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CMS Plans MDS 3.0 Training for Skilled Nursing Facilities

MacKenzie Kimball, for HealthLeaders Media, December 23, 2009

During the recent skilled nursing facility (SNF) Open Door Forum, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) eased some providers' concerns about preparing for the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 by announcing a variety of training opportunities that will take place over the next year.

CMS released chapters 1, 3, and 5, and appendices A through H of the new Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) User's Manual for the MDS 3.0 on November 24 and plans to release the remaining sections of the RAI User's Manual (chapters 2, 4, 5, and 6, and Appendix C) sometime this month. According to CMS officials, the agency is still on schedule for the October 1, 2010 implementation of the new resident assessment tool.

"Nothing has changed in regards to the training schedule; we are still on target and working hard on pulling together pieces of the training opportunities we are providing," said Christina Stillwell-Deaner, RN, MPH, PHP, a CMS representative.

The MDS 3.0 training opportunities announced during the call are as follows:

  • A satellite broadcast series of MDS 3.0 training, which will be available through the CMS digital network and as Webcasts on the surveyor training Web site. These training sessions are scheduled as follows: May/June 2010 – How to code the MDS 3.0; and June/July 2010 – Impact on LTC survey processes and payment system.

  • Two train-the-trainer conferences will take place in Baltimore, MD: March 15-19: This conference is specifically for state agency RAI coordinators, long-term care surveyors, and state Medicaid agency representatives; and April 13-15: This conference is specifically for nursing home providers and stakeholder and professional groups and associations.

  • A series of MDS 3.0 training teleconferences for vendors. The first will take place on January 14, 2010 at 2 p.m. eastern. A notice containing the details of this teleconference will be sent to the vendor community within the next week.

  • Web-based training in the summer of 2010.

  • A nursing home distance-based training opportunity, possibly in the form of a Webinar or ODF, to allow providers to hear about the MDS 3.0 directly from CMS. No date has been set for this training opportunity yet, but CMS is looking at the spring or summer of 2010.

MacKenzie Kimball is an associate editor in the long-term care market at HCPro. She writes PPS Alert for Long-term Care and manages MDSCentral.

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