Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare
CMS posted an updated Appendix B on December 26, 2019.
Appendix B is the reference you need in the event you have questions for your state RAI Coordinator (interpretation of the RAI Manual) or MDS Automation Coordinator (submission of MDS records). It also contains contact information for the RAI Coordinator Panel members and the 10 Regional Offices.
“The RAI Panel is a group of experienced RAI Coordinators who assist CMS and other State RAI Coordinators in answering MDS-related questions. Providers, consultants, and industry associations who have MDS questions should always first contact their State RAI Coordinator, who will then forward questions to the RAI Panel, if needed. When forwarding your questions to the RAI Panel, please be sure to send them to at least three Panel members to ensure your questions are responded to as soon as possible. The RAI Panel is in frequent contact with CMS for consultation and clarification.”
This document changes periodically. In the past year, we’ve seen updates to Appendix B of the RAI User’s Manual every couple of months, as positions change. Appendix B provides the email addresses for each of the contacts. While you may want to have phone numbers (in the past, Appendix B provided those phone numbers for those of us that have been around the MDS for a long time), corresponding via email really is the better option. It provides you with the time to compose your question properly and the reply from that individual will provide guidance/answers. Keep your email and that reply in the event you’re challenged by a State Surveyor – you’ll be glad you did.