The MDS Expert Blog

Read on for insights from our expert staff and our commentary in the press.

Mind Your PHQs

July 27, 2020

Some skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are concerned about accurate payment when a resident unexpectedly discharges and the Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) has not yet been completed. However, they should be just as concerned about the PHQ-9. The PHQ-9 identifies depressive symptoms to be captured on the MDS. The interview follows the same basic…

Read More

Medicaid Changes Coming in October 2020

July 22, 2020

In late June, CMS addressed two issues and posted MDS 3.0 Final Item Sets (V1.17.2).  The two edits were changes to facilitate the calculation of Patient-Driven Payment Model payment codes on OBRA assessments for states that wish to have this calculation performed.  These two edits will be revised and go into production on October 1,…

Read More

Section GG: Assessing Usual Performance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

July 8, 2020

By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer – July 07, 2020 Full article available to Members at https://www.aanac.org/ The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) makes clear in the title of MDS section GG (Usual Performance and Goals) that the assessment subitems in items GG0130 (Self-Care) and GG0170 (Mobility) are designed to capture a resident’s usual ability or…

Read More

Isolation and COVID

June 1, 2020

When the President and HHS Secretary declared a national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they triggered section 1135 of the Social Security Act.  Section 1135 allows the Secretary to temporarily waive or modify certain Medicare and Medicaid requirements to ensure sufficient health care for enrollees. Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) were issued multiple…

Read More

Section 1135 Waivers

May 18, 2020

When the President and HHS Secretary declared a national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they triggered section 1135 of the Social Security Act.  Section 1135 allows the Secretary to temporarily waive or modify certain Medicare and Medicaid requirements to ensure sufficient health care for enrollees. Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) were issued multiple…

Read More

Summary of The Proposed PPS Final Rule

April 13, 2020

Every April a Proposed PPS Final Rule is put forth by CMS. The proposed rule this year (2020) would update the SNF prospective payment rates for fiscal year (FY)2021 as required under the Social Security Act. CMS recognizes that the entire healthcare system is focused on responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. As a…

Read More

MDS in the Emergency Preparedness Plan

March 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for skilled nursing facilities to have an effective Emergency Preparedness Plan – one that includes sheltering-in-place. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Final Rule requires that participating providers have an active Emergency Preparedness Plan. With reimbursement payments, accreditation status, and liability exposures all on the line, long-term care…

Read More
Covid-19-CDC-Public-Domain-Image

COVID-19 Resources

March 20, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) Tools In this difficult time, MDS Consultants is here for you with reimbursement guidance and can help with MDS completions when needed. Our team keeps an up-to-date list of links and resources at https://mds-consultants.com/helpful-cms-info/  COVID-19 (coronavirus) Updates Novel Coronavirus 2019, or COVID-19, is causing a crisis in our healthcare system. Do not let…

Read More

What Is an MDS Coordinator?

January 22, 2020

It’s a bit odd that when asked what you do for a living most MDS coordinators struggle to come up with an answer. Who struggles to explain what they do every day? The reality is that MDS coordinators fully understand what this multifaceted job entails but are at a loss how to put it into…

Read More

Staffing in the World of PDPM

October 7, 2019

The Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) is here, and even well-prepared organizations are uncertain about precisely what the future will hold for this new system of reimbursement for nursing home care. To gain some insights on staffing in the world of PDPM, InFront talked to Melanie Tribe-Scott and Gloria Brent from MDS Consultants during last…

Read More

7 Baseline Care Plan Myths

January 24, 2019

By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer Excerpted from: https://www.aanac.org/Information/LTC-Leader-Newsletter/post/7-baseline-care-plan-myths/2018-01-24 Baseline care plans have been required since late November 2017, but nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) and other interdisciplinary team (IDT) members are still navigating through a lot of misinformation to learn the rules of the road for F655 (Baseline Care Plans) as detailed in Appendix PP of…

Read More

QAPI Resources

March 29, 2017

We’ve compiled a list of helpful QAPI resources from CMS as well as other organizations and experts. CMS Regulations & News Nursing Home Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) QAPI News Brief – Volume 1 QAPI News Brief – Volume 2 SNF Quality Reporting Program (IMPACT Act of 2014) Nursing Home Quality Initiative Patient Protection…

Read More

It’s QAPI Time!

March 29, 2017

QAPI will soon be in the spotlight.  All skilled nursing facilities, by November 28 of this year, must have their QAPI plan ready to provide to the Annual Survey.  For those who don’t have their plan in place, here is a quick QAPI primer.   What Is QAPI? QAPI stands for Quality Assurance / Performance Improvement. …

Read More

How Much Staff Do I Need for MDS?

January 5, 2017

We all know that a lot of time, energy and effort go into completing an MDS.  But how many hours should you really be spending?   Factors to Consider in Calculating MDS Staffing Time What is your average LTC census per year? What is your average Rehab Census per year? What is your average LOS…

Read More

Determining Nurse Aide Staffing Requirements

November 1, 2016

CONCLUSIONS: The average nurse aide staffing levels reported by NHs falls below the level of staffing predicted as necessary to provide consistent ADL care to all residents in need. DES methodology can be used to determine nurse aide staffing requirements to provide ADL care and simulate management interventions to improve care efficiency and quality. ABSTRACT:…

Read More

One section at a time

September 5, 2016

When it comes to the Minimum Data Set, accuracy can be the defining factor in whether a facility keeps its doors open, thrives or ends up facing federal indictment. Whether providers are looking to ensure they can afford to provide the proper care their residents need or to maintain a five-star quality rating, the information…

Read More

Another way to capture ADLs

November 18, 2014

The conventional wisdom for improving Activities for Daily Living is to educate and re-educate and then educate again. This is important, but I look at ADL capture as a process that requires audits and examining systems. Every process has gaps that can be narrowed or even closed. Usually 80% of ADL capturing problems are caused…

Read More

Success without silos

September 1, 2014

While this autumn won’t bring nearly as many MDS changes as last year, documentation and coding due-diligence remains crucial. And despite coordinators’ knowledge and leadership role in the MDS process, they shouldn’t be shouldering the responsibility alone, experts say. “Any discipline that contributes to the MDS should understand the ‘tell me more’ about the MDS…

Read More