CMS posts specifics on staffing, payroll data collection for Five Star ratings

Facilities will be able to voluntarily submit that data beginning in October this year.
Facilities will be able to voluntarily submit that data beginning in October this year.

The government has posted technical specifications showing long-term care facilities how to electronically submit staffing information based on payroll data under a new system that becomes mandatory in July 2016.

Facilities will be able to voluntarily submit that data beginning in October this year. The new Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be posted on the CMS Nursing Home Compare website. It is also used in the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System to help consumers understand the level and differences of staffing in nursing homes, the agency said.

The PBJ system is designed to “allow staffing information to be collected on a regular and more frequent basis than currently collected. It will also be auditable to ensure accuracy,” said Thomas E. Hamilton, CMS director, Survey and Certification Group, in an April 10 memo. All long-term care facilities will have access to this system.

The new data collection effort comes under Section 6106 of the Affordable Care Act, which requires nursing homes to electronically submit direct care staffing information (including information with respect to agency and contract staff) based on payroll and other verifiable and auditable data in a uniform format.