Uniform Service Standards (USS)
The Uniform Service Standards (USS) project is a multi-phase reform of the regulatory structure and service standards for Minnesota’s mental health care system. The USS project is aligning common standards to reduce administrative burden, refocusing the standards on supporting quality and equitable services and establishing a unified licensing framework to build accountability where it matters.
- Aligning common standards: When standards are clear and consistent, providers can spend more time delivering their full range of services and less time at their desks navigating confusing and ambiguous compliance requirements.
- Refocusing standards: When the timelines for completing or approving treatment documents are realistic, providers are better able to focus on developing trusting therapeutic relationships and delivering high quality services.
- Establishing a unified licensing structure: When services are accountable under a unified licensing structure, there is greater consistency in the guidance given to providers, a path to meaningful integration, centralized reporting and investigations of complaints, and access to enforcement tools necessary to protect Minnesotans.
In 2021 the Minnesota Legislature passed the first phase of the USS project. The first phase created a common “core” of standards that will apply to all mental health care services and established the framework for a unified licensing structure. These changes are expected to go into effect July 1, 2022.
Subsequent phases of the USS project will incorporate the remaining mental health care services into the new licensing structure.