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CMS to Share PBJ Data

In a recent Survey and Certification Letter (S&C: 17-45-NH), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they will begin publishing public use files containing some nursing staffing data submitted through the Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) system on Nov. 1, 2017. The data will be posted here for viewing by long term care facilities, stakeholders, or the general public.

While CMS intends to start using the PBJ data to calculate and report staffing levels, tenure, and turnover measures in 2018, at this time, the 5-Star system continues to rely on staffing data collected on form CMS-671 at the time of a facility’s survey.

The information to be released will not include any calculations of measures. Rather, it will include the raw number of hours that providers have submitted as well as the daily resident census. The initial posting will provide data for the first two quarters of calendar year 2017 and will include the following positions: director of nursing, registered nurses with administrative duties, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses with administrative duties, licensed practical nurses, certified nurse aides, medication aides, and nurse aides in training. Any data submitted by providers after the reporting deadlines as well as data that did not pass specific CMS quality checks will not be posted.

CMS has developed a method for facilities to link old employee identifiers with new ones to enable tracking of each unique employee in cases where employee identifiers may have changed. This process is described in an updated PBJ Policy Manual available here. The PBJ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document has been updated to include information on how daily census is calculated from the MDS and how and when CMS updates the PBJ reporting icon that appears on the Nursing Home Compare website. The FAQs are available here. In both documents, new information is shown in red.

CMS warns that PBJ data is not directly comparable with staffing data collected on form CMS-671 and that states, CMS regional offices, and stakeholders should not interpret the data to indicate noncompliance with other nursing home requirements. Based on the most recent submission, 95 percent of facilities nationwide successfully submitted data by the established deadline. Staffing data for the quarter covering July through September 2017 must be submitted by Nov. 14, 2017.

Contact: Darius Kirstein, dkirstein@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8841