One MDS assessment may take a NAC more than five hours to complete: study

The American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC) surveyed more than 1,400 of its members who reported that their primary role is that of a nurse assessment coordinator (NAC). Results from the study found that, on average, a thorough completion of an MDS assessment took five hours and 8 minutes per resident. Each assessment included the OBRA Comprehensive Assessment (approximately 74 minutes), care planning (41 minutes) and Care Area Assessments (193 minutes), triggering 8.4 care areas per resident (see chart).

NACs/MDS coordinators also report spending an average of 48 minutes on each OBRA quarterly assessment and the same amount of time on PPS (prospective payment system) only.  They also report an average of 18 hours a week in meetings and committees. In addition, 55 percent of NACs report responsibility for ICD coding, which takes up 65 minutes per week.

“These results are notable in that [NACs] report spending almost half of their hours in non-assessment and care planning activities,” said Diane Carter, RN, MSN, RAC-CT, C-NE, AANAC president and CEO, in a release.

Carter adds: “These study results provide current reported averages that help determine appropriate hours per assessment, which assists managers to determine adequacy of nursing  hours related to assessment and care planning.”

Nursing home managers can use these data to effectively staff the nursing department in a way that will improve quality, efficiency and appropriate MDS reimbursement.

Topics: Clinical , MDS/RAI , Medicare/Medicaid