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F-Tags in Review: Resident Assessments-Are You Setting Yourself up for a Deficiency?

February 24, 2020
Healthcare Consulting By Cathy Benfer, Manager Recruitment Services

The resident assessment is a key part of not only compliance in skilled nursing facilities, but also an important piece that is required to develop a resident-centered plan of care for every resident. As many facilities are already aware, in 2019, the resident assessment changed several times and took on many different formats. From changes in the Minimum Data Set (MDS), to the initiation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), it seems as though education and updating this process was never ending in 2019 and continues to be evolving in 2020. 




Deficiencies in the resident assessment process were numerous in 2019 across the country. The regulations involving the resident assessment (F-Tag 635 – F-Tag 646) were cited a total of 339 times in 2019 across all states. Of that total number, F-Tag 640 Encoding /Transmitting Resident Assessment was cited 109 times. F-Tag 637 Comprehensive Assessment After Significant Change and F-Tag 644 Coordination of PASARR and Assessments were each cited 83 times. Additionally, F-Tag 646 MD/ID Significant Change Notification was cited 33 times.

If you had MDS citations in your 2019 surveys, here are some questions to ask about your education and policy implementation approaches:

  • Does your facility have a documented policy on the process of MDS data collection and submission? Is your MDS team following that process?
  • How does your clinical team identify a significant change in a resident? Is the MDS team a part of that process? 
  • Does your MDS team understand the parameters of how and when to submit MDS’s? Has each member of the team been trained in the MDS changes and the submission schedule as well as PDPM implementation?
  • Does your MDS team have availability to interact with your physicians when a significant change occurs with a resident?
  • Do your physicians understand the importance of how MDS completion and submission impact the revenue of your facility?

If you have questions about the MDS process, LW Consulting Inc. is an expert resource to assist you in education about MDS’s, PDPM and resident assessments.


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