MDS Nurses have a special superpower underestimated by many and not realized by most. They can make millions in a month for a facility or... zero dollars if the MDS (Minimum Data Set) assessments are not done.
One purpose of the MDS is reimbursement. Medicaid and/or Medicare certified skilled nursing facilities, long term care facilities and non-critical swing bed facilities are reimbursed for the care provided to their residents based on the MDS completion. If MDS assessments are not done, there is no reimbursement!
Another purpose involves quality measures. The calculation of quality measures is mostly based on answers in the MDS assessments. Some quality measures affect the overall Five STAR rating of the facilities posted in the nursing home compare website. One can guess that the public will gravitate towards a facility with a reputation of having a 4 or 5 STAR rating.
Understanding how to answer the MDS forms is crucial to achieve best results of the aforementioned purposes.
A click of a fingertip on a computer keyboard by a very meticulously accurate MDS nurse can provide the highest possible amount reimbursed to the facility and can yield the results of the STAR rating to tug at the heart of a family looking to place their loved one.
That superpower can also backfire and create chaos. Tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds, are lost if an MDS-involved staff does not know or misunderstands the MDS coding rules. Many times, the simple solution is merely getting a proper, formal update of the changes released by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
If you are an MDS-involved staff in SNFs or Long Term Care Facilities who need a full formal update, please consider the 3-day MDS 3.0 Training (only Live Stream is available at this time). All IDT members who are involved in completing portions of the MDS are welcome to join. Check out the MDS 3.0 Training page for full details.
Activate that superpower! =)