What does an MDS Coordinator do? Those in MDS coordinator jobs are ultimately responsible for adequately assessing nursing home residents’ needs, and coordinating personalized, resident-driven care based on those assessments.
What does MDS stand for? The MDS (Minimum Data Set) is gathered via the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) process, which assesses a resident’s behavioral, psychological, clinical, nutritional, and physical strengths and needs to create an individualized cared plan that considers the resident holistically. The MDS Coordinator, also known as a MDS Nurse, then works with nursing, PT, nutrition, etc., to ensure care plan guidelines for each resident are followed, and compliant with ethical standards and Medicare requirements.
MDS is also the key driver for Medicare payment and many Medicaid reimbursement systems, and is especially critical for long-term care providers. Care payment level categories, or Resource Utilization Groups (RUGs) are determined by MDS assessments. Small adjustments in the case mix score can result in a significant increase (or decrease) in revenue for which the facility is entitled. MDS Coordinators are responsible for setting RUG levels for each resident and ensuring the facility is getting accurate, and maximum, reimbursement.
Those in MDS Coordinator jobs must be Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) that have received on-the-job training, or completed an MDS-training program. Candidates must be familiar with MDS 3.0, and have an in-depth working knowledge of the RAI user manual and RUG categories.
Attention to detail is a must as there are dozens of RUG categories. Even small inaccuracies can result in significant reimbursement deficits.
MDS Coordinator training is extremely important and candidates must have knowledge of current state, federal, and CMS regulations, and be able to relate professionally, positively, and cooperatively with staff, residents and family members.
The mean annual salary for a MDS Coordinator can range depending on geographic location as well as size of the senior living community. On average, the annual salary can range from $46,000 - $81,000, however MDS Coordinators with advanced certifications, and/or ten years or more of experience could expect to earn a higher amount annually.
AANAC’s Resident Assessment Coordinator-Certified (RAC-CT®) certification is the distinguishing characteristic of an expert in resident assessment. AANAC’s RAC-CT program has long set the national standard for skilled nursing facility MDS education.
LeaderStat conducts certification workshops throughout the year and across the country that cover:
The Resident Assessment Coordinator—Certified (RAC-CT) education and certification program has long set the national standard for skilled nursing facility PPS and MDS 3.0 education. Constantly reviewed and updated by a team of experts, the RAC-CT program ensures your knowledge of clinical assessment and care planning, completion of the MDS, and the regulatory body surrounding the RAI/MDS process.
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