Long-Term Care

How should I code Zinc and other supplements on the MDS?

MDS 3.0 Insider, May 31, 2010

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Q: How should Zinc, and other supplements from health food stores, be coded on the MDS? We have a resident who takes about 8 different ones that the family brings in. Would they be considered medications or supplements?

A: On Page 3-177 of the RAI User’s Manual it states that “Herbal and alternative medicine products are considered to be dietary supplements by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). They are not regulated by the FDA (e.g., they are not reviewed for safety and effectiveness like medications) and their composition is not standardized (e.g., the composition varies among manufacturers). Therefore, they should not be counted in this item. These substances may be coded at the MDS Item K5f provided they meet the definition of dietary supplement for this Item.” More information on dietary supplements identified by the FDA can be found at the following website: http://health.nih.gov/. Vitamins are considered medications however other products may be considered supplements.



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