CMS to delay MDS 3.0 because of worries over system updates

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is planning to delay the implementation of Minimum Data Set 3.0 for one year because of concerns that there is not enough time to adequately prepare systems for the start date.

"Yes, we are going to delay [the start of MDS 3.0] from Oct 2009 to Oct 2010 in response to concerns from our state and other partner groups that there was not enough time to make the updates necessary to all the systems that interact with/depend upon MDS by '09," Mary Kahn, public affairs specialist with CMS, told McKnight's in an e-mail.

MDS is a tool to assess residents and Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities. MDS 3.0 will include several changes from MDS 2.0. Among them: Several sections and items will use a seven-day look-back instead of a five-day look-back. Also, a new MDS item labeling scheme will be used. In addition, the new form will be used for both nursing home and swing-bed providers.

CMS will formally announce the delay during its Open Door Forum today at 2 p.m. ET. To participate in the forum by phone, dial (800) 837-1935. The reference conference ID is 70015549.

For the latest developments about MDS 3.0, as well as discussion and Q&A with national experts, there also will be a special free McKnight's webcast at 1 p.m. ET March 26. Attendees can earn a CE unit for taking part. Free registration is now available at