Investing in the Health and Wellbeing of Minnesotans (Health & Human Services)

The Senate DFL Health and Human Services budget bill (SF 4699 Wiklund) builds a more comprehensive and accessible mental health system by increasing mental health reimbursement rates and establishing new Medical Assistance benefits for once overlooked mental health services. The 2024 HHS bill also expands health coverage in several ways, including wigs for cancer patients, prosthetics, and game- changing treatment for sickle cell disease.

Despite highly effective preventative medications, more than 300 Minnesotans a year test positive for HIV. Senate DFLers took a major step to end HIV in Minnesota by authorizing pharmacists to prescribe and administer drugs to prevent the acquisition of HIV.

The HHS budget bill also requires more oversight of Health Maintenance Organizations to create a more transparent health care system and reforms the prior authorization guidelines for health plans.

Finally, the 2024 Health & Human Services supplemental budget bill supports Minnesota’s health care workforce by implementing an innovative payment structure for hospitals to provide graduate medical education, creates an advisory council to analyze health care workforce needs and trends, and ensures confidentiality for physicians who participated in mental health programs.

MENTAL HEALTH

Investing in Children’s Behavioral Health Services

$3 million is directed to school-linked behavioral health grants. Many children with serious mental health or substance use needs are first identified through this program. Community mental health agencies provide behavioral health professionals and practitioners at schools, with most of their time involved in direct child and family services, including assessment and treatment, as well as teacher consultation, care coordination, and school-wide training.

Addressing the Mental Health Crisis in Hospital Systems Across the State

$5.7 million will help hospitals cover expenses for providing behavioral health services for inpatient care for patients enrolled in Medical Assistance. Often, hospitals are not reimbursed for offering mental health services and substance use disorder services.

Building Toward a Fully Funded Mental Health Workforce (SF 5084 Wiklund)

$1.6 million in FY 25 and $8.4 million in FY 26/27 will increase reimbursement rates to 83% of Medicare rates. Currently, Medicaid rates for mental health services are below the cost of providing care in Minnesota. This is a significant increase in rates for mental health providers during a supplemental budget year and is the first step toward reaching 100% of Medicare rates.

Prioritizing Access to Respite Care

$2.6 million will help expand access to respite care services for families whose children lost their in-home services or who have recently used emergency or crisis services. Counties are also directed to establish processes to ensure regular access to respite care services.

Expanding Access to Mental Health Care for Medical Assistance Enrollees

Many mental health services have been overlooked as treatment options that help prevent mental health crises or maintain stability for people living with mental health conditions. This historical oversight has often led to evidence-based care options not being reimbursable in the Medical Assistance benefit plan.

The 2024 Health & Human Services budget bill begins the process of expanding access to mental health care by directing $834,000 to DHS to analyze and develop Medical Assistance benefit options for first-episode psychosis coordinated specialty care, children’s residential mental health crisis stabilization, and community-based social support programming called CLUBHOUSE services.

Promising Consistent Funding Streams for Mental Health Services

Minnesota has relied on funding critical mental health services through inconsistent mechanisms such as periodically allocating money to grants or programs. Senate DFLers directed DHS develop recommendations for moving from the children’s and adult mental health grant funding structure to a formula-based allocation structure for mental health services. The recommendations must consider formula-based allocations for grants for respite care, school- linked behavioral health, mobile crisis teams, and first episode of psychosis programs.

Eliminating Red Tape to Access Mental Health Services (Prior Authorization)

Senate DFLers prohibited insurance companies in all state-regulated health plans from enforcing prior authorization practices on patients seeking mental health care services and substance use disorder services. This will have a positive impact on Minnesotans enrolled in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. A recent KFF study found that nearly 40% of adults enrolled in Medicaid have a mental health or substance use disorder.

Establishing Medical Assistance Coverage for Family Psychoeducational Services

The 2024 HHS budget bill includes expanding Medical Assistance coverage for skills training related to family psychoeducational services for children. This service supports the development of psychosocial skills that are medically necessary to rehabilitate the child to an age-appropriate developmental trajectory when the child’s development was disrupted by a mental health condition or diagnosed mental illness.

