The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services surprised providers at the end of 2019 when they presented a first draft of the 2020 MDS item sets. 

Notable by its absence was Section G, which has been eliminated “from all Federal item sets.”

Section G is used to calculate quality measures, including those related to function (short-stay function) and Percent of Residents Whose Ability to Move Independently Worsened (long-stay).

Section GG, which was enacted Oct. 1 with the onset of the Patient Driven Payment Model, is used only for Medicare Part A.

Providers were studying the proposal at press time and expecting many more changes before a final set becomes effective Oct. 1.

The pertinent new CMS files can be found in the Downloads section of the MDS 3.0 Technical Information webpage. 

The American Health Care Association was evaluating the draft and its potential effects, including “changes that may impact many state Medicaid systems that utilize MDS assessments to determine RUG-based case-mix payment rates.”