Ask the Experts, MDS 3.0 Items

Ask the expert: Respiratory therapy services

Q: I recently attended a seminar in which the trainer taught that in order to capture respiratory therapy minutes that not only were the minutes to be documented (15 minutes or more), but also a follow up of the effectiveness. I have read and reread the manual but haven’t located the criteria for a follow up for each treatment.  What is your finding?

A: This broad-based definition alludes to standards of care, Nurse Practice Acts, and identifies these services for assessment, treatment, and monitoring (following up for effectiveness is part of the monitoring and is implied).  Your documentation is proof that the respiratory therapy was provided in accordance with accepted guidelines, which may differ with each State’s Nurse Practice Act.

MDS 3.0 Definition:  “Services that are provided by a qualified professional (respiratory therapists, respiratory nurse). Respiratory therapy services are for the assessment, treatment, and monitoring of patients with deficiencies or abnormalities of pulmonary function.

Respiratory therapy services include coughing, deep breathing, heated nebulizers, aerosol treatments, assessing breath sounds and mechanical ventilation, etc., which must be provided by a respiratory therapist or trained respiratory nurse. A respiratory nurse must be proficient in the modalities listed above either through formal nursing or specific training and may deliver these modalities as allowed under the state Nurse Practice Act and under applicable state laws”