Long-Term Care

CMS clarifies the use of dashes on the MDS

PPS Alert for Long-Term Care, August 1, 2011

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Members of the interdisciplinary team have struggled to determine when to use dashes on the MDS 3.0 since its October 1, 2010, implementation. Fortunately, CMS released a document in June outlining the appropriate use of dashes and explaining the potentially negative impact of inappropriate dash usage.

According to this memo, titled Use of Dashes in Completing the MDS 3.0 Assessment: Potential Impact to Beneficiaries and Nursing Home Facilities, CMS' "initial analysis of the first five months of MDS 3.0 data for the discharge assessment shows a large percentage of dashes (up to 40%), especially for quality measure items, such as pain and pressure ulcers."

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