Federal MDS audits:This came up as a tag on a recent MDS audit.A resident was admitted to the facility. He went out to the hospital on day 5 and was DRA. We had scheduled an admission MDS but closed it due to his MLOA (only section F had been completed).He returned on day 8. We again scheduled his admission MDS but no one had completed any of it when he went out again on day 10. He returned day 14. We scheduled his adm MDS and completed it within 9 days of his return which was day 22. The federal surveyors tagged us for a late MDS. They said that even if a resident goes out to the hospital (no matter how many times) DRA, during his first 14 days in the facility, the facility must still complete the admission MDS by day 14. No place that I have ever worked does this. The RAI manual says that if a resident goes to the hospital when an MDS is due, you have 14 days upon return to complete the scheduled assessment. Which is what we did. Which is what I (and every one I know) has always done. My question to the surveyor was "what if he goes out day 2, DRA, and doesn't return until day 16? Is it reasonable to expect that the MDS would have been done by day 14???" She said that in that case they would "probably" be more lenient. Since when is MDS timing and completion based on "leniency" and not the hard and fast rules put forth by the RAI manual - the instructions for completion? I have been doing MDSes for over 2 decades and have never heard of this. I would appreciate any and all comments.