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Return to Community and MnCHOICES Initiatives Recognized for Innovation

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On July 30, 2015 the Minnesota Board on Aging and Minnesota Department of Human Services received State Government Innovation Awards for their Return to Community and MnCHOICES Initiatives respectively. The State Government Innovation Awards recognize the great work of state government entities and encourage and environment of experimentation and innovation in Minnesota. The Innovation Awards are sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Nonprofit Leadership Center, with generous support from the Bush Foundation.

Minnesota Board on Aging- Helping People Return to the Community from a Nursing Home

Return to Community, was developed based on research by Dr. Robert Kane at the University of Minnesota and others. The Minnesota Board on Aging and Department of Human Services worked closely with the researchers to develop a fiscal model to generate savings to the state and federally Medicaid program. The service, which focuses are helping individuals of all ages, passed the legislature in 2009. The service helps people who are in a nursing (who are not yet on Medicaid) by targeting those who should have left but have not, using the research criteria.

Targeted candidates are visited by SLL Community Living Specialists and asked if they want to return home. The SLL Specialists work with the nursing facility staff closely to help make the discharge successful. Upon returning home, Specialists do follow-up for 5 years. State funding is $2.4 million which generates savings making this a cost saving measure.

Department of Human Services - Disability Services Division- MnCHOICES Initiative

MnCHOICES is a change in both tools and process, to determine the need for long-term services and supports (LTSS). It replaces three assessments with one comprehensive assessment and process for individuals of all ages, disabilities and financial statuses.

MnCHOICES uses a person-centered planning approach to help people make decisions about long-term services and supports while promoting equal access across populations and geographic areas. This amazing application assists certified assessors with conducting assessment and support planning for Minnesotans in need of services. It assists assessors but does not replace their professional knowledge or skills. Read DHS news release to learn more about these two innovative initiatives.