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The Minimum Data Set, MDS, assessments are highly critical, as they play a key role in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, as well as the quality of care that the facility is able to deliver to its residents. 

In order to ensure that your facility is maximizing its reimbursements, quality of care, and has all the latest MDS updates in the same place, we have sifted through tons of different MDS resources to find the best ones out there. This document is a compilation of recently updated resources, that cover everything from a general overview of MDS to specific data elements used for reporting assessment-based quality measures. 

1. MDS 3.0 Frequency Report for Q1 2021 (Updates Quarterly) – Website

The MDS 3.0 Frequency Report summarizes information for active residents currently in nursing homes. The source of these counts is the resident’s MDS assessment record.

2. MDS Quality Measures Data Set (Updated 8/1/21) – Website

This document from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) talks about measures of the quality of resident care in nursing homes that are based on the resident assessments that make up the nursing home Minimum Data Set (MDS). Each row contains a specific quality measure for specific nursing home and includes the 4-quarter score average and scores for each individual quarter.

3. 2021 National Impact Assessment of CMS Quality Measures Report (Updated 6/1/21) – PDF

This report examines data-driven results that support progress toward CMS objectives for quality measurement that addresses high-impact measure areas that safeguard public health, is meaningful to patients and providers, minimizes burden for providers, is outcome-based whenever possible, identifies significant opportunities for improvement, and supports a transition to population-based payment informed by all-payer data.

4. CMS Quality Measurement Action Plan Released (March 2021) – PDF

The purpose of this was to use impactful quality measures to improve health outcomes and deliver value by empowering patients to make informed care decisions while reducing the burden to clinicians.

5. Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Training (Updated 8/10/21) – PDF

Web-based training Courses offered by the CMS. There were 4 new ones released in May 2021, and some of them are on how to properly code Section GG.

6. MDS Coding Tips Sheet (Released June 2015) – PDF

Includes terminology and definitions from RAI Manual Section J, P, State Operations Manual, and Appendix PP. For more details on a specific coding category please refer to the RAI Manual.

7. SNF Quality Reporting Program FAQs (Released February 2021) – PDF

This document is a plethora of useful information on MDS in SNF. If an LTC leader or employee has a specific question, they could refer to this. It can also act as a great overview to understand what MDS actually is because it also includes basic questions.

8. Long Term Care Survey Process Procedure Guide (Effective 2/6/2021) – PDF

Includes off-site prep, facility entrance, initial pool process, sample selection, investigation, ongoing and other survey activities, and potential citations.

9. SNF Prospective Payment Legislative History (Updated 01/26/21) – PDF

Historically, each rule or update notice issued under the annual SNF PPS rulemaking cycle included a detailed reiteration of the various individual legislative provisions that have affected it over the years, a number of which represented temporary measures that have long since expired. This document now serves to provide that discussion. 

10. Guide for Nursing Home 5-Star Quality Rating System (Effective January 2021) – PDF

This technical users’ guide is an excellent overview of the quality rating system and includes health inspection, staff, and quality measure rating changes.

11. SNF Quick Reference Guide for the Quality Reporting Program (Released 1/19/21) – PDF

Includes FAQs with both basic and advanced questions and is a great resource to turn to for help with any questions relating to the QRP.

12. Understanding MDS 3.0 Quality Measures (Released May 2020) – PDF

This manual is designed to assist you in identifying how a resident will “trigger” a quality measure based on quality measure specifications and the coding of the MDS 3.0 Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI).

13. Data Elements used for Reporting Assessment-Based Quality Measures (Updated 7/2021) – PDF

This document contains Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) and has the overview of data elements used for reporting assessment-based quality measures affecting FY 2022 annual payment update (APU) determination.