Historical Agreement Expected to Become Law: Minnesota Assisted Living Facilities to be Licensed

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

A bill in the Minnesota legislature is being finalized to license Assisted living facilities for the very first time. This agreement, which is expected to pass, will bring Minnesota in line with the rest of the country in terms of regulating AL. ALFs have been around in Minnesota for well over 30 years but have never been subject to regulatory oversight/licensure until now. This bill/law would also set minimum standards of care and further protect elder adults from neglect and abuse.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that this agreement comes after 2 years of “contentious deliberations, hearings and protests.” Their reporting notes there are more than 80,000 Minnesotans in senior living facilities.   This is the “broadest expansion of protection for vulnerable seniors in Minnesota in generations.”

To date, Minnesota is the only state in the nation that does not license Assisted Living facilities. The Star Tribune piece notes that the law would cost $50 million over the next 4 years to enforce. The piece also contains a link to a 2017 investigation that is quite the eye-opener. The Minnesota Department of Health, Elder Voice Family Advocates, AARP Minnesota, Care Providers of Minnesota and LeadingAge Minnesota have all advocated and supported this bill.