MDS memo clarifies transition to new therapy, nutritional status items

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$1.3 million settlement marks second recent deal over SNF supervision of therapy providers
$1.3 million settlement marks second recent deal over SNF supervision of therapy providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a memorandum clarifying transition policies for new Minimum Data Set items related to swallowing and nutritional status, as well as therapy.

The MDS 3.0 policy changes will take effect Oct. 1. These changes include the addition of distinct calendar days of therapy and co-treatment minutes. The memo explains how providers should code and bill for all therapy disciplines as these changes are implemented. For example, a transition RUG will be involved for assessments with an assessment reference date between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13.

Under the MDS changes, providers also must code the proportion of total calories a resident receives through parenteral or tube feeding and the average daily fluid intake by IV or tube feeding. The memo explains how transition RUGs will work for these new items. 

CMS is expected to release an updated RAI manual soon, although officials on a recent Open Door Forum call could not provide an exact date.

Click here to access the transition policies memo, issued Friday.