New home care rule intensifies Minnesota's caregiver shortage Gov. Dayton is seeking $58 million to help cover costs and alleviate the worker shortage.
A new federal labor rule that was heralded as a victory for home health workers has aggravated a severe shortage of caregivers, disrupting care for hundreds of Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents.
Many agencies that employ home care workers say they are cutting hours and rescheduling employees to avoid paying overtime and travel costs, which are now mandated under a federal rule that took effect late last year.
The cuts have forced vulnerable adults to scramble to find new caregivers at a time when they are in short supply. Unable to fill empty shifts, some people with disabilities report difficulty getting help with basic tasks, from bathing and dressing to being transferred from a wheelchair.
Now, after disability advocates and home care workers raised the alarm, Gov. Mark Dayton is asking the Legislature for relief. Dayton is seeking $58 million in new funding through 2019 to help pay for overtime and travel costs for roughly 25,000 home care workers who provide services through the state’s Medicaid program. If the funding is approved, Minnesota would join a handful of other states — including California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington — that have moved to help agencies comply with the costs of the new labor rule.