​Facility leadership must focus on the areas of change that are most manageable and most significant regarding MDS 3.0. For some, that area will be concurrent therapy. For others it may be activities of daily living (ADL) consistency or MDS accuracy.

In any case, it is vital to identify a transition team that is knowledgeable about the facility’s existing systems, willing to learn the requirements of MDS 3.0 and RUG-IV, and capable of creating the virtual road map to get there by Oct. 1, 2010.

This team should delineate responsibility for specific tasks and create a calendar with milestones and deadlines to maintain momentum and ensure progress.

Before taking the next step forward, stop and consider how the facility is addressing the following critical areas: 

  • Educating staff on both MDS 3.0 and RUG-IV;
    Updating policies and procedures to reflect new requirements;
  • Evaluating existing software applications to eliminate the possibility of system problems and confirming that software providers are ready for the transition;
  • Examining all internal data collection processes to align data collection with data reporting under MDS 3.0 for proper coding and reimbursement;
  • Realigning resources to accommodate changes related to MDS 3.0 and the impact of RUG-IV on reimbursement; and
  • Creating the teamwork necessary to accomplish this transition system-wide rather than one silo at a time.