When the MDS is completed, it calculates a clinical score (RUG level, Resource Utilization
Group) which impacts the direct care costs under the Case Mix reimbursement system. The notion is that the higher the amount of resources rendered to care for the patient/resident, the higher the reimbursement level. There are different types of RUG systems and each state has the ability to create its own system.
The MDS is a very dynamic, complex tool used for resident/patient assessment. One can only imagine the vast opportunity for error when completing said tool. Over 1,000 points of information, of which 108 plus points yield one of 34 RUG levels. In order to mitigate inaccuracy and ultimate underpayment of resources, the following 10 tips may help in the quest for precision.