Regulators: New releases for MDS 3.0 expected next week, rollout on schedule

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The next milepost for sweeping changes in the Minimum Data Set should come next week, when Chapters 2 and 4 and an appendix of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) manual are published. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will alert providers with an advance notice, said the agency's Tom Dudley at Thursday's SNF Open Door Forum conference call.

Dudley also said that highly anticipated “train the trainer” sessions for MDS 3.0 will take place in Baltimore March 15-19 (for states' RAI coordinators, Medicaid directors and survey directors) and April 13-15 (for anyone else who will train trainers, and the public). Invitations have already been sent, ne noted.

It is after these meetings that intensive training of providers and others is expected to take place throughout the states. Dudley said video and print files of the Baltimore conferences will be made available shortly after the second one takes place.

CMS officials also clarified that preparation for the Oct. 1 rollout will continue as planned, despite the recent news of a Senate reform bill provision that would postpone new resource utilization group (RUG) rates until 2011. Only if legislation would be passed would regulators contemplate delaying the rollout, they told the nearly 500 forum listeners.