Attention: Nursing Homes & Long-Term Care Facilities

Note: Registration for the PBJ system through QIES is available now.

Many of our Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility payroll clients have been inquiring about our ability to provide the needed technology to complete the required filings with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) division of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The reporting, which is commonly referred to as the Payroll Based Journal (PBJ), contains information about staffing levels relative to the number of patients served.

As stated in the current version of the CMS PBJ Version 2.1 Policy Manual, “Long-term care facilities must electronically submit to CMS complete and accurate direct care staffing information, including information for agency and contract staff, based on payroll and other verifiable and auditable data in a uniform format according to specifications established by CMS.”

Types of earnings paid to employees and resident census data on the last day of each reporting month must also be reported.

Since most of this data is tracked and available in our payroll system, it is natural that we provide this reporting capability. This letter provides an overview of the requirements, the information required for setup and basic functionality. It also outlines your responsibilities moving forward.

The reporting is done by facility. This means that entities with multiple facilities under a single federal EIN will still have multiple filings. Currently, the policy manual states that this reporting is to be done quarterly within 45 days of the end of each calendar quarter.

The first period for which data must be tracked is July 1st through September 30th. This report is due November 15, 2016. The necessary updates to our system are currently scheduled for May 16, 2016.

While the current published CMS policies and procedures do not provide for an electronic filing frequency any more often than quarterly, we have been advised that some entities are being encouraged by their associations or other sources to file semi-monthly or monthly. We have been advised by the CMS that these increased frequencies are intended only for those facilities that must enter data manually through the CMS portal because they lack the ability to file electronically.
Our system will alleviate this tedious, time-consuming and error-prone manual process. IF you elect NOT to use our electronic reporting tools, please let us know. Otherwise, we will be contacting you soon to obtain the required information needed for us to configure this service within our systems.

The fees and more information:

  • One-time setup fee per facility. This includes configuring our payroll software, configuring our time and attendance software and providing written instructions on how to maintain company and employee data, as well as creating the PBJ file in the required formats.
  • Additional setup fees may apply if an external time keeping system is used and our assistance is required in configuring that export/import.
  • Fee per payroll processed. This includes ongoing software updates, support, and trouble-shooting assistance.
  • Additional details about exact setup requirements WITHIN our systems will be provided shortly once the release occurs. These include a review of all earnings codes and cost centers and positions to assign the necessary codes, reflecting these changes, if any, in time and attendance, as well as configuring the time export correctly to pass the required date and time stamp data.
  • We will also need your CMS-provided Facility Identification Code and the CMS-provided Facility State Code.

According to the CMS, “Submission of staffing information through PBJ will be accessed through the Quality Improvement & Evaluation System (QIES). To connect to PBJ through QIES you must have a CMSnet user ID. Most long-term care facilities will already have connectivity to QIES and CMSNet through submitting minimum data set (MDS) or other CMS data.”

Resources for more information:

If you have any questions, please call 918.587.3321