MDS 3.0 accuracy needs attention, expert says

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Surveyors scrutinizing database accuracy is “very new and very problematic” for facilities that may have inaccuracies, a leading payment expert said during a McKnight's Super Tuesday webinar.

“[Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] believes there are a lot of inaccurate databases and they haven't been identified,” Leah Klusch, the executive director of the Alliance Training Center, said. Surveyors were trained to review MDS 3.0 accuracy earlier this year, and MDS surveys are currently being conducted in some states along with regular annual surveys, Klusch said.

Klusch's main suggestion to administrators was to make sure their data adheres to four important guidelines: comprehensive, accurate, standardized and reproducible.

Other data collection tips outlined by Klusch during the webinar include:

  • Have a person on staff who is an expert on Chapter 2 of the RAI manual
  • Have an updated copy of the RAI manual on site, and making copies for new hires who may not be aware of the MDS process
  • Conduct an “honest assessment” of the current data collection process
  • Avoid common coding mistakes like scores for BIMs, ADL scores, levels of pain and specific treatments
  • Don't let software auto fill Section Z
  • Document all six admission interviews, including the BIM, mood, preferences, rehab potential, pain and residents plan for discharge interviews

Klusch advised facilities to look at the “big picture” when tackling MDS 3.0 accuracy. Providers should make sure Section V 200b2, on care assessment, is completed correctly, and complete a formal care plan after the care plan meeting.

“The guidelines and the probes are very, very important, and now that we're having this very specific review we want to make sure that all of the members of our team are aware of what the regulations say,” Klusch said. “Please don't let some surveyors surprise you with those changes.”

An archived version of the webinar can be viewed here.