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Lawmakers look at key proposals for long-term care, child care, mental health care

Series of DHS investments would meet needs of Minnesotans

March 12, 2013

Karen Smigielski

PDF version of news release

Key human services proposals that restructure long-term care services, provide for the safe and healthy development of children and strengthen chemical and mental health services are scheduled to be heard by legislators Wednesday. The Senate Health, Human Services and Housing committee is set to review the legislation starting at noon in room 15 of the Capitol.

“These proposals put the needs of Minnesotans at the forefront, promoting reform and investing in initiatives to improve services,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “They will better meet the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities, help prepare children to get off on the right foot for school and improve chemical and mental health services.”

The DHS initiatives include:

  • Reform 2020. This is a bipartisan effort to reform Medical Assistance, Minnesota’s Medicaid program, to better meet the challenges of rising health care costs and the growing aging population while providing Minnesotans with the services they need. Proposals include enhancing vulnerable adult protection efforts, First Contact to streamline access to services and support and to navigate long-term care options, and Community First Supports to reform the Personal Care Assistance program.  
  • Safe and healthy development of children. This helps ensure more children with high needs receive quality child care and enter school ready to learn. Other efforts include supporting permanent families through Northstar Care for Children and rebuilding the Minnesota Family Investment Program. 
  • Continuing improvement of behavioral health services. This provides for additional school-linked mental health grants, doubling the capacity in schools for mental health prevention and early intervention services and facilitating service integration. Other provisions include expanded mental health crisis response services and reimbursements to clinicians for coordinating children’s services.

Fact sheets on additional DHS legislative initiatives and proposals are on the DHS website. The legislative hearing schedule is subject to change. Updates can be found on the Senate website.

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