Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0, Section Q
The Minimum Data Set (MDS) is part of the federally-mandated process for assessing individuals receiving care in certified skilled nursing facilities regardless of payer source. The process provides a comprehensive assessment of individuals’ current health conditions, treatments, abilities, and plans for discharge.
The MDS is administered to all residents upon admission, quarterly, yearly, and whenever there is a significant change in an individual’s condition. Section Q is the part of the MDS designed to explore meaningful opportunities for nursing facility residents to return to community settings.
MDS 3.0 Section Q
Beginning October 1, 2010, all Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing facilities are required to use the MDS 3.0. Emphasis is on an individual’s participation in assessment and goal setting. The MDS 3.0 Section Q allows individuals to express interest in learning more about possibilities for living outside of the nursing facility.
Responsibilities of Nursing Facilities
Nursing facilities are required to notify designated Local Contact Agencies (LCAs) when a resident expresses a desire to learn more about options for living in the community. Specifically, a referral to the LCA is required when a resident answers “yes” to Section Q 0500 questions. The LCAs must then contact interested individuals by telephone or in person, and provide information/education about home and community-based options.
Local Contact Agencies (LCAs)
The Department of Health Care Services has designated one or more LCA in each county. The LCAs are responsible for keeping data on nursing facility referrals, and providing information/education to individuals who have indicated the desire to speak with someone about home and community based living options. LCAs may be one of several agency types: Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) programs, California Community Transitions Lead Organizations, Independent Living Centers (ILCs), or Area Agencies on Aging.
LCAs are required to provide information/education to all interested individuals in nursing facilities regardless of payer source. Transition assistance is currently only reimbursed for Medi-Cal beneficiaries through California Community Transitions or existing waivers.
The list of LCAs in California is available below. This document will be updated regularly as more LCAs are identified.