Payroll-Based Journal: What You Might Not Know

February 27, 2018


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PBJ is Here to Stay

Despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has gone through some changes and its exact future is always in doubt, Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) looks like it's here to stay. The ACA brought many requirements for employers, from providing healthcare insurance to reporting coverage information to the IRS. PBJ is a result of one of the employer mandates, and it specifically affects full-time staff, as well as agency and contract staff, at nursing homes and long-term care facilities (including skilled nursing facilities).

Goals of the Data Collection

The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) began collecting this mandatory staffing and census information from these providers in 2016; however, changes have been made to the collection requirements. What are the goals for the data collection requirement? The system was designed to:



  1. Allow the CMS to collect more regular and more frequent data from nursing homes
  2. Ensure accuracy of data by providing an auditable method of data collection
  3. Standardize data collection
  4. Inspect the quality of care delivered at nursing homes by using data such as:
    1. The level of staff in each nursing home
    2. Nursing home employee turnover and tenure
    3. Census data
    4. Rate nursing homes based on this data and rank each one using their Star Rating System to indicate quality level

Once the new requirements are in place, affected employers will need to file staffing and census data within 45 days of the close of each fiscal year.

PBJ and Star Ratings

As of November 2017, CMS has taken its Star Rating System a step further and began posting data for public use, adding a new level of transparency and an extra layer of scrutiny for LTCs. Providers that do not submit data by the required deadlines will have their overall and staffing star ratings removed on the CMS Nursing Home Compare site.

The data includes the total number of hours submitted for nursing services job categories (such as registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, and nurse aides) for each day in the quarter, in addition to each facility's census for each day in the quarter as calculated using minimum data set (MDS) submissions.

CMS Changes

Note that CMS will now use census data from MDS submissions, and not PBJ census data, as the source of patient census, which would essentially be duplication of data. This means that patient counts will be calculated daily, instead of once a month (as with PBJ) or once per year (as in the annual survey report). This new tracking system will provide more accurate census counts to use in determining staffing hours.

CMS is also expected to make changes in the PBJ reporting requirement, including tracking employee IDs and staff turnover. This move is intended to give CMS a better picture of staff tenure and turnover.

How Paycor Can Help

For 30 years, Paycor has offered clients industry-defining payroll and tax expertise. On top of that expertise, which keeps you always up-to-date and current, we also offer award-winning technology. If your time and attendance system isn't linked to your payroll system, PBJ reporting requirements will place an incredible strain on your staff, which will take you away from patient care. (It's a dangerous Catch-22.)

Paycor can help ensure your facility maintains its staffing star rating on the Nursing Home Compare site. Our time and attendance system has you covered.


See a Demo


Sources: CMS, Long-Term Living magazine





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