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Significant Changes in CMS' MDS 3.0 Draft

MacKenzie Kimball, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2009

An updated version of the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 Draft Item Set appeared on CMS' Web site May 7 and an initial analysis revealed significant changes from the previous draft.

Some key changes featured in the updated MDS 3.0 draft include:

  • The MDS 2.0 two-column coding format for activities of daily living self-performance and support provided, which was omitted from the previous draft, is included in the updated version.
  • The updated MDS 3.0 draft requires the start and end dates of therapy to be recorded. This allows an Other Medicare Required Assessment (OMRA) to be completed closer to the start or end date of therapy services, adjusting the resource utilization group category so the payment rate is more accurate.
  • The requirement that the Brief Interview for Mental Status, Resident Mood Interview (PHQ-9), Interview for Daily Preference, Interview for Activity Preference, and Pain Assessment Interview be conducted the day before, day of, or day after the assessment reference date is omitted from the updated MDS 3.0 draft.
  • The look back period for active diseases was reduced from 30 days to 7 days.
  • The updated MDS 3.0 draft clearly states the reverse staging of pressure ulcers should not be used.
  • Section N, Medication, of the updated MDS 3.0 draft includes a section for insulin.
  • The updated MDS 3.0 draft includes a section for the Care Area Trigger (CAT) Summary (Section V). CATs will replace Resident Assessment Protocols (RAP) as the new tools for organizing MDS information about a resident's health problems and functional status.

CMS plans to release the final MDS 3.0 in October of this year and implement the new assessment system on October 1, 2010. Although items may be added, revised, or dropped before the final MDS 3.0 is released, the updated MDS 3.0 draft gives providers a good indication of what the final version will include.

To view the updates MDS 3.0 Draft Item Set, visit the Resources page on MDSCentral.


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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