What Are the Duties of an MDS Coordinator?

Minimum data set (MDS) coordinators continuously monitor, evaluate, and manage the care given to residents. Read on to learn more about the education requirements and job duties associated with this field. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Tasks and Responsibilities

MDS coordinators, also known as resident assessment coordinators and nurse assessment coordinators, assess and evaluate the quality of emotional, mental, and physical care being given to long-term care residents. You will perform the initial interview and assess new residents. From this assessment and evaluation, you will develop a care plan that has long-term and short-term goals for improvement. You will also conduct meetings with the multidisciplinary treatment team, caretakers, and families to discuss these goals and plans of action. MDS coordinators reach out to specialists within the community to get help in achieving care plan goals.

According to March 2014 job listings on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, your responsibilities would include preparing and electronically transmitting timely reports to the national Medicare and Medicaid database. Ensuring the accuracy of medical records and coding procedures is essential for a facility to receive proper reimbursement. You will become a residents' rights advocate to ensure that each resident is aware of his or her legal rights. Being able to react appropriately in an emergency situation is also beneficial.

Education and Training Requirements

To be an MDS coordinator, you must at least be a licensed practical nurse (LPN); many facilities require one be a registered nurse (RN) with some experience, preferably in a long-term care facility. The American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC) provides specialized training and a national certification exam for the association's Resident Assessment Coordinator Certified (RAC-CT) designation. The training will teach you about care plans, third party reimbursements, and performing assessments; you will take seven core courses and three electives. Many employers now require that MDS coordinators be certified.

Employment Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to April 2014 data from Payscale.com, MDS coordinators in the 10th-90th percentiles earned hourly wages of $19.46-$34.35. In general, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted employment growth of 25% for licensed practical nurses and 19% for registered nurses from 2012-2022.

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