M1240 … a pain to get right?

Pain is such a subjective subject, and I’ve heard from many clinicians who wonder how to answer M1240 correctly … does it refer only to severe pain? When does pain qualify? So let’s look at the question, then at ways to assess.

M1240: Has the patient had a formal pain assessment using a standardized pain assessment tool (appropriate to the patient’s ability to communicate the severity of pain)?
0: No standardized assessment conducted
1: Yes, and it does not indicate severe pain
2: Yes, and it indicates severe pain

The OASIS Guidance Manual tells us that this item’s intent is to see if a standardized assessment was conducted, and what the level of pain was, if, and only if, the assessment was conducted.

The item’s intent deals with the assessment, and CMS has stated that clinicians should assess for “any and all pain the patient experiences.” (April 2010)

When dealing with M1240, watch M2250 (Plan of Care Synopsis) and M2400 (Intervention Synopsis).

M2250 is where it would be noted if the doctor ordered interventions and monitoring for the pain. Only mark NA if the patient is not experiencing pain. (That’s NO PAIN AT ALL.)

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