October 1, 2023 changes to MDS/RAI: Important resources to help nursing homes prepare

As we have previously reported, our national affiliate, American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, is running a multi-part educational series highlighting different areas in which the Minimum Data Set/Resident Assessment Instrument (MDS/RAI) will be changing effective October 1, 2023.  Below please find a fourth installment in this important educational series focusing on changes to Section J :

Changes to Section J

Since their release on April 3, 2023, MDS 3.0 version v1.8.11v2 final item sets and draft RAI guidance were updated and substantial changes were made to several sections. Changes to section J include:

  • Revision of the Pain Assessment Interview by expanding questions to reflect:
    • Pain effect on sleep;
    • Pain interference with therapy activities; and
    • Pain interference with day-to-day activities.

AHCA has created an MDS Section J resource document to help providers breakdown the changes. The information in the resource document outlines key changes to MDS Section J, Coding Instructions/RAI Guidelines for each item, and Actions to Consider for implementation across your facility.

It is important to develop a training plan for your facility to ensure all staff impacted by the changes are trained in them.

Additional Resources:

Please email regulatory@ahca.org with any questions.

The first three installments can be found here:

Changes to Section A

Changes to Section B

Changes to Section GG







To help our members prepare for these upcoming changes, WHCA/WiCAL will be hosting an MDS Webinar on August 2. Click HERE to learn more and for registration.