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Dayton inks nursing home bill

ST. PAUL -- Gov, Mark Dayton has signed into law a bill chief authored by State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) that brings Minnesota's nursing home classifications into conformity with federal guidelines.

"This law will simplify the paperwork nurses have to complete and allow them more time for patient care, and it won't cost the facilities a dime," Schomacker said in a press release issued Wednesday.

Currently, Minnesota nursing homes are reimbursed based on each resident's classification in or of the 36 Resource Utilization Groups.

The classification is based on a federal assessment tool called the Minimum Data Sets (or MDS). Recently, the MDS was updated after studies in 2007 and 2008 showed changes to the population and needs of our nursing home residents.

Schomacker said the new system also brings a solution to a problem often complained about by private pay residents, where treatments provided during a hospital stay preceding the nursing home admission will not be reflected in the nursing home care assessment -- which often raised costs.