My staffing rating dropped to one star. I know we have more than enough staff. What happened?

Payroll-Based Journal staffing submissions started being used in the Five-Star Quality Rating System on Nursing Home Compare in April. 

While Payroll-Based Journaling has been around since 2016, many facilities did not realize their data was being incorrectly captured or submitted, resulting in a 1-star staffing rating, which can seriously impact the overall star rating. This can negatively affect  your facility when potential residents and families comparison shop. In addition, many payment initiatives require a facility to be a 3-star or higher.

The most recent data collection period ended Sept. 30. The last day to submit is Nov. 14. This gives you a little time to ensure your data has been captured and reported correctly.

What sort of things should you be reviewing? First, are your employees coded correctly in the system? One of the reasons for a 1-star rating was the facility had more than seven days in a quarter without an RN. The other is that you do not have hours submitted properly. Ensure your administrative nurses’ hours are captured correctly. Also, review breaks. CMS automatically deducts 30 minutes for any shift over six hours. If you are struggling to find the issue, contact an expert. Your consultant should be able to help you with this.  There are also resources on the PBJ website.

On top of PBJ affecting the star ratings, CMS also is performing on-site and remote audits to verify data submitted. Even if you have a vendor submit your data, it cannot be stressed enough: You are ultimately responsible for what is submitted. Be sure to talk with your vendor on a regular basis and review the data together.