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Frequently Asked Questions …

For providers applying to staffing pool

We don’t have an active outbreak of COVID-19 but we have a staffing crisis because staff are choosing not to work due to COVID-19 considerations. Are we still eligible?

No. Due to the great demand for temporary staff, we are limiting eligibility to only facilities experiencing an outbreak.

Which types of providers are eligible for this program?

  • Adult Foster Care/Community Residential Services
  • Assisted Living (Housing with Services with Assisted Living designation)
  • Board and Lodges serving people with disabilities
  • Board and Lodges with Special Services
  • Boarding Care Homes
  • Domestic Violence Shelters
  • Drop-in Centers for people experiencing homelessness
  • Halfway Houses (for people exiting Corrections)
  • Homeless Outreach to Unsheltered Individuals
  • Housing with Services registered settings (Not Assisted Living)
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICFs/DD)
  • Licensed Child Foster Residential Settings
  • Licensed Children's Residential Facilities
  • Licensed Detox Facilities
  • Licensed residential facilities for adults with mental illness
  • Licensed substance use disorder treatment facilities
  • Licensed Withdrawal Management Facilities
  • Nursing Facilities
  • Other Tribe-certified facilities that aren't licensed
  • Shelters serving people experiencing homelessness
  • Site-based Supportive Housing for people who were homeless
  • Sober Homes Supervised Living Facilities
  • Temporary Isolation Spaces for COVID positive persons

How detailed does my organization’s staffing crisis contingency plans have to be?

A State of Minnesota triage team of experts on residential care facilities will discuss with you the planning undertaken or underway to address your staffing crisis. Your contingency plan should identify critical business functions, maximum tolerable downtimes of those functions, and strategies to focus resources on the most important aspects of a business to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people receiving services.

What kind or workers are available to be deployed?

  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Direct Care Support Worker
  • Unlicensed direct care e.g., nursing assistant, resident assistant, CNA.

How many staff can we request?

The online application http://edocs.mn.gov/forms/DHS-6818-ENG allows you to request different numbers and types of workers and types of credentialed staff. You should plan to work with the triage team to help determine the right number of temporary workers for your site. The Emergency Staffing Pool can provide up to 10 temporary staff for up to 21 days (120 hours of work each) until permanent staff can return to work or new permanent staff are hired.

Who does the background checks?

Providers applying for emergency staffing are not responsible for background checks. The vendor will conduct required DHS Background Study and primary source verification of required licensure (RN or LPN) for workers being deployed to your facility.

Are the temporary workers local residents?

There is no guarantee that temporary staff will be local residents.

Who pays for the temporary workers?

The State of Minnesota will pay for up to 21 days (120 hours) per the number of workers approved using federal funds designated for this purpose (COVID Relief Fund). Providers will be required to report information on your organization’s use of the Emergency Staffing Pool*.

What is the rate of pay?

The vendor determines the rate of pay for their temporary workers. Because the temporary workers are potentially required to work in COVID positive environments, travel all over the state and the temporary/time limited nature of the work, it’s likely they will be earning more than a similarly situated person working on your permanent staff.

Who is liable if something happens to the temporary worker?

The vendor is the employer of record for temporary staff and will be liable if something happens to temporary staff during their engagement at your site. Please communicate problems or concerns about temporary staff as soon as possible with our triage team.

Do the temporary workers receive any facility type specific training (e.g., DV program) before being deployed?

Your organization should determine if there is specialty training required for your facility and indicate that requirement in your application request. Certain types of highly specialized skills are harder to meet on a short time frame. If it’s possible to meet the legal licensing requirements of your service needs and license type with low-skill or unskilled direct support staff under supervision, that should be pursued.

Can the temporary workers be extended beyond 21-days (120 hours) approved if your staff aren't ready to return within that timeframe due to COVID-19?

You should work with our triage team to identify alternative staffing resources for your organization if your staffing crisis is likely to last beyond 21days. The State’s Emergency Staffing Pool cannot provide temporary staff for a longer period, but you may be able to pay the State’s vendor directly for continuation services, when necessary.

How long will it take to get temporary workers?

The actual start date can be very soon after referral, however may take up to two weeks. Staffing agencies have 48 hours to fulfill requests, but how soon staff are sent will depend on amount of available staff at any given time. You will set the actual start date with the temporary workers. The actual start date can be very soon after referral to 2 weeks. The temporary worker may need to give notice to a current employer or assignment before staring at your facility.

What if a temporary worker doesn’t work out?

You can end the deployment of a temporary worker at any time. Providers can work with contracted staffing agencies to replace staff who do not meet their needs.

Do we have to provide PPE for the temporary staff?

Yes, it’s the provider’s responsibility to make sure that all staff working in the facility have adequate PPE, as needed.

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