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New Investments in Home and Community Services Begin July 1

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Providers that serve people with disabilities and older Minnesotans in their homes and other community settings will receive a 5 percent rate increase, effective July 1. The increase, proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton and enacted by the Minnesota Legislature, will infuse an additional $80 million into home care services this fiscal year.

"Most Minnesota seniors and people with disabilities want to live in their homes, and still have access to the high-quality care they need," said Governor Dayton. "As our state's population ages, it is more important than ever to ensure we are attracting the very best health professionals to care for our parents, grandparents, and family members. Paying these workers fairly for their dedication and professionalism is essential, and I strongly support this increase."

The increase builds on Minnesota's strong foundation in providing services in the community. Last week Minnesota was ranked first among states on the 2014 State Long Term Services and Support Scorecard, sponsored by the AARP, The Commonwealth Fund and The Scan Foundation. Minnesota excelled in access, choice, quality and caregiver support.

"We can be proud of Minnesota's long-tradition of caring," Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said. "We have more work to do to ensure people receiving services in their homes or in nursing homes have the best possible care available."

Nursing homes also received additional funding this year. Legislation provides $1.5 million a year for the critical access nursing facility program, which preserves access to nursing facilities in isolated areas of the state and improves quality. Legislation also will adjust rates to cover salary costs due to the increase in minimum wage. These measures will be implemented later this year.

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