Information about Starting a Home Care Agency in Minnesota
As of August 1, 2022, providers holding a valid license from a health-related licensing board (HLB) who has also undergone a background check under Minn. Statutes 214.075, shall not have a background study completed by the commissioner of human services (a NETStudy 2.0 background study).
MDH has created a document to address questions from providers and organizations about these changes, which you can find here: Background Studies for HLB-Licensed Providers FAQ (PDF)
Home Care Licensure
Minnesota laws require individuals and agencies that offer home care services be licensed. Home care services may not be offered nor provided without a valid license (unless the provider is exempted or excluded from licensure as addressed below). Information about licensure is provided on this website. MDH encourages parties interested in becoming licensed to review all sections of the Home Care website to become familiar with the requirements of licensure.
Applicants and licensed providers must understand Minnesota home care laws. The home care laws can be accessed for free electronically and may also be purchased as a bound book or a digital (PDF) file.
Home Care Laws
Minnesota has two types of home care licenses. The license a home care provider holds depends on the types of services offered. Download the following documents to see the services that are allowed under the basic and comprehensive home care licenses.
To be eligible for a home care license, applicants must have agency-specific policies and procedures in place that address all requirements of Minnesota home care statutes. Review information about MDH’s expectations for policies and procedures, as well as other important and helpful information at these links:
All owners, managerial officials, and the named RN or licensed health professional on home care license applications must complete and pass background studies prior to the issuance of a home care license.
What is the typical processing time for a temporary home care license?
The time it takes to obtain a license is dependent upon how complete an application is when received by MDH. In addition to the application and the fee, there are many documents that are required to make a complete application. Review the application closely, including the checklist, to be sure you are providing all materials. Home care laws require that MDH review each application to determine the applicant’s knowledge of and compliance with Minnesota home care regulations. We may request additional information or a telephone or in-person meeting with applicants to make this assessment. Once an application is deemed complete MDH has 60 days to issue or deny the temporary license.
Licensed home care providers may apply to become Medicare certified home health agencies (HHAs) after being found in substantial compliance with the initial full survey and receiving a comprehensive home care license. Temporary licensees are not eligible for Medicare certification, nor are basic licensees.
Refer to Federal Certification Process for Home Health Agencies on the MDH website for more information.
Integrated License: Home and Community-Based Services Designation
Some providers of home care services may choose to hold an integrated license: home and community-based services (HCBS) designation on their home care license. This designation allows the licensee to provide basic support services as identified under Minnesota Statutes, section 245D.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (b). For more information, review the following documents:
Home Management Registration
Home management services are different from home care services. Home management includes only these three services:
- Meal preparation
If an individual or an agency is providing at least two of those services to a person who is unable to perform these activities due to illness, disability, or physical condition, these providers must be registered with the Minnesota Department of Health. In addition, they must comply with the provisions of the home care bill of rights, and they must attend an orientation session that provides training on the home care bill of rights and on the aging process and the needs and concerns of elderly and disabled persons.
Who is excluded or exempt from home care licensure?
Some types of providers are not required to hold a home care license to provide home care services. Those which are exempted from home care licensure are regulated by other laws and/or licensed under separate licensing bodies. Those which are excluded are either not providing direct home care services or otherwise meet the specific conditions as outlined in statute for exclusion.
Review Minnesota Statutes, section 144A.471 to see who must hold a home care license. Information about exempt and excluded providers can be found in subdivisions 8 and 9 of this statute.
Exempt providers must comply with the applicable provisions of the home care bill of rights in section144A.44. Excluded individuals and businesses are not required to provide the home care bill of rights.
For More Information
Individuals and businesses interested in starting a home care agency are encouraged to review all sections of the Home Care website, including the FAQs for Consumers/Families/Caregivers and the FAQs for Current Providers before submitting an application.
If you have questions call 651-201-4200 or submit an inquiry via the contact us button at the right.