Step 2: Set up Software

Select Your Software

Nursing facility and swing bed facility Minimum Data Set (MDS) personnel enter MDS information into MDS data entry software (MDS software). Facilities may purchase third party MDS software or use the free MDS software provided by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Questions about features, functions and bugs in third party MDS software must be directed to the facility's software vendor. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services cannot recommend third party MDS software vendors.

CMS offers free java Resident and Validation Entry (jRAVEN) software on the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) Technical Support Office (QTSO) website at Even if a facility uses third-party MDS software, jRAVEN can be used as a replacement tool if the facility has problems with third-party software that will prevent MDS records from being completed or submitted completely, accurately, or timely. Technical assistance for jRAVEN is available by calling the QTSO Help Desk at 1-800-339-9313. See below for jRAVEN tips.

Enter Texas Settings for Provider IDs, HIV/AIDS, Section S, RUGs, CMI Set and Section S

**Please Note that Texas NFs Must Update Their MDS Software by Nov. 1 for Section GG Data Collection. Effective Nov. 1, nursing facility providers must complete section GG and related fields when they submit an Omnibus Reconciliation Act assessment.

On Nov 1., each provider or vendor will have to set the STATE_PDPM_OBRA_CD value to “1 (Yes, perform PDPM calculations for OBRAs)” in their Minimum Data Set software.

Once this feature is activated, data entered in the applicable MDS fields should not affect OBRA required assessments of resident well-being and will not affect the calculation of the MDS Resource Utilization Group III code used by Texas Medicaid for payment purposes.

The additional data contained in the applicable MDS fields is vital to compare current RUG III data with Patient Driven Payment Model Data in order to develop future Medicaid payment methodologies. These may include a PDPM type model adapted for use in Texas long-term care.

This advanced notice is intended to allow facilities time to develop their processes, ensure staff are appropriately trained and allow time to work with any software venders as needed.

HHSC will issue a provider letter in the future with more guidance.

Visit the Texas MDS Page for updates.

Contact your specific MDS software vendor for support.

Contact MDS program staff.

MDS data entry programs (MDS software) must be configured so that software settings meet Texas requirements. If you are a new MDS coordinator, it is highly recommended that you double-check the software settings of currently-installed MDS software on ALL computers that have MDS software to ensure they are set up correctly.

The current Medicare Resource Utilization Group (RUG) setting for Z0100 and Z0150 should be using case mix index (CMI) set E03 (rural) or E04 (urban). Contact a facility's Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) / Fiscal Intermediary (FI), Novitas Solutions in Texas, to find out if a facility is rural or urban. The current Medicaid RUG settings for Z0250 use case mix index set F01 as defined in the CMS website > MDS 3.0 Technical Information page > "RUG III Files & RUG IV Files" link (this clarifies the Z0250 settings in the HHSC Provider Letter #16-20 linked below). Facilities must contact their MDS software vendor for instructions on how to update RUG settings/configuration in their software.

The links below will help facilities to properly set up their software:

Set Up a CMSNet Account

MDS data entry software products create data files, also called extract files, which must be submitted over a secure connection to the CMS data repository. Most nursing facilities and swing bed facilities submit their MDS data directly to CMS using CMSNet. Some facilities utilize third party tools or services that submit data for the facility so that the facility does not use CMSNet.

A person who needs to use CMSNet to submit MDS data must obtain a CMSNet account. Use the CMSNet Online Registration Instructions to request a CMSNet account.

Nursing facilities and swing bed facilities with issues logging into, or using, the CMS website for accessing Certification And Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) or submitting MDS data should be directed to the QTSO Help Desk at 1-800-339-9313.


When entering the facility information in jRAVEN, remember that "State Provider Number (A0100C)" and "Assigned facility/provider submission ID" are both the same four- or six-digit facility ID provided by Texas facility licensing, also called the vendor ID.

The absolute fastest way to start an MDS in jRAVEN is to click on Administration, click on Resident, select Last Name or First Name under Field Name, skip past Condition, enter the last name or first name (all lowercase) into Field Value, click on the Search button and then double click on the resident for whom you want to start the new MDS.

When you start a new MDS assessment or tracking form, the Add/Edit Assessment window pops open. You MUST enter the information into this window correctly the first time. Once you click the Finish button, you can NOT go back to fix it, not even with a modification. If you do not discover a mistake in the Add/Edit Assessment window until after you have clicked the Finish button, you have to start over with a new MDS.

For example: let us say that you create an MDS marked as a Medicare 30-day assessment, complete the entire assessment and submit it to CMS. You then realize that the 30-day assessment should have been marked as a 14-day assessment. You will have to inactivate the 30-day assessment, submit the inactivation, create an entirely new MDS as a Medicare 14-day assessment, and reenter all of the data again. QTSO says that the programmers designed jRAVEN to work this way so that jRAVEN could automatically select the correct item set and skip patterns.

Here are two tips to make MDS data entry easier:

  • Use the Tab key to go to the next item for data entry; it is often faster than scrolling down and clicking on the next field and it activates any skip patterns that might trigger.
  • If you prefer keeping your hands on the keyboard for speed, press Alt-down arrow (the Alt key and the down arrow key at the same time) to view all of an item's dropdown list values at the same time.

What can jRAVEN users do to correct item A0410 in an MDS record? If the MDS record was already submitted to and accepted by CMS, then the facility must contact the MDS Automation Coordinator about completing the appropriate form to fix the mistake. If the original MDS record is not yet submitted, or if the original MDS record was rejected by CMS, then item A0410 can be changed in jRAVEN by editing the record (not modifying). The A0410 fix can ONLY be done by the person who is set up in jRAVEN as the System Administrator. If no one at your facility can access the System Administrator account, contact the QIES Technical Support Office at, 1-800-339-9313, or visit the QTSO website.