Payroll Based Journal (PBJ)...Mandatory Staffing Data Collection

Recorded On: 04/11/2018

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The Affordable Care Act requires CMS to collect electronic staffing data from nursing centers. The Act requires this data to be auditable and verifiable. The information is intended to collect direct care staff (employed and contracted), employee turnover and tenure, and must include census data and case mix.

CMS developed the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) to collect this data. The first mandatory reporting period began July 1, 2016. More information on PBJ and the manual can be found here. CMS has stated it will release risk adjusted measures on the average hours per resident day by nursing job categories this spring. CMS will also incorporate these measures into your Five-Star Ratings. The exact date of release is not yet known nor it is known when or if there will be a preview period for SNFs.

On April 6, 2018, the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality/Quality, Safety and Oversight Group at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memorandum , "Transition to Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) Staffing Measures on the Nursing Home Compare tool on and the Five-Star Quality Rating System." A brief summary of the information included in the memo is below. 

  • Transition to Payroll-Based Journal Data : Beginning in April 2018, CMS will utilize PBJ data to calculate the staffing measure rating for the Five-Star Quality Rating System.
  • Penalties: Providers with significant issues on their audits or who do not submit data by the reporting deadline will have their staffing star rating reduced to one star. Additionally, starting in July 2018 providers who have seven or more days in a quarter with no RN hours will have their staffing star rating reduced to one star. 
  • Staffing Data Audits: CMS shares some common errors that are found in the audits that providers should work to correct. 
  • Form CMS-671 : On June 1, 2018, centers will no longer be required to complete the staffing section of the form CMS-671.

Additionally, CMS has posted PBJ data for the third quarter of the calendar year 2017 to the public through a public use file (PUF) posted here. This file contains preliminary data submitted by providers for the third quarter of the calendar year 2017. You can view CMS' previously posted data available here as well for the first and second quarters of the calendar year 2017. CMS will continue to publicly post data for the subsequent quarters.

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Electronic Staffing Data Collection and the Payroll-Based Journal

Learn the basics and the history of the Payroll-Based Journal.

View the webinar by clicking on the right hand navigation pane.

Submit of Face the Consequences: Mandatory Staffing Data Collection Starting July 1st, 2016


  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the new PBJ requirements
  • Find out what hours to count and what not to count
  • Learn what processes you should implement today to get ready
  • Get Answers to some questions the industry is asking

View the webinar by clicking on the right hand navigation pane.

How I plan on Succeeding with Payroll Based Journal

This webinar is presented by providers who have successfully submitted data to CMS during the voluntary period. They will share the steps they took, the challenges they faced, and the lessons they walked away with. Attendees will get tips on how to successfully prepare their organization to submit the mandatory staffing data and answers to their questions.

View the webinar by clicking on the right hand navigation pane.

OnShift's Educational Session

Learn the ins and outs of the Electronic Staffing Data Collection requirements and best practices to collect, review and submit the required information to CMS. Get credit for the care your organization provides by implementing proactive processes that help get PBJ reporting right. This session includes 30 minutes of educational content and 15 minutes of audience Q and A. Interested? Contact OnShift today.


Also offers a resource for providers. To learn more about their solution, contact Larry Florio.

Associate Business Members (ABMs) who currently are engaged in PBJ include:

American HealthTech**

Check out this PBJ Webinar.
Check out this PBJ Video.

eHealth Data Solutions*


Click to visit their site.

Demo Video
Free Trial


CLA professionals can assist throughout this process by helping you:

  • Obtain a QIES log in
  • Prepare for the initial registration for PBJ
  • Review labor categories your organization currently has established for direct care staff
  • Establish a unique ID for every facility and contracted employee
  • Review your facility's direct care staff in accordance with the established CMS job title code
  • Examine system data for the hire and termination dates of all direct care staff
  • Review time, attendance, and hours worked data, and discuss auditable systems for hours and census reporting
  • Collaborate with your facility to provide reporting assistance as it pertains to all PBJ submission requirements
  • Line up an outsourced solution to assist your organization with this regulatory requirement on an ongoing basis, if appropriate


Click to visit their site and check out Kronos Workforce Timekeeper PBJ.


Mueller Prost**

Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) Reporting Services- click to see what Mueller Prost can do for you.

Please contact Tiffany Karlin, Partner and Director of Health Care- / 314-480-1288.

NOVAtime Technology**

NOVAtime Technology, Inc. is a leader in the workforce management industry, offering fully integrated timekeeping, leave management, scheduling, & labor analytics solutions designed to meet the needs of any business. NOVAtime’s PBJ module was custom developed to meet CMS’s data specifications and supports flat-file import of data into the CMS PBJ system. Not only does the PBJ reporting module allow for the configuration of the necessary time and attendance details, it also allows for manual entry of the non-payroll based data required in order to generate a report that is fully compliant with Section 6106.

Check out the resources they have to offer:

Brochure: Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) Reporting 

White paper: Payroll-Based Journal for Long-Term Care Facilities - Electronic Staffing Data Submission

NOVAtime's Press release on 1/10/2017

For more information on NOVAtime and how they can help you with your PBJ reporting and/or streamline your workforce management needs, please contact an authorized NOVAtime reseller, email or call 877.486.6682.


Click to visit their site.

“OnShift has been an ideal partner helping us meet the Payroll-Based Journal reporting requirement. OnShift has simplified a very complex process. Their expertise in PBJ combined with user-friendly software has made the process much easier for us. I would highly recommend the use of OnShift to my fellow skilled nursing providers across the country to help them comply with the new PBJ reporting requirements."

-- Amy Fish, Administrator, Lancaster Rehabilitation Center

Prelude Services*

Prelude's Payroll Based Journal solution (PBJ) is a real data management solution. We support multiple data imports to minimize your manual data entry effort, resulting in a single, consolidated submission file to CMS. This PBJ solution was grown from Prelude's Enterprise Reporting (PER) solution which Providers have used for years to track key clinical, financial and employee data across the entire enterprise.

Click here for more details.
Learn More about our PBJ Solutions.

Prime Care Technologies**

Click to visit their site.

Check out Time to Automate PBJ Reporting to meet CMS' 3Q 2016 Mandate
PBJ Reporting Solution
PBJ Reporting + Submission (with SimpleLTC)
PBJ On-Demand Webinars (with SimpleLTC and PointRight)
PBJ Blog: 8 things you can do now to get ready for PBJ reporting


Click to visit their site.


Click to visit their site.

Think Anew

152 Watford Parkway Drive
Suite 201
Canton, MS 39046

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AHCA does not recommend one vendor over another. Vendors are listed in alphabetical order.

**AHCA does not attest that these Vendors' solutions are completely able to meet all the of the CMS requirements for submitting data but AHCA members who are vendors have indicated that they have been able to successfully submit data to CMS during the voluntary period working with one of these vendors. There may be other vendors with solutions that are successful as well but we have not heard from members about them. If you are aware of a vendor not on this list please contact Sharon Purvis –

*Vendor claims they have a solution, but AHCA has not heard from a member to verify they have been able to successfully submit data to CMS using the solution.

For questions, email


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