Minimum Data Set Changes in Health, End-Stage Disease and Symptoms and Signs Scale: A Revised Measure to Predict Mortality in Nursing Home Residents

Jessica A. Ogarek, Ellen M. McCreedy, Kali S. Thomas, Joan Teno, Pedro L. Gozalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: To revise the Minimum Data Set (MDS) Changes in Health, End-stage disease and Symptoms and Signs (CHESS) scale, an MDS 2.0-based measure widely used to predict mortality in institutional settings, in response to the release of MDS 3.0. Design: Development of a predictive scale using observational data from the MDS and Medicare Master Beneficiary Summary File. Setting: All Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-certified nursing homes in the United States. Participants: Development cohort of 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries newly admitted to a CMS-certified nursing home during 2012. Primary validation cohort of 1.2 million Medicare recipients who were newly admitted to a CMS-certified nursing home during 2013. Measurements: Items from the MDS 3.0 assessments identified as likely to predict mortality. Death information was obtained from the Medicare Master Beneficiary Summary File. Results: MDS-CHESS 3.0 scores ranges from 0 (most stable) to 5 (least stable). Ninety-two percent of the primary validation sample with a CHESS scale score of 5 and 15% with a CHESS scale of 0 died within 1 year. The risk of dying was 1.63 times as great (95% CI=1.628–1.638) for each unit increase in CHESS scale score. The MDS-CHESS 3.0 is also strongly related to hospitalization within 30 days and successful discharge to the community. The scale predicted death in long-stay residents at 30 days (C=0.759, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.756–0.761), 60 days (C=0.716, 95% CI=0.714–0.718) and 1 year (C=0.655, 95% CI=0.654–0.657). Conclusion: The MDS-CHESS 3.0 predicts mortality in newly admitted and long-stay nursing home populations. The additional relationship to hospitalizations and successful discharges to community increases the utility of this scale as a potential risk adjustment tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-981
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018



  • frailty
  • health instability
  • mortality
  • nursing home
  • risk adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this