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Latest information about COVID-19 from DSD

The latest news about the pandemic and information from the Disability Services Division for our partners, providers and the people we serve. Click a headline below to read the full article.

Note: For updates related to agencywide DHS programs, visit the DHS homepage. It has information for providers, counties, tribal nations and members of the public as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated as changes happen at federal and state levels. To be notified when changes occur, you can sign up for COVID-19-specific DHS email notifications.

The governor granted the Minnesota Department of Human Services emergency temporary authority to change administrative and regulatory requirements for food assistance, home care, public health care and other state programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find a complete list of temporary waivers and program modifications. We will describe many of these modifications further in DHS bulletins. If you have further questions, visit the Disability services COVID-19 FAQ webpage. We will update that page frequently, as we are able.

COVID-19 change to how DHS will provide the Waiver Reimagine amendment public comment period notice

7/23/2020 11:57:49 AM

DHS received federal approval to waive the requirement for a non-electronic public notice as part of the waiver amendment for the Waiver Reimagine project. DHS will provide only an electronic notice for the 30-day public comment period.

People who receive services and their families have told DHS that Minnesota’s disability waiver programs are complicated and limit their flexibility. In response, DHS is working to make the waiver system easier to understand and use. The Waiver Reimagine project will streamline the system so people and families can focus on the life they want in the community. As part of the project, DHS is seeking an amendment to all disability waivers to simplify the service menus.

Before submitting the amendments to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), DHS will provide a 30-day public notice to gather meaningful feedback from people who receive and are eligible for services. CMS requires the public notice to include at least one electronic and one non-electronic method for the public to provide feedback. Previously, lead agencies (counties, tribal nations and managed care organizations) posted printed copies of the notice in their offices. However, most lead agencies have closed their offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This change:

  • Waives the requirement for DHS to provide a non-electronic public notice
  • Means lead agencies will not post hard copies of the public notice
  • Allows DHS flexibility to gather meaningful feedback from people who receive services while also promoting social distancing
  • Ensures people will continue to receive disability waiver services without service interruptions.

DHS published Bulletin #20-56-08: Non-electronic public notice requirement waived for Waiver Reimagine amendments (PDF) to provide additional information about this change. Additional information about the public comment process will follow.

Affected statute, rule and/or policy

DHS is making this change with authority from Executive Order 20-11 (PDF), which allows the commissioner to use an Appendix K process to request temporary modifications to CMS requirements for 1915(c) waivers.

Additional information

For more information about the Waiver Reimagine project, see DHS – Waiver Reimagine.

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