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Lobbying for Quality Care at Home In MN Legislative Session

Amberg, BillBill Amberg, MA, JD is the Government Relations Counsel at PHS. In this role, he serves as liaison for local government, state congressional, and executive branch relations. He has advocated on behalf of PHS for over seven years, and played a large role in the legislative efforts in 2014.

As we near the end of this session, Bill is providing a recap of the efforts, successes and changes that occurred during the last months. If you’re interested in learning more about these efforts or finding talking points and tools to begin conversations with your legislators, email

The Minnesota Legislature took an Easter/Passover recess April 10-22, after starting the 2014 session later than normal on February 25.

Reforming Private Duty Nursing

PHS has done well with a Private Duty Nursing Service reform bill in a very short session, and was able to get provisions that would modernize definitions of the types of nursing services performed.


Another change was to update to the misleading term “private duty nursing services” to “home care nursing services” included in the House and Senate omnibus Health and Human Services policy bills. Omnibus bills are large bills that are made up of smaller bills that have passed through the committee process, and the omnibus bills are a more efficient means to move bills for votes on the House and Senate floor.

Additional Session Efforts

Many homecare organizations undertook campaigning rates for homecare workers of five percent. PHS has supported this effort, believing that nurses should be paid for what they’re doing, not where they’re doing it.  This bill includes a nursing services rate increase (you can watch the video PHS created to explain the complexity of homecare nursing roles here).

The “competitive bidding” drastic rate cut for many types of medical equipment is still not resolved, and likely will go down to the wire.  The Legislature must adjourn by May 19, according to the Minnesota Constitution.

A Day on the Hill

IMG_24111In March, the Professional Home Care Coalition (PHCC) partnered with the Minnesota Home Care Association (MHCA) for a “Day on the Hill” in which nearly a dozen PHS employees participated. PHS is a member of both associations, which work to provide better support for home health care.  The PHS team had several meetings with legislators to explain the work we do for children with medical complexities and their families.  Meeting with legislators makes a big difference in achieving our government relations goals, and legislators are very glad to hear from people and were glad to meet with us.

Before the session ends, the Legislature will need to pass a supplemental spending bill, a bonding bill, and a tax bill.  There are hundreds of smaller bills that will be considered for passage in the House and Senate.

Originally published: April 25, 2014