Grants to Volunteers of America

$1.7 million is appropriated to Volunteers of America to help with workforce training and the development of a trauma-informed locked setting environment. Volunteers of America offers a continuum of supportive Behavioral and Mental Health services and residential treatment options to assist adolescents, adults, and their families in experiencing life without addiction and in becoming contributing members of their community

Culturally Specific Behavioral Health – Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servercio (CLUES)

$1.5 million is appropriated to CLUES to provide culturally and linguistically relevant mental health services. CLUES is a Latino-led nonprofit organization that works to ensure the advancement of social and economic equity and well-being of Latinos in Minnesota. The mental health services will be provided through the certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHSC) model. By June 30, 2026, CLUES must report information on the number of people served and how the funding reduced racial and ethnic disparities.

HEALTH EQUITY & COMMUNITY-CENTERED GRANTS FOR BLACK, INDIGENOUS, AND PEOPLE OF COLOR POPULATIONS IN MINNESOTA

The following programs received funds to help end health disparities in Minnesota:

  • $260,000 to Chosen Vessels Midwifery Services will help provide education, support, and encouragement for African American mothers to breastfeed their infants for the first year of life or longer.
  • $210,000 is directed to a grant to Healthy Birth Day, Inc., to develop a pilot program that will implement a stillbirth prevention tool by tracking fetal movement.
  • $370,000 is for a grant to the Birth Justice Collaborative to plan for and engage the community in the development of an American Indian-focused birth center.
  • $260,000 is for a grant to the Birth Justice Collaborative for planning and community engagement to develop a replicable African American-focused Homeplace model. The model’s purpose must be to improve access to culturally centered healing and care during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Accessible Prescription Labels

Prescription drug safety can be a life-or-death issue for Minnesotans who are blind, visually impaired, or who do not speak English as a first language. The HHS budget bill directs the Board of Pharmacy to establish new processes to ensure plain language labels are used on prescription labels and that patients are aware that accessible prescription drug container labels are available at no extra cost. $200,000 is appropriated to study and determine how many accessible prescription labels are available to individuals who cannot access large print or Braille labels.

Trans Refuge Support (SF 3502 Maye Quade)

$1 million is appropriated to the Pfund Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides resources and support for LGBTQIA+ individuals across the Midwest. The money is directed to grants to support medical, mental health, and social services needs for individuals fleeing discriminatory and harmful laws in their home state or for Minnesotans who need affirming health care or community support.

Ensuring Health Care Coverage for DACA Recipients

$2.3 million will update MNsure’s IT infrastructure to assist DACA recipients in accessing health coverage. New federal law changes make federally funded Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare available to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients. In 2023, Senate DFLers led the way in health care reform and made MinnesotaCare available to undocumented Minnesotans beginning in 2025. This new federal change will result in savings for Minnesota with more federal matching dollars helping provide health coverage for more people.

Culturally Specific Behavioral Health – Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES)

$1.5 million is appropriated to CLUES to provide culturally and linguistically relevant mental health services. CLUES is a Latino-led nonprofit organization that works to ensure the advancement of social and economic equity and well-being of Latinos in Minnesota. The mental health services will be provided through the certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHSC) model. By June 30, 2026, CLUES must report information on the number of people served and how the funding reduced racial and ethnic disparities.

SUPPORTING AND INVESTING IN MINNESOTA’S HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE

Modernizing Professional Standards for the Health Care Workforce in Minnesota

The Licensure, Scope of Practice, and Interstate Compact Bill (HF 4247 Wiklund) included several bipartisan provisions that updated and modernized laws relating to thirteen medical professions. Each provision was rigorously vetted, and stakeholder groups worked together to reach compromises and agreements. This legislation was needed after years of stagnant laws related to health professions while the industry evolved over time. The interstate licensure compacts moving forward in 2024 have consensus from the workforce, licensing boards, and professional organizations.

The following professions have updated professional standards or licensure requirements to ensure Minnesotans receive quality care and health care professionals can be held accountable:

  • Transfer Care Specialist Licensure will help funeral establishments outside the seven- county metro area that need a practical solution for removing bodies. State law currently only allows morticians to conduct this process, and the new transfer care specialist licenses will allow qualified individuals to assist.
  • Behavioral Analyst Licensure prioritizes safety. These analysts work with vulnerable children and adults with disabilities, many in unlicensed settings. The unregulated practice of behavior analysis has dramatically grown in Minnesota. This new licensure requirement will ensure qualified professionals provide behavioral health services and can be held accountable.
  • Veterinary Technicians Licensure will allow trained individuals to assist veterinarians and provide more care across the state, especially in rural Minnesota.
  • Veterinary Medicine Institutional Licensure for veterinary medicine faculty will diversify the workforce and help fill teaching positions at the University of Minnesota.

