Provider PBJ Resources Hub

🧰 For skilled nursing providers, get access to CMS’ PBJ tools and key publications

What PBJ Resources does CMS provide for SNFs?

In various websites, CMS provides detailed instructions and user guides for skilled nursing providers to learn how to report Payroll-Based Journal data.  These key resources include:

  • Payroll-Based Journal hub including policy updates and the most recent PBJ Policy Manual
  • A web based PBJ data submission software tool for direct data input
  • Submission data specifications for providers who upload PBJ data in XML files
  • CASPER reporting software to verify and analyze the data contained in CMS’ national reporting database once submitting by skilled nursing facilities through the PBJ system
  • User access and registration protocols to gain privileges to the CMS systems used for payroll-based journal reporting

Also useful for nursing home providers to review are the:

  • State Operations Manual and training containing staffing-related deficiencies which can be cited by state surveyors (inspectors).  More recently these surveyors receive PBJ reports to support their inspection activities
  • Five Star Quality Rating system specifications and cut-point tables to classify nursing homes into their staffing and overall Five Star ratings tiers
  • PBJ Policy Manuals and FAQs
  • CMS’ QSO Memorandums for State Survey Agencies

PBJ System Setup, Registration and Operations

Staffing Data Submission Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) main site

The PBJ “hub” where participants access updates and downloads for the payroll-based journal program. Get the latest downloads for these files:

  • PBJ Policy Manual
  • PBJ Policy Manual FAQ
  • PBJ submission data specifications
  • and more

Open PBJ Resource

CASPER Reporting User's Guide For PBJ Providers

The CASPER Reporting application is CMS’ electronic National Reporting Database. This version of the CASPER User’s Guide is specifically for PBJ Providers.

CASPER reports are to be used by providers to ensure their quarterly PBJ reports are submitted and accurate, as well as to obtain data used in the staffing Five Star calculation by CMS.

Last modified October 18, 2022

Open PBJ Resource

PBJ Data Entry System - User Guide and Technical Specifications

The PBJ User Guide covers all functionality within the Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) System as well as information regarding how to access the system via the CMSNet Secure Access Service.

Users can learn how to:

  • use the PBJ data entry system
  • understand error messages
  • view a record of changes
  • get technical data specifications

Updated April 2020

Open PBJ Resource

New PBJ User Registration - CMSNet

All providers must request a CMSNet User ID to access secure CMS sites

Open PBJ Resource

Recorded Training Sessions for Payroll Based Journal (PBJ)

Access over a dozen Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) recorded training sessions including:

  • CMSNet User ID registration
  • Installing Juniper software
  • QIES User ID registration
  • PBJ XML submission process
  • Login and facility verification
  • Entering employee, staffing and census data
  • Retrieving and understanding the Final Validation Report
  • Understanding CASPER reports

Open PBJ Resource

Time Study (STRIVE)

The Staff Time and Resource Intensity Verification (STRIVE) Project collected staff time and resident clinical information to determine resources needed to care for residents.

Strive data is used when calculated the PBJ-based Staffing Five Star rating.  Strive data is the basis for the Case Mix Hours per Resident Day.

Open PBJ Resource

Five Star Ratings, Survey and F-Tags

Five-Star Quality Rating System

The Five-Star Quality Rating System helps consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily.  This CMS site provides access to the current standards, rating tiers and updates to the Five Star system.  For PBJ staffing, key files available include:

  • Five Star Technical Users Guide
  • Five Star QRS cut point tables

Open PBJ Resource

Surveyor training for using PBJ data

Surveyor training enhances the understanding of how staffing and PBJ data is used during survey.

In the training, CMS provides details guidance for the procedure and probes to be used by surveyors, along with examples of how to categorize deficiencies based on levels of severity.

See also this 30 minute video training

    Updated June 2022

    Open PBJ Resource

    State Operations Manual

    CMS issued a major update to surveyor guidance to strengthen the implementation of the already-in-effect Phases 2 and 3 of the 2016 Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities. The update provides new guidance to surveyors to use PBJ staffing data to identify concerns in:

    F725 – Sufficent Nursing Staff
    F727 – RN 8 Hours/7 Days/Week, Full-Time Director of Nursing (DON)
    F851 – Payroll-Based Journal (failure to submit PBJ report now a deficiency)

    Updated June 29, 2022

    Open PBJ Resource

    Publicly Available Payroll-Based Journal Data

    PBJ Public Use Files

    Information on Payroll-Based Journal staffing submitted by long term care facilities.

    Data are presented as one row per work day, for each facility. Datasets include the number of hours that each individual staff member worked, on each day in the quarter.

    Open PBJ Resource

    Care Compare (for consumers)

    Find & compare nursing homes, hospitals & providers near you

    Find information about providers and facilities based on your individual needs
    Get helpful resources to choose your health care providers
    Make more informed decisions about where you get your health care

    Open PBJ Resource

    More Resources in the PBJ Library

    Five Star QRS Technical Users’ Guide

    CMS QSO Memorandums and Guidance

    Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) Policy Manual

    PBJ Resources for Providers from CMS

    Studies and Research Using PBJ Data