The Minimum Data Set (MDS) is part of the federally mandated process for clinical assessment of all residents in Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes. This process provides a comprehensive assessment of each resident's functional capabilities and helps nursing home staff identify health problems. Care Area Assessments (CAAs) are part of this process, and provide the foundation upon which a resident's individual care plan is formulated. MDS assessments are completed for all residents in certified nursing homes, regardless of source of payment for the individual resident.
Nursing homes and non-critical access hospitals with swing bed agreements must participate in this process. Participants in the assessment process are health care professionals and direct care staff such as Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses, Therapists, Social Services, Activities and Dietary staff employed by the nursing home.
MDS assessments are required for residents on admission to the nursing facility, quarterly (at least once every three months), annually (at least once every 12 months), periodically (significant changes in patient's condition), and on discharge. The MDS must be completed within 14 days.
MDS information is transmitted electronically by nursing homes to the national MDS database at CMS via the Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES).
Note: Beginning in 2020, iQIES will replace and consolidate functionality from the QIES, CASPER and ASPEN legacy systems.
Potential loss of CMS reimbursement for not reporting. Affects star rating on Nursing Home Compare.
On September 18, 2014, Congress passed the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act). The IMPACT Act requires the submission of standardized data by Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Home Health Agencies (HHAs) and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs). The IMPACT Act establishes a quality reporting program (QRP) for SNFs.
Sections of MDS (Minimum Data Set):