Regulatory compliance reporting can sometimes seem nebulous and fuzzy. Where does the data go when you send it to an enormous federal agency? Does anyone actually do anything with it? Don’t mistakenly assume that Payroll Based Journal data is lost in a vast ocean of digital bits and bytes when it is submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Someone Is Paying Attention

Since July 1, 2016, all long-term nursing facilities have been subject to the Payroll Based Journal standards. PBJ data will soon be used in the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System available on the CMS Nursing Home Compare website. The intent is to help people compare the staffing levels available at long term nursing facilities, and by extension, the quality of care.

Failure To Comply Can Decrease Ratings:

“Skilled nursing providers who miss two Payroll Based Journaling deadlines in a row will face ‘suppressed’ Five Star ratings.” http://www.mcknights.com/news/missing-pbj-deadlines-will-lead-to-suppressed-star-ratings-cms-warns/article/655150/

Know Your Responsibility

Payroll Based Journal reporting has three components:

  1. Track direct care staffing information.
  2. Track resident census data.
  3. Upload your data into the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES).

Your PBJ File Should Include:

  • A unique employee ID for each direct care provider (no SSN’s allowed). You will need to have a way of generating unique IDs for your direct care staff, agency personnel, and contractors.
  • A complete, accurate record for each facility that identifies their direct care staff members (includes agency, contractors, and certified medical personnel as categorized by CMS). You will need to map job titles to the CMS-defined codes to ensure they are in sync for reporting purposes.
  • Residence census specifics (Medicare, Medicaid, other).
  • Total hours of care provided by each category of staff per resident per day including start and end date and the hours worked per individual.

NOTE: Direct care staff turnover and tenure (start and term dates) were initially nonelective but the CMS made this information optional in 2017.

Submit Well In Advance Of The Deadline

The system is swamped right before the deadline and you may have to log in a couple of times to submit your report. Once you have uploaded your data file into QIES, you need to check the Final File Validation Report (accessed via CASPER) to verify that the report was successfully transmitted. It’s important to note that it can take 24 hours to receive the validation report and you’ll want to leave enough time to correct and resubmit data if needed.

TimeWorksPlus Is Your PBJ Pro

You have six weeks from the end of the quarter to prepare your file. TimeWorksPlus expedites LTF employee time tracking so you can spend less time preparing your PBJ report. With TimeWorksPlus, this is more than enough time. As your team members enter time on their mobile devices, computers; or with one of our plug-and-play time clocks, TimeWorksPlus is automatically tracking the data and compiling your PBJ report. Immediately upon the end of the quarter, all you have to do is upload the file into QIES.

Meet The Deadlines:

Fiscal Quarter 1 (October 1–December 31) submission deadline February 14
Fiscal Quarter 2 (January 1 –March 31) submission deadline May 15
Fiscal Quarter 3 (April 1 –June 30) submission deadline August 14
Fiscal Quarter 4 (July 1 –September 30) submission deadline November 14

For more information about how TimeWorksPlus will improve your PBJ reporting, call Express Data Systems at (610) 495-7166 today.

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