Other licensure and scope changes:

  • Licensure by credentials for dental assistants
  • Specialty dentistry licensure practice modifications
  • Repealing practice restrictions for physician assistants providing mental health care
  • Expanding access to provisional licensure for social workers (diversifies workforce)
  • Marriage and family therapy guest licensure

Interstate Compacts:

An interstate compact is a legally binding agreement between two or more states. Occupational licensure compacts aim to overcome the hurdle of various state licensing requirements for workers. These compacts create reciprocal professional licensing practices between states while ensuring the quality and safety of services. States must pass the mirror language compared to other states to participate in the compacts.

  • The professional counselor interstate compact will allow mental health professionals in other states to utilize telehealth platforms to serve Minnesota residents and increase access to mental health services across the state.
  • The social work interstate compact will ensure consistency among mental health professionals who already are included in an interstate compact, such as psychologists and psychiatrists. This will help Minnesota living on the border who need telehealth services and provide more options for Minnesotans seeking mental health care.

Other new interstate compacts:

  • Dentist/dental assistant
  • Physician Assistant
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Audiologist & Speech-Language Pathology

Investing in the Future Health Care Workforce – Graduate Medical Education (SF 4946 Wiklund)

Over $300,000 will be used for a new innovative funding structure that will help teaching hospitals draw down more federal dollars which will be invested in the development of Minnesota’s future health care workforce. This funding will allow for new integrated well-being programs for training physicians, research protections, high-quality library resources, and cutting-edge simulation centers and technology.

Foreign-trained Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) (SF 4235 Fateh)

MDH is directed to ensure competency evaluations for CNAs are in languages other than English that are commonly spoken by people who wish to be listed in the nursing assistant registry. This will help address workforce shortages in nursing facilities.

Health Professionals Workforce Advisory Council

$150,000 will be used to develop a Health Professions Advisory Council which will provide information on the status of the health workforce in Minnesota for policymakers. The council will also offer information and analysis on health workforce needs and trends and make recommendations on how to diversify and increase the workforce. Additionally, the council will review the maldistribution of primary, mental health, nursing, and dental providers in greater Minnesota and in underserved communities in metropolitan areas of Minnesota.

Protecting the Privacy of Physicians Seeking Mental Health Support (SF 3531 Morrison modified)

A new law protects the privacy of physicians who have participated in a mental health wellness program. Any record of their participation is confidential and not subject to discovery nor should it be automatically reported to a medical board that oversees the licensing of their profession. It is not required in reporting for credentialling as well.

PUBLIC HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE

Allowing Pharmacists to Address the HIV Public Health Crisis (SF 2320 Dibble)

A new law authorizes pharmacists to prescribe, dispense, and administer drugs to prevent the acquisition of HIV. Pharmacists will also be allowed to order, conduct, and interpret laboratory tests necessary for therapies that use drugs for preventing HIV. Minnesota is currently experiencing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) outbreaks across the state and there are more than 9,600 people living with HIV in Minnesota. This new law is a historic step toward addressing HIV in Minnesota.

Accessible Vaccinations (SF 1176 Hoffman)

Senate DFLers extended a COVID emergency policy that authorized pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians to vaccinate patients six years or older for ACIP/FDA- approved vaccines and for flu and COVID-19 vaccine administration for children three years and older. Pharmacists must inform caregivers accompanying a child of the importance of a well- child visit with a pediatrician or other licensed primary care provider.

HEALTH CARE COVERAGE AND ACCESS

Health Insurance

Under the ACA, any new service that is required to be covered by a state-regulated health plan beyond what is considered an Essential Health Benefit is subject to state defrayal, meaning the state is required to pay the cost of coverage. Some mandates in the HHS bill do not have general fund costs because the state already requires coverage in Medical Assistance/MinnesotaCare.

