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Important PBJ and QRP Submission Deadlines for SNFs Next Week

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently reminded skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) that staffing data for the second quarter of 2018 must be submitted through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by next Tues., Aug. 14th. In addition, all SNFs have until Aug. 15th to submit and correct any Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments for first quarter (Jan. 1st – March 31st) 2018 data for the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP).

The PBJ submission reminder is timely given that nearly 9 percent of all nursing homes nationally recently lost a rating star due to inadequate numbers of registered nurses or from a lack of reporting reliable staffing information, according to Kaiser Health News. In a SNF Open Door Forum call last Thursday, CMS officials reminded participants that only PBJ data that are successfully submitted by the deadline are used in determining staffing ratings under the Five-Star Quality Rating System.

Beginning in April of this year, nursing home 5-Star staffing ratings as well as staffing information displayed on Nursing Home Compare are based on data submitted through the PBJ system. CMS plans to refresh the information each quarter based on provider submissions that are due 45 days after the end of a quarter. Due to past submission system slowdowns at the due date, CMS recommends that homes upload the data at their earliest convenience. More background on PBJ submissions, including CMS audits and commonly reported PBJ errors, is provided in a previous LeadingAge NY Intelligence article.

As for the MDS reminder, SNFs have until Wed., Aug. 15th to submit and correct any MDS assessments for first quarter (Jan. 1st – March 31st) 2018 data. These data will be used to determine compliance with the SNF QRP requirements and performance on the MDS-based quality measures that ultimately are reported on Nursing Home Compare. SNFs that do not meet the 80 percent reporting threshold under the SNF QRP for the 2018 data will be subject to a 2 percent reduction to their Medicare fee-for-service rates for Fiscal Year 2020.

SNFs should make every effort to ensure their PPS Medicare MDS assessments are complete, have a process to monitor for the use of dashes in Section GG, and continue to check their Review and Correct Reports for the SNF QRP as they become available. SNFs can find the details of which MDS elements tie to which QRP measures in the SNF QRP APU Table for Assessment-Based Measures for FY2019.

Contact: Dan Heim, dheim@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8866