Long-Term Care

CATs versus RAPs

MDS 3.0 Insider, July 27, 2009

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The latest MDS 3.0 draft introduced the long-term care industry to Care Area Triggers (CAT), which will replace the Resident Assessment Protocols (RAP) of the MDS 2.0.
Although the RAI Users’ Manual, Version 3.0, which will contain the MDS 3.0-related changes, is not scheduled for release until October, CMS recently released an example of what Chapter 4 of the updated manual and a CAT will resemble. According to this document, CATs will serve the same purpose as RAPs – “to guide the interdisciplinary team toward a comprehensive assessment of a resident’s functional status.”

Like RAPs, CATs will be triggered by certain responses to MDS items. These triggers identify potential health and functional problems that require additional assessment. However, RAPs limit facilities’ options regarding the type of additional assessments they can perform by spelling out specific guidelines.

CATs are designed to give facilities more options when performing additional assessments. Instead of providing limited guidelines, the RAI Users’ Manual, Version 3.0, will list resources and Web sites with free clinical practice guidelines that facilities can use in performing the additional assessments for each CAT. Ultimately, CATs will help facilities move toward a resident-centered model of care by allowing them to choose the most appropriate resources for each resident and particular situation.



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