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Q: When I choose day 30 for my 30-day MDS or day 60 for my 60-day MDS, a statement comes up on my computer that says I am not within the allowed assessment reference date (ARD) timespan. I'm using the day that the MDS should be completed. How can this be?

Julia's PPS Chat, June 8, 2005

Welcome again to our PPS chat!

By now you probably feel confident in your ability to set the assessment reference date (ARD). What do you do when your computer tells you that you might not be right?

Read on to find out the answer-

Q: When I choose day 30 for my 30-day MDS or day 60 for my 60-day MDS, a statement comes up on my computer that says I am not within the allowed assessment reference date (ARD) timespan.

I'm using the day that the MDS should be completed. How can this be?

A:Your question pertains to a slightly confusing aspect of the PPS timeline. The common MDS titles of 30-, 60-, and 90-day assessments do not reflect the actual ARDs that you can choose without using grace days. The software is questioning your choice of ARD because you are using one grace day if you choose day 30, day 60, or day 90.

Let's review the ARD spans for the 30-, 60-, and 90-day PPS MDSs. Even though an MDS is referred to as the 30-day MDS, the assessment references dates that you can use for this assessment are days 21-29. Choosing day 30 would mean that you are using one grace day.

The allowable grace days for this MDS are days 30-34. This same principle applies to both the 60-day and 90-day assessments. Your 60-day MDS can have an ARD from days 50-59, or days 60-64 if you choose to use grace days. The 90-day assessment ARD span is days 80-89, or days 90-94 with grace days.

Remember that when you choose your ARD, you set the final day of your observation period. All of the responses on the MDS assess the resident using the MDS-indicated time period that ends with the ARD.

If you complete the MDS after the ARD, do not code any observations that occurred after the ARD and before your completion date.

So you might want to verify that you did choose the correct date. Follow the above guidelines, and you should be on your way to setting the best possible ARD.

Until we chat again about coding depression on the MDS-