CMS to Remove Section G from Minimum Data Set in Fiscal 2021

The federal government in late December released draft updates to a key set of paperwork for nursing home staff, revealing a potential change ahead for 2020 and beyond.

The Minimum Data Set (MDS) will no longer include Section G, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in late December.

“Please note that Section G has been removed from all Federal item sets,” CMS noted in its post announcing the changes.

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Should the draft version become final, Section G would become extinct at the start of the coming federal fiscal year on October 1.

MDS coding — and the staff members in charge of ensuring its accuracy — has taken on renewed significance as the industry shifts to the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) for Medicare reimbursements.

In particular, operators and consultants have placed a specific focus on Section GG.

“For GG, you need to ensure accuracy in accordance with CMS because you will be audited, as it’s part of reimbursement,” Susan Krall, vice president of strategic partnerships at the Dallas-based Quality Rehab Management (QRM), told SNN in November. “The mission is for CNAs and bedside caregivers to know what the goals of the patients are now more than previously. Right away this goal shifted, even though GG has been around since October of 2016.”

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