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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

AFL 20-76
September 29, 2020

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)
Nursing Facilities (NF)
Intermediate Care Facilities
Swing Bed Hospitals

Changes on the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 v1.17.2

All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary

This AFL informs all Medicare and/or Medicaid certified nursing facilities to use the revised MDS 3.0 v1.17.2, effective October 1, 2020.

Effective October 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requests all Medicare and/or Medicaid certified nursing facilities and swing bed hospitals use the updated MDS 3.0 item sets v1.17.2.

The MDS item sets are used by nursing facilities and swing bed providers to collect and submit patient's data to CMS. This data is used to inform payment, quality, and the survey process. With the new MDS item sets scheduled to start implementation on October 1, 2020, healthcare providers and MDS users are requested to continue following the guidelines in the Long-Term Care Facility Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) 3.0 User's Manual v1.17.1 (PDF) in coding the MDS items until further notice.

On October 1, 2019, the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) began using the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for classifying SNF patients in a covered Medicare Part A stay. The MDS help desk has received multiple questions regarding changes on the PDPM and Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) MDS assessment items.

Although the updated MDS 3.0, v1.17.2 item sets will be implemented effective October 1, 2020, data reporting will not change in California. California does not use MDS data for nursing facility rate determinations, which the updated items sets are designed to capture.

For additional MDS questions, please contact the MDS help desk at (916) 324-2362 or

For technical assistance, please contact the ASPEN help desk at (916) 552-8910 or

For CMS technical assistance, please contact the QIES help desk at (800) 339-9313 or



Original signed by Heidi W. Steinecker

Heidi W. Steinecker
Deputy Director



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