How Do I Become An MDS Coordinator?

Have you ever wondered “How do I become an MDS coordinator?” If you have, here’s a brief guide about becoming an MDS coordinator that can help you learn about this exciting profession. The guide includes basic background information that can help you discover what MDS coordinators do each day. It also provides information about the education requirements, potential salaries and job opportunities that can help you decide if becoming an MDS coordinator is worthwhile.

What’s it like to be an MDS coordinator?

Most MDS coordinators spend their time completing several tasks that are designed to maintain the quality of care received by patients in long-term health care facilities. One of these tasks includes visiting health care facilities to conduct random performance audits. These audits require MDS coordinators to review patients’ records and treatment plans periodically to ensure that health care facilities comply with federal patient confidentiality laws.

MDS coordinators also speak with patients’ families and health care providers to discuss current treatment plans. Completing this task is necessary because it helps health care facilities develop appropriate treatment plans for patients.
Finally, most MDS coordinators report their findings online to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Completing these reports is vital because it helps health care facilities comply with federal Medicare and Medicaid compliance laws.

Education requirements

Individuals who would like to become an MDS coordinator can choose from three degree programs to gain the skills needed to become competent health care information management specialists.

For example, many students become an MDS coordinator after completing a bachelor’s degree in health care information management. This degree can help you become an MDS coordinator because it provides the assessment, organizational and technology skills needed to audit the performance of health care facilities successfully.

You might also want to consider completing an undergraduate or graduate nursing degree to become an MDS coordinator. This is the case because many employers that hire MDS coordinators prefer to hire registered nurses who have practical experience managing patients’ records and treatment plans.

Finally, many students who complete a master’s degree in social work can become MDS coordinators if they complete additional health care information management coursework. Obtaining this degree can help you find employment an MDS coordinator because it provides the administrative and sociology skills needed to create high-quality treatment plans.

Job opportunities

Many firms and government agencies hire MDS coordinators. For example, assisted care facilities that that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding hire MDS coordinators to create high-quality patient treatment plans. Moreover, state agencies that oversee Medicaid and Medicare programs hire MDS coordinators to conduct random performance audits. You might also find employment as a compliance specialist that helps the Department of Veterans Affairs create and maintain high-quality long-term health care options for military veterans.

Most people find listings for these jobs in newspapers and employment websites. Moreover, you can also ask your local Department of Labor office for current listings for these and other MDS coordinator jobs.


Most MDS coordinator jobs typically pay between $50,000 and $120,000 per year. These salaries are expected to rise during the next decade as Baby Boomers begin to assess their long-term health care needs.