hired any new employees for COVID, MDH won't make you then further answer how many hours those employees worked (because there weren't any new employees in the first place). We don't want to make you go through and fill in numbers for questions that aren't applicable for you.

 

Finance (expenditures) and staffing (workforce) questions

 

19. What's new for this reporting period in finance and staffing?

Community health boards should report on COVID-19 funding for the entire calendar year, in Finance Section VI. COVID-19.

Community health boards should report on COVID-19 staffing for the entire calendar year, in Staffing: Section VI. COVID-19.

MDH has included questions on turnover and hiring for calendar year 2021, in Staffing: Section V. Follow-up questions.

 

20. When is finance and staffing reporting due?

Please complete all finance and staffing modules by March 31, 2021.

Remember: CHS administrators must complete validation when staff have finished entering all data. Be sure to allow time for your CHS administrator to complete validation and correct any errors.

 

21. Where can I find resources to help gather my finance and staffing data?

Visit: Module: Finance and staffing, LPH Act annual reporting.

 

22. What is validation?

Validation is the name given to the automatic review of data to verify accuracy.

CHS administrators must submit the final validation form for finance and staffing. This lets MDH know you have fixed errors (if applicable) and that you’re done with finance and staffing.

Learn more: Validation.

Related: Will REDCap show me reporting errors?

 

Questions specific to finance (expenditures)

 

23. Does my community health board submit a budget during LPH Act Annual Reporting?

No. You do not need to submit a budget for the year ahead.

 

24. Where can I find the current community health board funding awards?

Visit: Funding and the Local Public Health Grant.

 

25. How do I submit expenditure data?

Report expenditure information based on the invoices submitted for reimbursement for services during the time period of January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, even if you didn't receive reimbursement until 2022.

As in last year, you'll report COVID-19-related expenditures only in the module specific to COVID-19 expenditures.

Learn more: Modules: Finance and staffing.

 

26. Do I report on what my community health board was awarded, or what it actually spent?

You should report on what your community health board spent, regardless of the original award amount.

 

27. Where should I put specific funds and FTEs for programs like SHIP, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, or other topics?

Consult the instructions at: Modules: Finance and staffing.

 

28. What if my community health boards spent SHIP or PHEP funds on COVID? Where should I put those funds?

MDH wants to account for the total amount spent on COVID, so if your community health board spent SHIP or PHEP funding on COVID, please include this in the COVID-19 section of finance reporting.

 

Questions specific to staffing (workforce)

 

29. Will number of persons include number of new filled FTE for COVID-19?

Community health boards should report COVID-19-related hires only in the staffing section specific to COVID-19.

 

30. Where do we report county staff used in our response that are not part of our public health department?

Annual Local Public Health Act reporting pertains only to the community health board workforce.

County staff re-deployed to local public health, but not paid by the community health board, are not included in local public health reporting.

Please include information in the comment section on the extent to which your community health board drew on county staff outside of the community health board.

 

31. We borrowed some hospital staff to assist with vaccination clinics. We paid the hospital for their assistance. How do we account for that?

Report expenditures to compensate another organization for carrying out COVID-related activities carried out on behalf of the community health board only in the expenditure module specific to COVID-19.

If the hospital staff that assisted the community health board were considered new contract FTE, they would be reported only in the staffing module specific to COVID-19. If the hospital staff were not considered new contract FTE, their assistance would not be reflected in Local Public Health Act annual reporting.

Consider including this information in an optional comment.

 

32. If you have part time employees who contracted to be full time for a period of time, do you count that within hiring new individuals?

Yes.

Additional contracted FTE not related to COVID-19 would be reported in the normal manner.

Additional contracted FTE specifically for COVID should only be reported in the staffing module specific to COVID-19.

 

33. When estimating the number of volunteers should I include volunteers participating through Minnesota Responds or Minnesota Reserve Corp?

Yes.

 

34. What types of employees should we include when estimating the number of hours spent on COVID-19-related local public health activities?

Include hours of all full or part-time employees of the community health board. This includes filled and contracted employees for all job classifications engaged in COVID-19-related activities. Include temporary employees, and employees of the community health board that were redeployed (or reassigned) from their usual public health work.

 

Performance measures questions

 

35. What's new for this reporting period in LPH Act performance measures?

Community health boards will not report in 2022 on LPH Act performance measures in the six areas of responsibility for the 2021 calendar year.

MDH will let community health boards know what to expect for 2022 calendar year reporting (which happens in spring 2023) in early 2023.