CMS To Scrutinize Memory Care in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will scrutinize dementia care provided in nursing homes and Minimum Data Set coding practices under a new pilot program it is rolling out. 

Federal oversight from CMS will arrive in the form of two surveys beginning in mid-2014 that will document dementia care practices in nursing homes and MDS 3.0 coding practices “and associated care planning in facilities,” the agency announced in a memorandum last week.

CMS is currently developing two “focused” survey processes in order to enhance dementia care and MDS 3.0 accuracy and care planning in nursing homes, and is also planning to conduct two “short-term, small-scale” focused reviews of those processes.  


The first survey will include a detailed review of dementia care in nursing homes, including reviewal of resident-level and organizational-level processes.

“The intent of this review is to review and document dementia care practices by nursing homes,” CMS stated. “CMS will identify the specific facilities to be surveyed and will work with the States to identify dementia care experts to accompany surveyors for the first survey whenever possible.”

The second survey, focused on MDS Version 3.0 coding practices, will evaluate the MDS assessments and the associated care planning for nursing facility residents. CMS says it will identify the specific facilities to be surveyed. 


For both surveys, participating State Survey Agencies will be asked to allocate two surveyors for the project for a period of two to four weeks for on-site surveys in up to five facilities as well for required training. 

Currently, CMS notes that it is developing the surveyor tools and will provide them for states’ use.

Read the CMS Memorandum.

Written by Jason Oliva