Nursing Home Regulatory Fiasco – PART I

by Tom aka Rusty


Nursing homes are subject to a two part interactive regulatory system (plus several others) used to calculate certain reimbursement levels.

The Minimum Data Set 2.0 (MDS) is a clinical reporting system that is supposed to improve care by having nurses do more paperwork (more on this in Part II).

Resource Utilization Groups III categorizes residents into 44 acuity groups. The two systems interact to calculate facility acuity levels (very oversimplified explanation).

On October 1, 2010 MDS 3.0 and RUGs IV are supposed to be put into place. Problem is, MDS 3.0 is ready for roll out, but RUGs IV is not. If no solution is found soon, the feds will have to rig some sort of half-assed patch to keep the system working. RUGs IV should be done in another year.

The feds now face writing tens of thousands of pages of regulations to implement Obamacare, yet cannot finish work started with several years of lead time. Ugly, very ugly.

Rdan: The major question is: Does Rusty still have any hair left?