In early January, several long-term care industry associations, including the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) and the American Health Care Association (AHCA) wrote a letter to President Obama’s transition team asking to delay the implementation of the MDS 3.0 until at least February 2010.
The main issue at stake was how data submitted to CMS under the MDS 3.0 would work with electronic health records (EHR) and the Obama administration’s goal of transitioning to EHRs in healthcare, says Barbara Manard, PhD, vice president of long-term care health strategies for AAHSA.
Although AAHSA believes the MDS 3.0 is a great advance over the previous assessment, CMS was not planning to make the MDS 3.0 interoperable, Manard says. Interoperability refers to the capacity for different systems to work together. For example, interoperability allows a Microsoft Word document to work on different computers. Making MDS data interoperable under the MDS 3.0 could allow healthcare providers to share information across settings and ultimately improve quality of care.