PBJ reporting begins

Jul 30, 2016 | CMS' PBJ Policies, Rules for PBJ Reporting


July 1, 2016 marks the first day of work to be captured in the payroll-based data system.  With the first report due in November, skilled nursing facilities must start capturing daily worked hours for the upcoming reporting requirement.

As with many new programs, the awareness and and preparation levels vary across the industry, with many scrambling to understand the PBJ requirements as well as the how to collect the data.  These articles and industry blogs capture the push and advice for facilities to begin data their PBJ data collection.


Avoid these 'gotchas' in PBJ reporting

The latest communications from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services indicate mandatory PBJ submission will not be delayed. Most skilled nursing facilities are starting the work to prepare for the first Payroll-Based Journal submission that is due no later than November 14.

Here’s some of the trickier parts of the PBJ reporting rules that you will need to either validate or make changes to your systems and processes to ensure your staffing data is PBJ compliant.


Feige, Don. “Avoid These ‘Gotchas’ in PBJ Reporting.” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 16 May 2016, www.mcknights.com/marketplace/avoid-these-gotchas-in-pbj-reporting


CMS: deliver data — or else

Providers who miss staffing data submission deadlines could be sanctioned — and see their Five-Star Nursing Quality Ratings suffer — federal officials said.

Nursing home operators are required to submit Payroll-Based Journal staffing data for the July 1 to Sept. 30 period no later than Nov. 14. Failure to do so could bring serious consequences, officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said on a SNF Open Door Forum call.


Berklan, James. “CMS: Deliver Data — or Else.” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 1 Oct. 2016, www.mcknights.com/news/cms-deliver-data-or-else


The cost of payroll-based journal reporting adding up fast

For the past year, skilled nursing facilities have been aware of pending new regulations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Facilities are required to electronically submit detailed direct-care staffing information, with the intent of linking those staffing records to the CMS’ five-star rating system.

When the first quarterly reporting period for the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) program began July 1, long-term, post-acute care  providers have woken up to the realization that meeting the requirement is more difficult and time-consuming than originally thought. As a result, many have turned to the vendors of time-and-attendance software and other solution providers for help.


“The Cost of Payroll-Based Journal Reporting Adding up Fast.” I Advance Senior Care, 20 July 2016, www.iadvanceseniorcare.com/the-cost-of-payroll-based-journal-reporting-adding-up-fast


PBJ Requirements for Nursing Facilities Continue to Demand Attention

While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have provided an updated manual (Version 2.1) for implementing their payroll-based journal (PBJ) ruling, nursing facilities have questions on certain situations that were given minimal guidance. For instance, specific PBJ reporting programs for time and attendance and payroll systems may not be available or efficient to properly create the files needed to upload to the CMS PBJ entry tool. Similarly, therapy and other outsourced care providers have struggled to create tools that will automate the proper reporting of their time to their nursing customers. These situations have left nursing facilities uncomfortable about meeting the PBJ requirements.


“PBJ Requirements for Nursing Facilities Continue to Demand Attention.” CliftonLarsonAllen, 20 Jun. 2016, claconnect.com/en/resources/articles/pbj-requirements-for-nursing-facilities-continue-to-demand-attention


CMS: Take advantage of voluntary testing for PBJ

More providers should be diving into voluntary testing for Payroll-Based Journal reporting, a top Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services official said Thursday.

Long-term care providers are required to start tracking employee hours starting July 1, with Nov. 14 as the first deadline to have submitted data. Around 10,000 facilities have registered, leaving about 6,000 to go, said Evan Shulman, CMS deputy director in the Division of Nursing Homes, Survey and Certification Group, during this week’s PharMerica Symposium in Dallas.


Newman, Elizabeth Leis. “CMS: Take Advantage of Voluntary Testing for PBJ.” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 3 June 2016, www.mcknights.com/news/cms-take-advantage-of-voluntary-testing-for-pbj


Three Steps to Prepare for Payroll-Based Journal Submissions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system allowing providers to electronically submit staffing information. CMS already has started collecting this data from providers on a voluntary basis and mandated that all skilled nursing facilities start electronically inputting staffing information effective July 1, 2016.

Facility census data and total direct care hours worked, including hours for agency and contract staff, must be included in the submission.


“Three Steps to Prepare for Payroll-Based Journal Submissions.” FORVIS, 1 May 2016, www.forvis.com/article/2016/05/three-steps-prepare-payroll-based-journal-submissions


PBJ staffing data submission gaining steam, CMS officials say

Nearly half of skilled nursing facilities have registered to voluntarily submit electronic staffing data, officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid said Thursday during an SNF Open Door Forum call.

Facilities were strongly encouraged to submit electronic staffing data beginning in October 2015 as that voluntary period was “created specifically to help providers prepare” for the mandatory filing period, said Evan Shulman, deputy director of the Division of Nursing Homes at CMS, according to call attendees.


Mongan, Emily. “PBJ Staffing Data Submission Gaining Steam, CMS Officials Say.” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 29 Apr. 2016, www.mcknights.com/news/pbj-staffing-data-submission-gaining-steam-cms-officials-say


Are you ready for PBJ transactions?

Gathering and managing the payroll data for a skilled nursing facility (SNF) can be a challenge, especially if the organization has a large number of direct-care workers. Beginning July 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will require all SNFs to submit data on all direct-care staff, including employee census, hire and fire dates, hours logged and other details.

In order to facilitate the data exchanges, CMS created the Payroll-Based Journal reporting system (PBJ), which launched for voluntary data submissions in October 2015. Some facilities are creating their own processes based on the CMS system, while others are choosing to invest in software to ease the workload.


Tabar, Pamela. “Are You Ready for PBJ Transactions?” I Advance Senior Care, 12 Sept. 2020, www.iadvanceseniorcare.com/are-you-ready-for-pbj-transactions

Related CMS and PBJ Resources

To learn more about the details, policies and information in these articles, please review these CMS and PBJ publications.

CMS Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) Policy Manual

PBJ Policy Manual

FAQs for PBJ Policy Manual

PBJ Policy FAQs