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In an effort to promote greater accountability for long-term care facilities, the Affordable Care Act requires facilities to electronically submit direct care staffing information based on payroll and other auditable data. To meet this requirement, CMS developed the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system for facilities to submit staffing and census information on a regular basis. Access to this system is available to all long term care facilities at no cost.

CMS began offering facilities the opportunity to submit staffing and census data through the PBJ system on a voluntary basis beginning October 1, 2015. Providers will be required to submit staffing and census information through the PBJ beginning with the 7/1/16-9/30/16 fiscal quarter. The data must be submitted in the PBJ system no later than 45 days after the last day of each fiscal quarter. For example, data for the quarter ending September 30, 2016 will be required to be submitted no later than November 15, 2016.

Keep in mind that this process will drive the staffing component of your CMS Five Star Rating moving forward. Your ability to report this data accurately will impact your facility’s Five Star rating.

You should begin to review your current processes for collecting and reporting staffing information for employees within your organization, as well as contract employees such as therapy staff and physicians. You will need to formulate processes and systems to ensure that all hours worked within the facility, including those by employees who do not clock in and out and agency or contract staff, can be collected and monitored with an auditable document trail.

In addition to reviewing your current processes and systems for collecting and reporting staffing information, Proactive Medical Review encourages you follow the following action steps recommended by CMS to prepare for the upcoming mandatory PBJ staffing data submission:

  1. View the PBJ Training Modules available on the QTSO e-University at
  2. Obtain a CMSNet User ID, if you do not already have one for other QIES applications
  3. Obtaining a PBJ QIES Provider ID for CASPER Reporting and PBJ system access
  4. Voluntarily submit XML files or manually enter staffing and census data for work performed on or after October 1, 2015 through the CASPER Reporting and PBJ systems

For more information on the PBJ system, please contact Proactive Medical Review at 812-471-7777.

By Shelly Maffia, RN, MSN, MBA, HFA,QCP Proactive Clinical Consultant