Do you code pain intensity before or after administering pain medication?

Q: When coding pain under Section J on the MDS 2.0, do you code intensity before or after administering pain medication? 


Diane: When coding pain the goal is to capture the highest level of intensity experienced by the resident regardless of pain medication. Therefore, one would expect pain intensity to be higher prior to medication.



  1. millie

    When you code to the highest intensity of pain it flags in your quality indicators and leads inspectors and consumers to believe you do not provide appropriate comfort to your residents. Please advise.
    Thank you

  2. Robyn

    I second this statement. Because we are a short term hospital-based skilled unit, often providing care for post surgical patients, the quality indicators show us being much much higher than our national or state average for Moderate to Severe Pain. Our patient satisfaction surveys show us that pain is being managed well.
    Great question, but a frustrating answer!

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