Audit of Nursing Homes’ Nurse Staffing Hours Reported in CMS’s Payroll-Based Journal

The Office of the Inspector General announced a new research study in November 2023.  Scheduled to be issued in 2025, the research study will audit the PBJ reporting of staffing hours by nursing homes.

Nursing homes are required to electronically submit complete and accurate direct care staffing information to CMS’s Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system on a quarterly basis. Direct care staff include nurse and non-nurse staff who, through interpersonal contact with nursing home residents or resident care management, provide care and services to residents to allow them to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.

CMS and other stakeholders use the staffing information in the PBJ to: (1) measure nursing home performance, (2) better understand the relationship between nursing home staffing levels and the quality of care that nursing homes provide, (3) identify noncompliance with Federal nurse staffing regulations, and (4) facilitate the development of nursing home staffing measures.

We will review the nurse staffing hours reported in the PBJ to determine whether the reported hours are accurate.