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
Re-balance 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. This legislative report was developed in response to the legislative mandate to biennially update the legislature on the effects of legislative initiatives to rebalance the state's long-term services and supports (LTSS) system.
Since 2001, every two years, DHS has worked in cooperation with counties to complete the Gaps Analysis study.
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 scope was changed 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. A requirement to gather input from all lead agencies, community stakeholders, and persons who need or are using long-term services and supports was also added.
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.