MDS Coordinators/ RN or LPN Assessment Coordinators

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    i would like to use this thread to discuss mds tips and answer questions. please post any and all types of questions on mds's from how to ?'s to salary ?'s. i will begin by asking the the following question:

    i am getting ready for my february picture date. does anyone have any tips on how to get your case-mix up. i just want hear what other coordinators are doing to prepare.

    i cant wait to chat!!!:spin:
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    Well, my question is, are there are any MDS coordinators out there that work in Pediatrics?? I just accepted a position as RAI/MDS coordinator. While I have done MDS before, I haven't coordinated the process or done assessments on children/babies...I shall be attending the 3 day certification next week, but would LOVE any tips, direction or advise from the experts here...I'm interested in the responses to your question also, my previous job was admissions/UR nurse and I know this was a challenge for me, it felt like treading water sometimes. It helped that our LTC was tied to a acute hospital so I had the pick of the crop but the turn over was stressful at times...
    Last edit by doobie18 on Jan 20, '07
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    I personally am not familiar with MDS in the pediatric setting. I have afew questions for you. Do you use the same RAI manual that is published on CMS Website? Do you have to complete & submit MDS at regular intervals for example: Admission, then quarterly. Do pediatric residents qualify for Medicare?
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    I was just thinking of becoming a MDS/RAI Coordinator. I have also done some when I first became a nurse working on an Extended Care Unit. Who can I get in contact with to take the certification course mentioned by doobie18? Is this an organization or state by state certification process? Thanks....
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    AANAC is the national organization for assessment coordinators, most states also have local organizations. On the website they have a schedule of when the credentialing courses are being held: http://www.aanac.org/default.asp
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    Quote from MALE*RN*777
    Is this an organization or state by state certification process? Thanks....
    CMS does not endorse any form of certification or credentialing in the MDS process. Neither does any state. Some employers may require the MDS coordinator to be certified or credentialed. Primarily it is obtained as a personal preference and the convenience provided by certifying organizations in acquiring info related to the MDS, the same info which is posted on the web by CMS.

    Quote from RN 4 Life
    I personally am not familiar with MDS in the pediatric setting. I have afew questions for you. Do you use the same RAI manual that is published on CMS Website? Do you have to complete & submit MDS at regular intervals for example: Admission, then quarterly. Do pediatric residents qualify for Medicare?
    The exact same MDS and RAI instructions are used in the pediatric population. See Section P, Programs, P1A.p
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    WOW, thats interesting..that peds and geriatrics utilize the same MDS guidelines. I will view the RAI manual with a different perspective now. Well, I am looking for any added tips on how to improve case mix? Anyone have any ideas. I have a thick book of tips and I seem to have hit m ceiling...just wondering if there are any new tips I have not tried
  11. 2
    Maximizing CMI, what I would pay attention to:
    • Know the RUG rates in your state (check here for an estimate, http://www.synertx.com/2006_rate_calculator.asp#state)
    • Know the condition/s, treatments and procedures that trigger each RUG. Check hospital records whenever applicable.
    • There are only 4 ADLs that sum up the ADL score. Focus on it. Train staff well how to accurately code these areas (most common cause for incorrect RUG assignment). Look at the observation period where resident may have received more help.
    • Always check the Rehab attendance prior to setting the ARD for Rehab cases. A few added minutes can bring the RUG to the next upper level.
    • Never hesitate to use grace days, unless a combined OBRA MDS requirement restricts you.
    • Do not hesitate to change the ARD (provided youíre within allowable timeframes) when a need arises.

    For Case Mix states, the following can contribute to a better RUG score/rate in each triggered category:
    • 3 or more triggers for Cognitive Performance Scale - Impaired Cognition category
    • Presence of behavior 4x/ week, hallucinations, or delusions - Behavior
    • Presence of 3 or more symptoms in Section E Ė Clinically Complex
    • 2 or more areas of Rehab Nursing. If you donít have a program in place, start one. Most likely your staff is already providing the services but not getting credit for it because a program is not in place.

    see Chapter 6 of the RAI for a more detailed info. Create a "cheat sheet" for quick reference.

    If you provided the services, get paid for it!
    dbsue1954 and dogtherapyRN like this.
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    I also do MDS's in my facility. I am curious as to what other MDS Coordinator's are making. I recently asked for a raise and was laughed at. I make mid LPN wage and have been doing the MDS's for 5 years. Recently the Coordinator quit and I was moved into the position, not exactly by choice. I am now the only one in the facility that does them so I figured, what the hey, I'll ask for a raise. The new management doesn't understand the importance of doing the MDS's or why we even do them. She just knows there's money involved. Help.
    Last edit by Susie_Nurse on Jan 25, '07
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    Quote from Susie_Nurse
    I am now the only one in the facility that does them so I figured, what the hey, I'll ask for a raise. The new management doesn't understand the importance of doing the MDS's or why we even do them. She just knows there's money involved. Help.
    This is a predicament faced by many MDS coord. Most owners/administrators don't have a clue what the MDS process entails, how the tool facilitates compliance w/ CMS regs and how much money can be lost or gained. All these require skills and thorough knowledge of the MDS. And an MDS coordinator did not learn this skill in the nursing curriculum.

    My take --- stay! Politely ask for a raise. If denied, don't throw a tantrum. Patiently master the MDS while you're there. Join a discussion group. Network w/ other coordinators in your area. Seasoned MDS Coordinators are hard to find. Your expertise will become your biggest asset. When another facility advertises, you can demand your worth.


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