On Thursday, Minnesota State Republicans announced a $322 million dollars to address staffing issues facing long-term care, group homes, home health care and other direct care providers.
“We are currently facing a serious emergency with the shortage of staff in long-term care facilities”, declared the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Goggin (R). “This funding will help the industry attract new employees, retain the incredible staff it currently has, and close the staffing gaps that plague so many facilities.”
Key elements of the $322 million long-term care bailout presented by Senate Republicans:
- Retention bonuses of up to $1,000 for workers in eligible establishments.
- Hiring bonuses of up to $1,500 for up to 20,000 new staff. Half of each bonus would be distributed upon initial hiring, the other half after 6 months of employment.
- Training funds of up to $1,500 for up to 20,000 new staff.
- Continued Funding of Emergency Staffing Pool as training programs are used to expand the pool of skilled workers.
- Temporary permits and license changes allowing previously licensed nurses to practice temporarily in facilities.
- All-inclusive care programs for the elderly, or PACE, streamlining.
- Bring forward the date of the early disability waiver rate change, which lawmakers say would allow programs to work together to save taxpayers money without compromising quality of care.
Testimony at Monday’s Senate committee hearing on state human services reform cited data from survey results released by the Long-Term Care Imperative in October 2021 that found about 23,000 positions were open in Minnesota’s long-term care sector, or 20% of the state. total workforce. According to LeadingAge Minnesotaan August survey showed the number of resignations of long-term care professionals in Minnesota exceeded new hires by about 2,000 workers, signaling a need for the $322 million long-term care program, according to the bill sponsors.
“This set of bills will keep the workers we have, increase the number of workers on the ground, and streamline government to better meet the needs of those served,” Goggin said.