Kari Thurlow, senior vice president of advocacy at LeadingAge Minnesota,
testifies at a February hearing of the state Senate Family Care and Aging Committee.

Five elements from Minnesota’s Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2019 will be going into effect today. The law ultimately will require licensing of assisted living communities in the state for the first time, making Minnesota the last state to require such licensing.

Three parts of the act going into effect today are especially significant to assisted living operators, Kari Thurlow, senior vice president of advocacy at LeadingAge Minnesota, told McKnight’s Senior Living:

  1. Protections against retaliation. The measures are designed to protect residents, resident representatives and employees against retaliation. Providers will have additional resources and clarification on how to handle incidents of retaliation. 
  2. Maltreatment compensation fund. The fund is set up to compensate victims of maltreatment. People can file for claims from this fund instead of filing civil lawsuits.
  3. Fines. The law enhances fines for maltreatment and requires those fines to be implemented immediately, Thurlow said. Operators will not be able to go back and correct errors to avoid a fine, she added.

The other two elements of the law going into effect, she said, are revisions to the Home Care Bill of Rights and a new health services executive license.

The Minnesota Department of Health recently issued a bulletin with some guidance on the upcoming implementations for providers, Thurlow said. Although providers are waiting for answers to some questions, most already are well positioned to be in compliance with or without the guidance because the laws are built on existing ones, she said.

“We are continuing to work with them to make sure everything goes smoothly,” Thurlow said.

Future elements of the law will go into effect through August 2029, with electronic monitoring being implemented Jan. 1, 2020, and licensure for assisted living communities becoming effective in August 2021.

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