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MDS Coordinator Career Information and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an MDS coordinator. Get a quick view of the requirements, as well as details about job duties, employment outlook and salary statistics to find out if this is the career for you.

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Minimum Data Set (MDS) Coordinators are a type of medical services manager. These managerial positions usually require a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as nursing or health management. MDS coordinators also need training in both MDS and nursing.

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Essential Information

MDS coordinators conduct random assessment inventory (RAI) reports for certified long-term nursing facilities. By completing these reports, MDS coordinators can verify whether patients are receiving the appropriate level of care. Coordinators usually need a minimum of a bachelor's degree and a background in nursing. Find out more about MDS coordinator careers and education requirements.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Additional Requirements A nursing license is required by most employers; continuing education training in MDS recording may also be required
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 17% for medical and health services managers
Median Salary (2015)* $94,500 for medical and health services managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

MDS Coordinator Career Information

Minimum data set (MDS) coordinators are similar to healthcare information managers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that workers in this career field maintain confidential patient data and submit patient information securely to authorized locations. MDS coordinators are healthcare workers, usually nurses, who oversee MDS assessments and ensure that they are properly reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in accordance with federal law. These required assessments are conducted periodically on patients at long-term care facilities, and the results show how patients are being treated by medical staff members. MDS coordinators complete the documentation for federal records, and coordinators also use the information to verify if quality of care standards remain consistent.

Job Duties

Common job duties for this career included checking patient charts for coding errors, transmitting healthcare information electronically and communicating with healthcare teams to coordinate patient treatment plans. Some MDS coordinators are also responsible for communicating with patients' families to discuss patient treatment plans. MDS coordinators often work with interdisciplinary treatment departments that promote using multiple treatment methods on patients, such as combining medication with rehabilitation exercises.

MDS Coordinator Education Requirements

The BLS stated that the minimum educational requirement for a healthcare information managers was a bachelor's degree. Many employers also require applicants to be licensed nurses, but not all nursing degree programs lead to a bachelor's degree. Other than nursing degree programs, individuals may consider earning a bachelor's degree in healthcare information management (HIM). Coursework in an HIM program generally covers healthcare data systems, healthcare coding, quality control, health information technology and health law.

Additional Training

Aside from being a licensed nurse, most employers require MDS coordinators to have experience or prior training filing MDS assessment reports. Some colleges and universities offer continuing education training courses that teach students the basics of MDS reporting. These courses usually provide students with information concerning state and federal requirements for MDS reports, including proper coding procedures and assessment standards. The CMS also provides training information on its website regarding filing protocols and procedural updates.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for medical and health service managers, which includes MDS coordinators, is expected to increase by 17% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS notes that those with experience in large hospitals will be in high demand. As of 2015, the median annual wage for these professionals was $94,500, per BLS.

The typical MDS Coordinator must have three things: a related bachelor's degree, a nursing license and training in MDS reporting. Both job prospects and financial compensation are high for this type of position.

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