THE MDS Career

Many nurses are not familiar with the activities of those who follow this career in Skilled Nursing Facilities. There are many opportunities open to those who are interested for both RN’s and LPN’s in this administrative position.

To fully understand the responsibilities of an MDS nurse, it is Important to realize that the source of almost all income for SNF facilities is Federal Government funds. These funds are dispensed as payments for Medicare and Medicaid services.

Since 1999 the Federal Government established a system of control to disburse these funds based on evaluation of needs/services for each resident. The responsibility to complete the assessment for the resident is assigned to be done by a qualified nurse.

The MDS (Minimum Data Set) assessment consists of a thorough review of all the needs for each new resident admitted to the SNF facility. This review involves research into medical, hospital, social, dietary, family records, etc.

As a coordinator, the MDS nurse collaborates with other department heads – therapy, dietary, social, activities to gather all pertinent data. Regular meetings are scheduled with the resident’s family to establish and maintain an adequate level of care.

As this thorough assessment is completed, it insures that the residents receive the maximum level of care for which they are entitled. There are 66 RUG scores (level of service rendered) and a schedule of payment is determined for each score ranging from basic of about $130/day to about $600/day for highest level of service. This is how the SNF facility is compensated.

The condition of the resident is constantly changing and to insure accurate review, the PPS(prospective payment system) requires medicare assessments to be completed on a 5 – 14 – 30- 60 – 90 day schedule. Medicaid assessments are completed initially and reviewed quarterly or as required.

The key and control of the MDS nurse is maintained by the timely transmittal of assessments (inbatches) to the State. They are mandated to disburse the Federal Medicare and Medicaid funds to the SNF facility. It is important to realize here that the SNF facility will not be paid if there is no MDS nurse to complete and transmit the assessments.

As a career, the MDS nurse holds a key management role. The skills of the MDS nurse insure that their facility receives the maximum level of income. Untrained nurses is this position often result in substantial sums of money being lost and unclaimed.

The work schedule is usually based on a Monday to Friday daytime schedule to be available and interact with other disciplines. Usually, there are two MDS nurses in a facility (average 120 beds). One lead experienced MDS nurse to cover the intense and repetitive Medicare assessments and another one to assist with Medicare and also complete the Medicaid longtime assessments.

Here at National Resident Assessment Institute we train and certify nurses in the MDS process. We web broadcast with an excellent hands-on work shop approach to qualify you for this work.

We have captured the entire seminar and it is available as an internet broad-cast seminar. We have certified nurses in every state and you have a full month to complete the certification course.

Both RN’s and LPN’s/LVN’s are very active in this position. The MDS assessment must be signed by an RN for completion only. Where LPN’s are holding this position, the DON usually signs the Assessments each morning at the stand up meeting.

We sincerely hope this information will give you a clear understanding of the MDS nurse position. You may review with our SNF search engine for location in your area.

N B: The Institute is not a placement or employment agency. We train and certify nurses for this position. Opportunities are constantly available throughout the USA at over 16000 established SNF facilities.

Serving The Nursing Home Industry