CMS gives details on early submitting staffing data for quality ratings

By July 2016, providers will have to submit this data on a quarterly basis.
By July 2016, providers will have to submit this data on a quarterly basis.

Sooner or later, skilled nursing providers will have to submit staffing data tied to payroll. Those who want to get a jump on working out kinks can start submitting their data voluntarily this October, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Thursday.

Registration for volunteers for the Payroll-Based Journal system will begin in August, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said in a Skilled Nursing Home Open Door Forum call. By July 2016, providers will have to submit this data on a quarterly basis. The system should increase accountability, including the ability to audit, officials said.

“This voluntary submission period will allow facilities to work through processes before it is mandatory,” said Evan Shulman, Deputy Director, Division of Nursing Homes at CMS. Providers are encouraged to share this new process and information with payroll vendors and their IT departments.

Details related to public access to reports and maintaining compliance “will be communicated further down the line,” Shulman said. CMS held a PBJ Software Developer/Vendor Call last week.

Officials hammered home that updated staffing reports were under the Affordable Care Act and new quality measurements are part of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014. The new quality measurement guidelines were listed under the proposed rule announced in April, as part of the $500 million increase in reimbursements.

Public comments on the proposed rule and its attendant guidelines are being solicited through June 19. Many participants in the call were asked to direct questions and concerns through regulations.gov