PBJ (Payroll based Journal) Reporting Guidelines: New mandate for long-term care facilities beginning July 1, 2016

In an effort to stimulate better accountability for long-term care facilities, a new mandatory compliance measure is being undertaken with Section 6106 of the Affordable Care Act, and it is being referred to as the “PBJ Staffing Data Submission Program,” “Payroll Data Submission – Payroll Based Journal Reporting,” or sometimes just as “PBJ Reporting.”

What are the objectives of this program?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) aim to standardize reporting requirements in long-term care facilities, with the intent to collect specific information related to agency, contract staff and direct care staff, facility census data and more. The standardization of the collection of this data will enable providers to focus on the costs of labor – the largest operating expense of long-term care facilities – as well as labor-related functions like attendance, scheduling, overtime, and more.

What are the new requirements for employers and providers?

Beginning July 1, 2016, it will be mandatory for providers to electronically file both staffing and census data (including hours paid/worked, payroll and other auditable data with the exception of PTO) no later than 45 days after the last day of each fiscal quarter. On a voluntary basis, providers began submitting this data on October 1, 2015. In addition to quarterly electronic reporting of staff, contracted/agency employees and other medical professionals, auditable document trails are also required, which, according to CMS.gov, “when combined with census information, can then be used to not only report on the level of staff in each nursing home, but also to report on employee turnover and tenure, which can impact the quality of care delivered.”

How can I prepare for the new requirements?

Plan to partner with a trusted automated time, attendance and benefit tracking software so that capturing and reporting this data is done correctly and efficiently. By using software, you will prevent costly human errors, save time and make compliance a breeze.  All of our software solutions include a new PBJ reporting section so you can be sure you can produce an auditable document trail and reliable electronic reporting system for all new requirements in a timely manner.

If you’re upgrading from a sign-in/out sheet or other manual tracking method, plan to train employees on your new system prior to July 1, 2016, so that everyone is prepared to use the new system well in advance of the deadline. Many positions – especially direct care takers — may not be accustomed to tracking their own attendance, so considering the many needs of the employee is important when determining what data collection method is best for your organization. Should employees clock in at a desktop computer with internet access? Should they use a phone to dial in and clock in? Would a fingerprint authentication, facial recognition or hand scanning be easier? Would badges or PINs be best? Whatever experience you elect, we can customize a complete solution (hardware and software) to fully integrate with your workforce management system in order to collect, store and report the data you need to keep you compliant.

Where can I get more information?

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