New health services that state-regulated health plans must provide coverage for include:

  • Medically necessary transfer of mothers and their newborns between facilities immediately following birth (SF 3511 Mann)
  • Cranial prosthetics due to cancer treatment, up to $1000 of coverage per year (SF 4423 Dziedzic)
  • Abortion services, including pre and post-care services, cost-sharing allowed (SF 3967 Mann)
  • Prosthetics and orthotics devices, supplies, and services, including repair and replacement (SF 3351 Hoffman)
  • Minimin of 180 intermittent catheters per month for people who can’t empty their bladder unassisted (SF 3926 Hoffman)
  • Gender-affirming care (in the Commerce bill) (SF 2209 Dibble)
  • Rapid whole genome sequencing (genetic data) for people 21 and younger with acute or complex illnesses with unknown etiology to help find a diagnosis of a rare disease
  • Amino acid-based elemental formula for infants diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, metabolic and malabsorption disorders, or other conditions that prevent the proper digestion of regular formula

*religious exemptions were added for certain entities that offer health insurance for the required coverage of gender-affirming care and abortion care*

Biological Products for Cell and Gene Therapy (SF 4058 Boldon)

Senate DFLers took the first step in ensuring there is a pathway to reimbursement for the new era of biologics, such as gene and cell therapy, which cures some diseases like sickle cell. Because these treatments are very expensive and require inpatient administration, the law must separate drug payments from bundled payments in hospital settings. $4.6 million was appropriated to enact this critical step which will ensure Minnesotans have access to these life- changing and curative treatments, regardless of payer.

Prior Authorization Reform (SF 3532 Morrison)

To protect profits, health insurers have created unnecessary barriers to care, such as prior authorization guidelines, which lead to physician burnout and delay patient care. Prior authorization is the requirement that health services and/or medications must be approved by an insurance company before coverage is granted, despite being prescribed and ordered by a licensed medical professional.

In 2024, Senate DFLers reformed the prior authorization requirements. The new law requires all state-regulated plans to have the same process for timeline reviews, expedited reviews, appeals for denials, and continuity of care standards. Prior authorization for chronic conditions is also not allowed to expire unless the standard of treatment for that health condition changes.

In addition to simplifying standards, Minnesota also prohibits requiring approval for care from health companies for the following services:

  • outpatient mental health treatment
  • outpatient substance use disorder treatment
  • cancer treatment that is consistent with national cancer-care guidelines
  • Services that currently have a rating of A or B from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or preventive services andscreenings provided to women
  • pediatric hospice services
  • treatment delivered through a neonatal abstinence program
  • HIV medications

On or before September 1 each year, each utilization review organization must report to the commissioner of health information on prior authorization requests for the previous calendar year, including how often they denied services and how often they approved services.

Holding Administrators Accountable for Hospital Closures (SF 4602 Kupec)

Senate DFLers passed a law that requires hospitals to give their local community more advance notice of when the administration plans to end services, eliminate specific types of providers, or close units within a hospital. Now hospitals must provide notice of closure within 182 days of the voluntary ending of services instead of 120 days. The hospital must also notify MDH, the public, and local media. The law also changes the public hearing timeframe from 45 days to 30 days after receiving notice. MDH must conduct the public hearing at a location within ten miles of the hospital, with an option for virtual access, or outside ten miles if a better location is available.

  • Notice: Required to be provided to patients, hospital personnel, the public, local units of government, and the commissioner of health. The language modifies the content required in the notice, hearing requirements, and penalties for violations.
  • Penalty: The bill allows MDH to issue a correction to a hospital if it fails to hold a public hearing. MDH must impose a fine of $20K for each failure, but the cumulative fines imposed must not exceed $60,000.
  • Right of refusal: States the hospital must first make a good faith offer to sell the hospital to a local unit of government at a price that is not above fair market value.

SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT PHARMACIES AND RURAL HEALTH CARE

Innovative Rural Health Care Model (SF 3372 Hoffman)

$272,000 will be used to help DHS work with counties and county-based purchasing plans to develop a new and improved model to uniquely manage Medical Assistance benefits in rural counties. The DHS managed care Medical Assistance procurement process has been challenging for counties, often resulting in lawsuits over current state law, and counties pursuing mediation over disagreements with DHS decisions. This new model is called the “county-administered rural medical assistance model” or CARMA.

