LTC ALERT: PBJ Reporting Waiver Issued by CMS

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

Briggs’ family member ezPBJ has reached out to CMS since the March 28, 2020 release of Long Term Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities and/or Nursing Facilities): CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19.

That waiver reads: “Staffing Data Submission: CMS is waiving 42 CFR 483.70(q) to provide relief to long term care facilities on the requirements for submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal system.”  This statement is but a brief 1-sentence with no specifics.  ezPBJ contacted CMS for more specifics and released the information we know to date in this alert.  I strongly encourage you to read the ezPBJ alert and share it with your staff.

Here are a few highlights from the answers received from CMS:

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?  DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT PBJ REPORTING THIS QUARTER?

You are not required to submit staffing data for PBJ this quarter (Jan. 1 – Mar. 31, due May 15).

WHAT DON’T WE KNOW YET?

Because the CMS announcement is so brief, there are still questions left unanswered regarding PBJ processes. For example:

  • Can / should a facility voluntarily submit PBJ data for this quarter?
  • How will CMS calculate the Five-Star Staffing rating for this quarter?
  • Will facilities need to submit staffing data for next quarter (Apr. 1 – June 30)?

ezPBJ has reached out to CMS for further details. CMS has told us that it expects to post additional guidance in the near future. We will share the answers as soon as we receive them.

SO, SHOULD I STILL WORK ON PBJ THIS QUARTER?

Bottom line: You don’t have to submit PBJ this quarter. Are there situations where it might still benefit you? Perhaps.

  • If you are unhappy with — or unsure of — your projected Five-Star Staffing rating for the previous quarter, working on your PBJ data now means you will be ready should CMS decide it will allow facilities to submit their data this quarter for use in the Five-Star Staffing calculation.
  • If CMS decides to collect this quarter’s data at a later point in time, working on your PBJ now means you will be ahead of the game.

You’ll find links to additional information on the ezPBJ post as well.

Thank you ezPBJ family!!