by Lori Dickson, MSN, RN, MSCC, CLCP MSCC Commissioner Director of Clinical Operations ExamWorks Compliance Solutions

One of the key components to the MSA is the calculation of life expectancy. This life expectancy is then used when developing the future care plan to determine frequency of care and aid in the calculation of the cost for the allocated care.

Life Expectancy is commonly determined following the development of a rated age assessment. A rated age is an age assessed based on an individual’s medical conditions, both co-morbid and claim related.

CMS requires use of a rated age assessment developing a MSA. Additionally, use of a specific life table to yield the life expectancy is also required. The CDC releases their National Vital Statistics report typically once or twice each year. Within this report are multiple life tables that reflect life expectancy in light of sex and race. However, CMS requires the use of Table #1 from this report, which outlines life expectancy based on statistics from the total U.S. population. The latest National Vital Statistics report was release in August 2022 and CMS began using Table #1 from this report on 4/29/2023.

There is typically a lag of several months between the time the CDC releases the new life tables and CMS’ deployment of the life table for MSA work. CMS does announce these updates and changes on their website: What's New | CMS