skip to content
Primary navigation

History of the gaps analysis

Since 2001, every two years, DHS has worked in cooperation with counties to complete the gaps analysis study.

In 2001, the Minnesota Legislature approved a set of long-term care reform measures that seek to:

  • Provide a wider range of home and community-based service options
  • Rebalance Minnesota's long-term care system
  • Support a system that meets the preferences and needs of people with disabilities, older people and their families.

The Legislature provided funding for counties to prepare the first gaps analysis of the long-term care system specific to people age 65 and older. The analysis included the current availability of and projected need for additional:

  • Community-based long-term care supports
  • Facility-based long-term care
  • Senior housing and service arrangements.

The information collected through this effort was reported to the Legislature in the Status of Long-term Care in Minnesota, 2001. DHS developed this legislative report in response to the legislative mandate to update the Legislature on the effects of legislative initiatives to rebalance the state's long-term services and supports (LTSS) system every two years.

In 2012, the Legislature amended the state statute to expand the scope of the Status of LTSS report and the studies that inform it. The Legislature changed the scope to include services and supports not only for older adults, but also for people with disabilities and for children, youth and adults living with mental health conditions. The Legislature also added a requirement to gather input from all lead agencies, community stakeholders and people who need or are using long-term services and supports.

The gaps analysis study completed in 2013 for the previous two-year period was the first to report on the perceived capacity and gaps to meet the needs of all populations (i.e., older adults, people with disabilities, children, youth and adults living with mental health conditions) and to gather community input.

In 2013, the Legislature amended the state statute to include a one-time study to assess local capacity and availability of home and community-based services (HCBS) for all four populations. This study was required to assess critical access at the community level and identify potential measures to track HCBS capacity in critical access areas.

In 2014, DHS executed two contracts related to the gaps analysis study, one with Wilder Research to conduct and to assist with streamlining this biennial study for calendar years 2013 and 2014 and one with Abt Associates to conduct the one-time HCBS critical access study.

Completed the survey and published reports.

Began discussions to conduct the survey again in 2017. At the request of the stakeholders, decided to try something new.

DHS continued the collaboration with Wilder Research within a revamped edition of the gaps analysis. Instead of conducting a survey of all lead agencies, DHS and Wilder Research conducted 11 regional meetings, each attended by approximately 40 invited stakeholders. We designed the regional meetings to give participants the opportunity to discuss and prioritize top service gaps, identify solutions and develop action plans to implement the solutions. Regional meeting participants included representatives from counties, tribal nations and managed care organizations with administrative or contract authority to provide assessment and support planning; advocates for current and potential service users; and providers of HCBS and mental health services and supports.

Issued new request for proposals.

back to top