Ensuring Independent Pharmacies Access Savings (Commerce bill)

The 340B program was established to extend a lifeline for health care to our most vulnerable communities by providing discounts to pharmacies for high-priced drugs. The discounts are then counted as savings that should be redirected toward helping the community, like providing medication to uninsured people. Despite the intention of the program, Rx drugmakers continue to deny discounts to our vital safety-net institutions. This denial impacts local hospitals and pharmacies that are operating on razor-thin margins on the verge of closing – most in Greater Minnesota – that provide care to people 24/7. The Commerce Finance Omnibus Bill contained a provision that would prohibit Rx manufacturers from the discriminatory practice of restricting, prohibiting, or interfering with the delivery of covered outpatient drugs to pharmacies under contract with a 340B covered entity.

Supporting Community Pharmacies (SF 3971 Mann)

Community pharmacies will soon be reimbursed at a higher rate. $1.5 million is appropriated to increase the Medical Assistance dispensing fee for covered outpatient drugs, certain intravenous solutions, and prescribed over-the-counter drugs that are covered outpatient drugs from $10.77 to $11.55, effective July 1, 2024.

Reimbursement Equity for Pharmacists (SF 2459 Mann)

Health maintenance organizations must include equal coverage of services provided by pharmacists as they do for physicians. Like other medical professions, pharmacy has evolved from a dispensing and product reimbursement-based industry to a profession with the training and patient relationships to provide outcomes-based services and participate in care coordination efforts. Examples of required payment are:

  • Contraception counseling
  • Tobacco cessation counseling
  • HIV PrEP/PEP medication consultation
  • Naloxone consultation

HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY

Updating the Costs to Access Medical Records for the Digital Era (SF 4833 Seeberger)

Under current law, a health care provider, usually through a third-party company, may charge a patient a per-page fee and a retrieval fee to provide a copy of the patient’s medical record. A new law clarifies a provision that prohibits providers from charging fees to patients who are appealing a denial of Social Security disability income or Social Security disability benefits. In addition, the law sets better rates for health records that reflect the digital era of record keeping.

Hospital Community Health Needs Reporting (SF 4948 Wiklund)

The 2024 HHS budget bill requires nonprofit hospitals exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to submit to the commissioner of health and make available to the public, their community health needs assessment, description of the community served, community health improvement activities, and community benefit implementation strategy. This will hold hospital administrators accountable and ensure tax breaks provided to hospitals for providing care to underserved communities are directly used to help the community instead of being used indirectly, like updating a hospital campus with features that do not improve health care.

Prohibiting For-Profit Health Maintenance Organizations from Public Programs (SF 3542 Marty modified)

Effective January 1, 2025, the Department of Human Services is prohibited from entering into an agreement with an HMO that is not a nonprofit organization for managed care contracts under Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. Additionally, state employee paid hospital, medical, and dental benefits can’t be through a for-profit HMO. This will ensure companies that are not subject to higher transparency standards and are directed by company profits do not take advantage of public health programs.

Health Maintenance Organizations Transaction Conversion Transparency (SF 4837 Wiklund modified)

Building on the work in the 2023 legislative session, which required MDH to study HMO transactions, a new law prohibits certain conversion transactions, such as transactions that could result in fewer public benefit assets. It also expands situations in which pre-transaction notice must be provided to the Attorney General, allows enforcement by the Attorney General, and provides opportunities for public comment. MDH’s preliminary report on HMOs highlighted several areas of concern about regulatory authority on HMOs. Having a robust, transparent regulatory structure for entities that provide insurance coverage is necessary for accountability in meeting all state and federal requirements.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES

*For information on the Rural EMS Aid, visit the Taxes Section.*

Establishing the Office of Emergency Medical Services (SF 4835 Seeberger)

In 2022, the Office of the Legislative Auditor released a report on Emergency Medical Services in the state of Minnesota. The OLA’s findings indicated that the EMSRB has been ineffective at regulating and supporting ambulance services in Minnesota and rife with conflicts of interest and self-dealing within the industry. The OLA recommended that the Legislature make structural changes to the EMSRB, provide for better oversight, and create more public accountability.

