The Minimum Data Set (MDS) is part of the federally mandated process for clinical assessment of all residents in Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing homes. This process provides a comprehensive assessment of each resident's functional capabilities and helps nursing home staff identify health problems.
MDS assessment forms are completed for all residents in certified nursing homes, regardless of source of payment for the individual resident. MDS assessments are required for residents on admission to the nursing facility and then periodically, within specific guidelines and time frames. In most cases, participants in the assessment process are licensed health care professionals employed by the nursing home.
MDS information is transmitted electronically by nursing homes to the MDS database in their respective States. MDS information from the State databases is captured into the national MDS database at CMS.
MDS Assessment Data are used to generate various reports:
- Frequency Reports - which give a picture of the characteristics of the nursing home population in each state and nationally through presentation of data on frequency of responses to specific MDS items.
- Quality Indicator Reports - which present data on 15 "indicators" of quality of care. These data are also presented at a state and national level.
These public use reports are meant to begin the process of sharing information from the national MDS database.
The RAI User's Manual for the MDS 3.0 has been updated October 2017. Once on the CMS website, scroll down to the "Download" section of that webpage. Click on "MDS 3.0 RAI Manual V1.15 [ZIP.23MB]."
- MDS Education Coordinator - Carol Eastburg, RN
MDS 2.0 (archived) and MDS 3.0 - Click here for more information.
The Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) is a group of data elements that represents core items of a comprehensive assessment for an adult home care patient; and forms the basis for measuring patient outcomes for purposes of outcome-based quality improvement (OBQI).
The OASIS is a key component of Medicare's partnership with the home care industry to foster and monitor improved home health care outcomes and is proposed to be an integral part of the revised Conditions of Participation for Medicare-certified home health agencies (HHAs).
OASIS Main Components and General Application
OASIS data items encompass sociodemographic, environmental, support system, health status, and functional status attributes of adult (non-maternity) patients. In addition, selected attributes of health service utilization are included. These several different types of attributes should be part of a comprehensive patient assessment, but we emphasize that the OASIS was not developed as a comprehensive assessment tool.
In addition to measuring patient outcomes, OASIS data have three important uses in the areas of:
- Patient assessment and care planning for individual adult patients;
- Agency-level case mix reports that contain aggregate statistics on various patient characteristics such as demographic, health, or functional status at start of care; and
- Internal HHA performance improvement.
All applications build on and are implemented most efficiently and effectively when OASIS data items are thoroughly integrated into HHA clinical documentation.