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Legislative Changes

Legislative Changes 2014

  

5% Increased Reimbursement Rate!

The state legislature has granted PCA Agencies, among others who work to assist people with disabilities to stay in their homes, a 5% reimbursement rate increase!  This is huge news for us, after several years of deep cuts to the reimbursement rate, which forced wages to be cut as well.

We are pleased to announce that as a direct result of the increase, all DSPs employed with MCIL will be receiving a sixty cent raise, starting July 1st, 2014!    The PAS Program is also raising the starting rate for DSPs with no experience to $10.00 an hour, and will now be able to match wages up to $12.50 an hour.  Through this wage increase, and the associated costs, MCIL is giving 95% of the 5% increase back to the DSPs directly.  This is significantly above the 80% required by the state.

Over Time Changes

Federal law dictating the type of employee Direct Support Professionals are is changing January 1st, 2015.  DSPs are currently except from federal overtime laws, because of their classification of employment as “comfort care workers.”  This is why, in Minnesota, DSPs don’t start accruing overtime pay until they have billed more than 48 hours in one week.

Starting on January 1st, 2015, DSPs will only be able to bill each agency they work for up to 40 hours in one week before getting overtime pay.  We understand this will deeply affect many DSPs and consumers.  Unless arranged in advance, DSPs may not work overtime hours with MCIL. 

Possible cuts to PCA Services in 2013!

Possible cuts to PCA Services in 2013!

A 1.67% cut to the PCA reimbursement rate is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2013. This cut was built into the budget during the 2011 legislative section. If you would like to support the elimination of this cut please call Governor Dayton’s office and request that this cut be taken out of the 2013 Minnesota budget.

The other people who need to hear from those affected by this cut are the Representatives of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee and the Senators working on the Senate Health and Human Services Policy and Finance Committee. The Representatives and Senators are listed below with their contact information. Send a message that the scheduled 1.67% cut to PCA services needs to be eradicated. PCAs/DSPs deserve more for the valuable work they do, not less. The wages offered to PCAs/DSPs will affect a consumer’s ability to hire and maintain quality staff. This proposed cut also undermines a consumer’s ability to hire qualified, professional individuals to come into their homes and provide intensely personal delicate cares. It forces them to compromise because they may not be able to afford quality, safe care. We need to respect and care for PCAs/DSPs so they can provide respectful and reliable care to others. Please consider voicing your opinion on this important issue.  

Read more: Possible cuts to PCA Services in 2013!

The 20% cut to Family Members Deemed Unconstitutional

Monday December 17, 2012 the Minnesota State Court of Appeals announced that the 20% cut to family members providing personal care assistance was unconstitutional. The court ruled that treating two groups differently for doing the same work was in opposition to the Equal Protection Clause of the Minnesota Constitution. This is a huge victory for family caregivers and all caregivers in the state. Congratulations and thank you to all of you who spoke out against this cut.

Related Link: icon Star Tribune

Minnesota Advance Directive Planning

Minnesota Advance Directive Planning

An advance health care directive, also known as a living will, personal directive, advance directive, or advance decision is a set of written instructions that a person creates specifying what actions they want taken if they are no longer able to make decisions due to an illness or incapacity. The instructions cover three major options: appointing someone to make decisions on that persons behalf such as a health care agent; a living will with instructions for treatment; and a section that allows a person to cover both these areas.

All states have different legal requirements for advance directive documentation. Be sure to do some investigating prior to putting together your plan and insure that you are following all the legal requirements. Here is a link to a form put out by the University of Minnesota regarding advance directives for Minnesotans. http://www.sfcare.org/Workfiles/MN_Healthcare_Directive_Info.pdf .

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