New assisted living facility rules open for comment in Minnesota


The Minnesota Department of Health has opened the official public comment period for new rules that would establish an assisted living license for senior care facilities in Minnesota.

The rules are the result of ground-breaking reform legislation passed by the Minnesota Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz in 2019 to improve the safety and quality of care in long-term care in Minnesota. Before the legislation, in Minnesota, facilities commonly thought of as assisted living operated with separate licenses for housing and services. Under the new law, each assisted living facility will have one license that combines housing with services and home care regulations.

“These changes are designed to create clarity for consumers and caregivers, and a process for ensuring high quality of housing and care for Minnesota’s seniors,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “There is more work to be done, but this is an important step. We look forward to hearing comments and moving forward with the next steps to implement new licensing requirements for our assisted living communities.”

The proposed rules for the Assisted Living Licensure are available to view. The official comment period began December 14, giving the public 30 days after that to comment on the proposed rules. The new assisted living licensure law is in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 144G. The new assisted living licensure regulations are scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2021.

The law established regulatory standards governing the provision of housing and services in assisted living facilities and assisted living facilities with dementia care to help ensure the health, safety, well-being, and appropriate treatment of residents. It also authorized the commissioner to adopt rules for all assisted living facilities that promote person-centered planning and service delivery and optimal quality of life, and that ensure resident rights are protected, resident choice is allowed, and public health and safety is ensured.

MDH assembled a Rules Advisory Committee for collaboration and input that met six times over the course of the past year. As of Monday, December 14, MDH has published a Notice of Hearing commencing the 30-day public comment period for the Assisted Living Licensure Rules.

If you are interested in viewing the proposed rules, or commenting on a proposed rule to be recorded in the public Office of Administrative Hearing process, please review the Assisted Living Licensure webpage for more information.