Money Follows the Person

MDS 3.0 Section Q Implementation


On October 1, 2010, CMS launched the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0, which includes an enhanced Section Q – Informing Long-Term Care Choice.  This enhanced section broadens the traditional definition of nursing facility “discharge planning” by recognizing that successful community living includes an expansive range of community supports. 

The implementation of Section Q encourages nursing facility interdisciplinary staff to assess both long-stay individuals who previously may not have been considered as candidates for community living and individuals who have stated their desire to transition but who have not yet done so.  CMS conducted a pilot test on the implementation of the MDS 3.0 Section Q which can be found below under the resource section.

In Virginia, the 25 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) in their role as lead for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are designated as the Local Contact Agencies (LCAs) for Section Q Referrals.  The LCAs provide community resource information for individuals interested in transitioning back to the community.   Each nursing facility has a designated LCA.  The list of LCAs and their corresponding coverage area by county and city can be found below under the resource section. 

Processing Section Q Referrals

The Section Q Referral process was created by a workgroup consisting of representation from the Virginia Health Care Association, Virginia Association of Non-Profit Homes for the Aging, Virginia Department of Health (Office of Licensure and Certification), Virginia Department for the Aging, Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living, Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Virginia Department of Social Services, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, and representatives from several nursing facility providers.  The workgroup was charged with developing the processes and protocols necessary to support the MDS 3.0 Section Q implementation in Virginia.

The workgroup created the Statement of Understanding and the MDS 3.0 Section Q Referral Facsimile Transmittal Notification and Tracking Form.  The Statement of Understanding provides the workflow on how a Section Q Referral is processed and includes the roles and responsibilities of each of the involved stakeholders.  The MDS 3.0 Section Q Referral Facsimile Transmittal Notification and Tracking Form serves as the tracking and documentation tool.  To maintain compliance with the exchange of healthcare information, the Commonwealth of Virginia Uniform Authorization to use and Exchange Information is used to provide permission for information to be shared across healthcare providers.  Each of these forms can be found below under the resource section. 


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This File Was Last Modified: Monday September 12 2011