MDS 3.0 to standardize pressure ulcer, depression, delirium items

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The new MDS 3.0 will include improvements to a wide variety of items, include those dealing with pressure ulcers and depression, pain and delirium, federal health officials revealed Thursday. The new tool, which will undergo a two-year phase-in, will also bring more consistency regarding look-back periods. Officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offered this information during an Open Door Forum conference call that attracted a whopping 1,465 listeners.

The new system, which represents the first update to the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement tool since 1995, is scheduled for implementation on Oct. 1, 2009, CMS officially announced. Timelines for MDS 3.0 will be posted in December, while the next major communication on the new system, which is still undergoing analysis, will take place in January.

Among other changes, the new MDS also will reflect Medicaid-related initiatives, such as home- and community-based waivers and the "money follows the person" concept, officials said.