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Walz directs additional funds to nursing homes, service providers amid staffing crisis

If federal officials sign off on the expedited payments, the facilities could seen tens of millions of dollars aimed at helping them retain workers.

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ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, Jan. 11, announced that the state would speed up funding directed to nursing homes and direct care services for people with disabilities.

The move to expedite Medicaid funding for the settings and services that provide care to Minnesotans with disabilities came as the state reported a surge in cases of the omicron variant. The illness caused widespread staffing shortages that left Minnesotans with disabilities and their families with limited options in terms of care.

If the federal government signs off on the move, the state Department of Human Services could send out $83 million to help providers to keep their staff in place. Walz said nursing homes were also set to get a temporary 5% boost on average in their state payment rates.

The increase is expected to give the facilities a $52 million infusion right away. Leaders at DHS said they were also working on longer-term increases to the state's Medicaid rates.

“Our actions today will provide urgent resources to critically understaffed nursing facilities and services for people with disabilities across the state," Walz said in a news release.

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