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MDS Coordinator Education Requirements and Career Information

Job Descriptions February 4, 2013

Random assessment inventory (RAI) reports are conducted by minimum data set (MDS) coordinators for certified long-term nursing facilities. Once the reports have been completed, minimum data set coordinators will be able to confirm whether patients are receiving the right level of care. MDS coordinators typically have a nursing background. Read on to find out more about minimum data set coordinator education requirements and careers.

Career Information for MDS Coordinator

Minimum data set (MDS) coordinators and healthcare information managers perform similar type of work. They are required to ensure the secure submission of patient information to authorized locations and maintenance of confidential patient data (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)). MDS coordinators are workers in the healthcare industry similar to nurses who evaluate minimum data sets and report them to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as required by federal law. They conduct the required patient assessments with periodic frequency at health care facilities that provide long-term care and their work results in providing an understanding of the quality of treatment being given by medical staff members. MDS coordinators prepare the documentation for federal records and use such information in verifying whether a consistent quality of care standards is being maintained.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

In May 2010, medical health service managers earned an annual salary ranging from $51,280 to $144,880 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)). Job growth of sixteen percent has been projected for medical health service managers including MDS coordinators during the period of 2008 to 2018.

Job Duties

In October 2011, duties of MDS coordinators included detection of coding errors on patient charts, electronic transmission of healthcare information and communication with healthcare teams in coordinating patient treatment plans (source: CareerBuilder.com). Many organizations that employ MDS coordinators require them to discuss patient treatment plans with the families of the patients. MDS coordinators are usually required to work in coordination with interdisciplinary treatment departments where different treatment methods are used on patients; as for instance, a combination of rehabilitation exercises and medication.

Education Requirements for MDS Coordinator

Healthcare information managers are required to hold at least an undergraduate degree (source BLS). Many employers of MDS coordinators also required prospective candidates to be licensed nurses; however, not all nursing degree programs lead to an undergraduate degree. Apart from majoring in nursing, individuals may also look at completing an undergraduate degree program in healthcare information management (HIM). Coursework in this program generally focuses on subject areas such as health law, health information technology, quality control, healthcare coding and healthcare data systems.

Additional Training

Besides being a licensed nurse, most organizations that employ MDS coordinators expect them to have prior training or experience filing minimum data set assessment reports. Some universities and colleges offer continued education training courses, which teach students the basic of minimum data set reporting. These courses generally provide students with information concerning federal and state requirements for MDS reports including proper assessment standards and coding procedures. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also provides training information on its website regarding procedural updates and filing protocols.

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