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3 ways to prepare for enactment of the CMS Payroll-Based Journal

June 13, 2016 | Workloud News

Well, time is running out, that’s for sure. But here’s one last reminder to all Long Term Care providers and facility owners and managers. Beginning July 1, 2016, all skilled nursing facilities will be required to submit auditable, quarterly staffing data to CMS via the Payroll-Based Journal. It’s important to remember that this is just a reporting tool, and will inevitably highlight staffing gaps and inefficiencies in your facility. Here are three issues to stay focused on when reporting begins in two short weeks:

  1. Check your compliance reporting procedures and make certain your facility meets all direct care staffing requirements, and is tracking all hours with the correct job codes. These codes can be found on the CMS PBJ website.
  1. Understand all future staffing demands and shortages. If you expect to be short staffed over the Labor Day Weekend, for instance, don’t wait until the day before to begin looking for people to work overtime. Set-up required call-off policies, or offer special volunteering opportunities with incentives.
  1. Over the next year, it is expected that PBJ will be the new data feed for CMS Nursing Home Compare Star Ratings. Take the time to know the ins-and-outs of the CMS Star Rating Guidelines. This means the star rating will be based on auditable and verified data instead of self-reported data that occurs every few months. You’ll need to consistently keep this in mind as you staff your facility. Direct care and RN staffing level requirements for staffing stars are shown in PPHD chart below.

Taken from CMS Technical User's Guide

cms technical users guide

Maintaining accurate data that complies with CMS standards is a daunting task. In almost every case, it will require reorganization and the formulation and implementation of an established process on the inner-workings of quarterly submissions. Staying compliant and managing your CMS Star Rating with proper staffing can be an even larger effort. Time is of the essence, and if you haven’t considered a workforce management software solution to stay in compliance, reduce overtime costs, and manage the new complexities of quarterly reporting, then we strongly suggest you look at employee scheduling applications today.

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Originally published June 13, 2016, updated December 6, 2017
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