MDS 3.0 Section M: Skin Conditions: What the Medical Director Needs to Know

This article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA), volume 12, #3, pages 179-183, March 2011.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released the new Resident Assessment Instrument version 3.0, which went into effect October 1, 2010. The intention of the revised Resident Assessment Instrument is to improve health-related quality of life and care planning, and incorporate evolving standards of terminology, assessment, and technology. To reach this goal, Section M: Skin Conditions has been greatly expanded and will alter the process of pressure ulcer assessment in all long-term care facilities across America. Details of this assessment instrument include upgraded criteria for risk factors, staging, identification, tracking, and evolution of pressure ulcers. The medical director can and should assume a leadership role in education and collaboration with primary care physicians and wound clinicians to accommodate changes in revised Section M. Integrating the medical director into the facility’s wound care program will improve the quality of care for residents of long-term care facilities.

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Dr. Jeffrey M. Levine has authored numerous articles on topics related to healthcare of the elderly. These include medical history, prevention and treatment of chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, elder neglect and abuse, and physical restraints. He has also edited a book on legal and regulatory aspects of nursing homes.