During the 2024 Session, the Legislature took a multi-pronged approach to solving the problems raised in the OLA report. Senate DFLers created the Office of Emergency Medical Services, which replaces the current Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB). The language sets an effective date of January 1, 2025, at which point all responsibilities of the current EMSRB are transferred to the new Office. The Director of the new office will be appointed by the Governor. Within the new Office of Emergency Medical Services, responsibilities are delegated to three divisions, each governed by their own deputy directors and advisory committees. They are as follows:

  • Medical Services Division with the EMS Physician Advisory Council
  • Ambulance Services Division and Advisory Council
  • Emergency Medical Service Providers Division with the EMS Providers Advisory Council

Updating Emergency Medical Services Workforce Standards (SF 4697 Seeberger)

New laws adjust staffing requirements on some ambulance services in rural Minnesota in order to reduce ambulance wait times while still providing essential care. Changes include allowing equally qualified individuals other than Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to staff basic life support ambulances. Also, it will be easier to renew professional registration for emergency medical professionals, and adjustments are allowed for registrations that have lapsed.

Last year, during the EMS Task Force’s field hearings, there was abundant testimony about a lack of retention in Greater Minnesota EMS workforces and increasing ambulance response times. Workforce personnel are letting their certifications lapse due to several reasons, including burnout and worker safety concerns. Allowing for more flexibility in the certification process and staffing requirements will help ease some workforce retention concerns.

Sprint Medic Pilot Program in Greater Minnesota (SF 4835 Seeberger)

$6 million is appropriated to establish the “Sprint Medic” Pilot Program. The purpose of this program is to reduce response times for ambulance services in Greater Minnesota. During the field hearings of the Emergency Medical Services Task Force, numerous providers and professionals testified to long wait times due to staffing shortages, geography, and ambulances being taken out of service for interfacility transports. This program would sunset on June 30, 2026.

When responding to emergency ambulance calls under the program, a paramedic with advanced life support (ALS) capabilities would immediately be dispatched to the call, in either an ambulance or a non-transporting vehicle equipped with ALS medications and equipment. While that initial “Sprint” ALS response is happening, a basic life support (BLS) ambulance is being staffed and deployed to the call. If the paramedic believes a BLS ambulance transport is unnecessary, they can call off the secondary response, which would free up that ambulance to deal with other calls.

Did Not Pass

Public Option

In 2023, after years of obstruction from the GOP, Senate DFLers took the first major steps toward implementing a Public Option by funding a study required by the federal government. Senate DFLers also set aside contingency funding in 2023 that would be used in the long process of seeking federal approval.

In February 2024, the results from an independent actuarial analysis provided policymakers with the first blueprint for Minnesota’s implementation of a Public Option. The study analyzed different model options and provided assumptions on the potential costs and uptake of each model. However, the uncertainty of the health care marketplace and other considerations that required further exploration in the next two years proved to be a barrier to initiating the next steps to initiating a Public Option in Minnesota.

However, policymakers in Minnesota now have access to long-sought information on how to ensure meaningful access to health care for Minnesotans currently priced out of coverage. Whichever way the data directs Senate DFLers, affordability for people, and not profits, will be at the center of the health care reform discussion.

Health Coverage for Infertility Treatment (SF 1704 Maye Quade)

Legislation that would have required health plans and public programs to provide infertility treatment for enrollees did not pass. An actuarial study to determine specific costs for health insurers and the state to implement the coverage requirement also did not pass.

Certain Provisions in the Licensure, Scope of Practice, and Interstate Compact Bill

HF 4247 passed with unanimous support in the Senate speaks to Senate DFLer’s dedicated efforts to modernize Minnesota’s health care profession. Unfortunately, not all new professional licensing standards were adopted in the final bill. Senate DFLers will continue to work to ensure our health care professional standards remain high and do not have unnecessary policies which prevent us from developing a racially diverse, culturally rich, and inclusive workforce.

  • International Medical Graduate = Allowing internationally trained and practicing physicians to practice in Minnesota with a limited license would have ended a discriminatory practice that requires already trained doctors to undergo residency. Foreign-trained doctors would be able to work with a hospital or clinical setting in a rural or underserved area through a collaborative agreement.
  • Certified Midwife Licensure = A new licensure program for Certified Midwives would have removed barriers for individuals who lack the resources to obtain licensure to practice midwifery in Minnesota. This would increase and diversify the midwifery workforce and increase access to a model of care that has been proven to improve outcomes and decrease preventable morbidity and mortality in women and infants, especially for people of color.

Other provisions NOT adopted in HF 4247:

  • Optometry scope of practice modification
  • Behavior analyst assistant licensure
  • Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine licensure language modifications
Senate DFL Media