Ask the care expert

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Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
I am a charge nurse at a skilled care facility and assist with the MDS. I overheard our DON talking about a “CARE tool.” Can you give me some information on this?

On July 27, 2007, a notice was published in the Federal Register outlining the Continuity and Assessment Record and Evaluation (CARE) that collects data using a uniform patient assessment instrument for the Post Acute Care Demonstration (PAC) mandated by section 5008 of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005.

The instrument is designed to measure differences in patient severity, resource utilization and outcomes for patients in acute and post-acute care settings.

The goal of the PAC-CARE project is to create a standard uniform data collection set in post-acute care settings that is currently dependent on the setting – for example, Minimum Data Set (MDS) for nursing homes, and Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) for Home Health Compare. The CARE tool could potentially replace both and include elements of each. 

The final report to Congress on this demonstration is due in 2011. Until then, all other data collection systems will continue operating as planned. 

While PAC-CARE demonstration is going on, MDS 3.0 is being developed and is going to be implemented, although the date of its implementation has not been set. Once implemented, it will coexist with the CARE tool. After the report to Congress in 2011, a decision will be made whether or not to continue using the CARE tool in place of MDS or continue using MDS.

To download the CARE tool available for public comment, visit: http://www.
cms.hhs.gov/home/regsguidance.asp and perform a search for CMS-10243.

For more information on MDS 3.0 please visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/. 
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