Minnesota's New Assisted Living Licensure - Are you Ready?

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

Minnesota’s new Assisted Living License goes into effect August 1, 2021. With less than five months remaining before the deadline, providers need to act immediately to make sure they are prepared for the new requirements, which are detailed and extensive. Follow our series highlighting some of the more important aspects to be prepared to address.

1. Have you created the new assisted living resident agreement?
Even if you are already providing comprehensive home care services and have existing resident contracts in place, providers transitioning to the assisted living license will need to create compliant resident agreements to include all of the requirements set forth in the new statute. Sample agreements must be submitted with the assisted living license application. Each current resident will need to sign a new agreement. While many of the content requirements will be familiar, there are new content requirements for, among other things, the right to and process for terminating an assisted living contract.

Minn. Stat. 144G.50.

2. Have you budgeted for the increased licensing fees?
The licensing fee for an Assisted Living License is $2000 plus $75 per resident. The licensing fee for an Assisted Living License with Dementia Care is $3000 plus $100 per resident. While the Minnesota Department of Health has not stated whether the per resident charge will be based upon current census at the time of application or will be based upon licensed resident capacity, the increased fees could be substantial for facilities or campuses with a large number of residents. Likewise, for smaller, home-based facilities, the increased fees could also constitute a significant relative increase in the budget. The stated rationale for the increase in fees is because of the expanded required review and oversight that MDH must perform.

Minn. Stat 144.122

3. Have you created and implemented the new required written emergency disaster plan?
The new Assisted Living License statute requires the creation of a written emergency disaster plan that includes:

  • A plan for evaluation
  • Addresses elements of sheltering in place
  • Identifies temporary relocation sites
  • Detailed staff assignments in the event of disaster/emergency

The plan must be posted in a conspicuous place in the facility. The facility must give all residents building emergency exit diagrams and post emergency exit diagrams on all facility floors. The facility must also have a written policy and procedure for missing residents.

Minn. Stat. 144G.42, subd. 10.

4. Have you planned and budgeted for the new minimum staffing requirements?
The new assisted living statute sets forth certain minimum staffing requirements. Of particular note is that an assisted living facility is now required to ensure that one or more awake staff persons are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, who are responsible for responding to the requests of residents for assistance with health and safety needs and must be:

  • capable of communicating with residents
  • capable of providing or summoning the appropriate assistance
  • capable of following directions

The awake staff person must be located in the same building, in an attached building or on a contiguous campus and able to respond within a reasonable amount of time.

Minn. Stat. 144G.41

5. Are you prepared to offer meals and snacks meeting the new statutory requirements?
Residents must be permitted access to food at any time. In addition, assisted living facilities must offer to provide or make at least three nutritious meals daily with snacks available, according to the recommended dietary allowances in the United States Department of Agriculture guidelines, including seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables. Menus must be prepared at least one week in advance and the facility must encourage residents’ involvement in meal planning. Food must be prepared and served according to Minnesota Food Code. The facility cannot require a resident to include and pay for meals in their contract.

Minn. Stat. 144G.41

Check back for further updates as we continue our series!

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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