CMS Provides Additional information on MDS-Focus Surveys

Karen Morris and Nancy Leveille in Clinical & Quality

On October 31, CMS issued a Survey & Certification memorandum that provides additional information about the expansion of MDS Focused Surveys.  The opening summary of the memorandum states:

MDS / Staffing Focused Surveys:  
In mid-2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) piloted a short-term focused survey to assess Minimum Data Set, Version 3.0 (MDS 3.0) coding practices and its relationship to resident care in nursing homes in five states.  CMS will expand these surveys in 2015 to be conducted nationwide.

Reported Staffing:  The scope of some or all of the focused surveys will also be expanded to include an assessment of the staffing levels of nursing facilities.  This assessment will aim to verify the data self-reported by the nursing home, and identify changes in staffing levels throughout the year.

You will note that the memo states that surveyors will receive training to prepare them for this “specialized survey.”  AHCA has asked CMS if this training will be available to providers and they have told us repeatedly that there is nothing “new” that providers will be expected to do:  what is being reviewed is consistent with current requirements of participation.

Additionally, it is important to note the paragraph entitled:  Enforcement Implications.

CMS is compiling a summary of the pilot surveys.  We will send out information on those outcomes as soon as it is available.


Karen Morris, RN, MS
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Sr. Director, Member Operational Support
518-462-4800 x20