**SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN: CMS to delay MDS 3.0 implementation until 2010**

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Enactment of the much-anticipated Minimum Data Set 3.0 has been pushed back to Oct. 1, 2010, McKnight's has learned. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is expected to officially announce the one-year delay Thursday during its Skilled Nursing Facilities/Long-Term Care Open Door Forum at 2 p.m. EST.
The MDS tool is used to assess residents and Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities. When implemented, MDS 3.0 will be used as a way to introduce advances in assessment measures, increase the clinical relevance of items, improve the tool's accuracy and validity, and give residents a greater voice in their assessments, according to CMS. The government also indicated it wanted to shorten the tool while maintaining the ability to use MDS data for quality indicators, quality measures, and payments.
McKnight's will offer a Webcast on the future of MDS 3.0 during a March 25 webcast. Free registration for the event is available at www.mcknights.com/expo.

To participate in Thursday's CMS Open Door Forum by phone, dial (800) 837-1935. The Reference Conference ID is 70015549.