New MDS flu guidance for nursing facilities

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued new MDS coding guidance for skilled nursing facilities for the upcoming flu season.

Nursing facilities should only code the MDS for the "Seasonal Influenza Vaccine," not for the "H1N1 Influenza Vaccine," according to CMS. For H1N1 influenza, nursing facilities should follow the specific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. H1N1 information and guidance can be found at www.cdc.gov/flu.

CMS will also be hosting an Open Door Forum between 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. EST on Monday to discuss issues surrounding the H1N1 strain of influenza. Topics covered will include a general update on H1N1, vaccines and anti-virals, special populations, healthcare system surge capacity and infection control and personal protective equipment. Those wishing to participate in the forum should call (800) 837-1935 and use Conference ID 2H1N1.