Original research and publication

2020

Elder Voice Family Advocates did a review of the long-term care provider investigations in the Central Minnesota area. We found that 44% have been investigated in the past 2 years and 8 facilities has several investigations in this time period indicating a pattern of subpar care.

Threats to the Care and Safety Before the 2020 Legislature
Regular Legislative Session

2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created several threats to the care of persons living in long-term care facilities. These threats are from the significant deterioration of the care of the residents, the well-funded campaign of the industry to get blanket legal immunity during the pandemic and the push by the Department of Health to delay the assisted living licensure to August 2022.
 
Elder Voice successfully blocked both legislative proposals during the regular session. Both proposals would be very harmful to residents in long-term care facilities and their families. Disappointingly, we were the only advocacy organization that said NO to the delay of licensure and No to blanket legal immunity.  
 
Because so many Elder Voice folks contacted their legislators and the legislators on the key committees, the committee members quickly realized how strong our opposition was and decided to not push it through in the regular session.

Threats to the Care and Safety Before the 2020 Legislature
Special Legislative Session - Assisted Living Delay

2020

Both the blanket legal immunity legislation and the delay of assisted living licensure will likely be taken up in special session. Elder Voice is initiating our own legislation to not allow the delay of assisted living licensure and will proactively oppose any immunity effort.
 
We will continue to oppose the delay in assisted living licensure as well as introduce legislation to enact protections regardless of a delay or not. Senator Scott Dibble is helping us with this legislation. The highlights of the protections and care standards we are pursuing include: 

  • Protections from terminations / non-renewals / cessation of services

  • Infection control plans required of all assisted living facilities, including minimum standards

  • Separation of those who are COVID-19 positive

  • Creation of a Task Force to focus on COVID-19 in all LTC settings with LTC care expertise including geriatric physician, infectious disease, residents, families and many others

  • Maltreatment investigations required – including surveys, OHFC investigations and Ombudsman investigations

  • Licensure for Assisted Living directors required

  • Retaliation measures – grant civic claims for retaliation

  • Residents' right to choose their own care provider

  • Cameras in the rooms with less restrictions provisions

  • I'm OK checks that are contactless

  • Maltreatment compensation fund expanded to include infection control, transparency to residents and manipulation of hospice, DNR/DNI/POLST process.

  • Increased pay for long term care workers

  • Staffing ratio standards to be created and include dementia care

Threats to the Care and Safety Before the 2020 Legislature
Special Legislative Session - Blanket Legal Immunity

2020

Both the blanket legal immunity legislation and the delay of assisted living licensure will likely be taken up in special session. Elder Voice is initiating our own legislation to not allow the delay of assisted living licensure and will proactively oppose any immunity effort.

Elder Voice will continue to oppose any form of immunity for the long-term care industry. This is the only remaining accountability measure that we have left since the families are not allowed in the facilities and the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care and the Office of Health Facilities Complaints are significantly reducing their oversight and investigation programs because of the pandemic. We are getting many reporting a significant decline in the care at many of the poorer facilities. These businesses have be understaffed for many years and many are now collapsing under the demands of pandemic.

 

Both of these threats do nothing but hurt the residents and we must let our legislators know that we are adamantly opposed to the delay of licensure and granting blanket immunity to the long-term care industry. 

2020 Elder Voice Family Advocates