Nursing homes that fail to submit electronic staffing data by the first required deadline may face sanctions and could see their Five-Star rating suffer as a result, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said Thursday.

Providers are required to submit their staffing data for the period lasting from July 1 to Sept. 30 by Nov. 14, 2016 — the first deadline since electronic submission became mandatory.

CMS will be granting some leniency to providers who make an effort to submit data, but those who fail to meet the deadline could face consequences, agency officials told attendees at Thursday’s Skilled Nursing Facility Open Door Forum.

Possible sanctions facing those who miss the deadline include information on their staffing submissions being added to Nursing Home Compare or the Five-Star Quality Rating System, one call attendee told McKnight’s.  

“We are not expecting data to be perfect,” Lorelei Chapman, with CMS’ Division of Nursing Homes, Survey & Certification Group, told listeners. “However, we do expect all facilities to submit data by the deadline.”

CMS has encouraged nursing homes to submit data every two weeks, but providers may “save and submit as many times” as they’d like, Chapman noted. While the PBJ voluntary reporting period ended at the end of June, facilities can still submit tests. They should not wait until the end of a quarter, said Evan Shulman, CMS deputy director in the Division of Nursing Homes, Survey and Certification Group, in June.

Thursday’s Open Door Forum also included a call for public comments on standardized assessment-based data items required by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014. The data items meet IMPACT Act domains including cognitive function, medical conditions and comorbidities, and special services.

The public comment period on the data items closes on Sept. 12. Comments can be submitted here.