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Frequently asked questions about the LTSS Improvement Tool

DHS has designed a new way to gather feedback from people who receive services about their experience with long-term services and supports in Minnesota. The tool is built on recommendations from the National Quality Forum report, Quality in Home and Community-Based Services to Support Community Living: Addressing Gaps in Performance Measurement.

New tool

DHS launched Phase I of the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Improvement Tool in fall 2017 as part of the MnCHOICES Support Plan application. Case managers will use it to gather feedback from older adults and people with disabilities who receive long-term services and supports. This feedback will help us to measure and improve quality and outcomes for home and community-based services.

The LTSS Improvement Tool is an essential part of quality oversight for DHS and lead agencies. We will use the data for required federal reporting, but the real value is in allowing us to measure how well our services help achieve outcomes that are important to people. Case managers can use feedback from recipients to address service quality for people and identify ways to improve services across systems and programs.


Using the LTSS Improvement Tool, we can gather a person’s feedback annually and compare data across HCBS programs and lead agencies (counties and tribal nations) in Minnesota. DHS will integrate this evaluation data with other data produced through the assessment process, service authorization/utilization and surveys. The goal is to demonstrate changes made at the individual, organizational and programmatic level and promote person-centered services and supports.

General questions

Using LTSS Improvement Tool in MnCHOICES Support Plan application

Eligible populations

The LTSS Improvement Tool questions are designed for people who receive home and community-based services. We do not require certified assessors to complete the LTSS Improvement Tool for people who receive only state plan services. 

We require LTSS Improvement Tool Phase I questions for people who receive services in the following programs: 

  • Alternative Care (AC) 
  • Elderly Waiver (EW) fee-for-service 
  • Community Alternative Care (CAC) 
  • Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) 
  • Brain Injury (BI) 
  • Developmental Disabilities (DD) 

Within these programs, most services are eligible for evaluation. If a service is not eligible for evaluation, the system displays a message, “The services which this person has selected do not require an evaluation to be completed.”

Health plans/managed-care organizations

Managed-care organizations (MCOs) do not use the MnCHOICES Support Plan application, and, therefore, do not have access to the LTSS Improvement Tool. MCO care coordinators will gather feedback from Elderly Waiver (EW) participants through a different method.

State Plan services

At this time, DHS does not require certified assessors to complete the LTSS Improvement Tool for people who receive only State Plan services (e.g., only personal care assistance, only home care nursing, only skilled nursing visits, etc.). DHS will notify lead agencies when people who receive only State Plan services will be required to complete the tool.

Guardianship/commitment questions

Data questions

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