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Are you ready for PBJ transactions?

April 27, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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Gathering and managing the payroll data for a skilled nursing facility (SNF) can be a challenge, especially if the organization has a large number of direct-care workers. Beginning July 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will require all SNFs to submit data on all direct-care staff, including employee census, hire and fire dates, hours logged and other details.

In order to facilitate the data exchanges, CMS created the Payroll-Based Journal reporting system (PBJ), which launched for voluntary data submissions in October 2015. Some facilities are creating their own processes based on the CMS system, while others are choosing to invest in software to ease the workload.

Lancaster Rehabilitation Center, the largest SNF in Nebraska, went the software route, implementing PBJ reporting software and report generation from Cleveland-Based OnShift. The application collects the necessary staffing information, provides a review screen and produces a submission ready report for upload to the CMS system. “[The software] simplified a very complex process,” said Amy Fish, Lancaster’s administrator, in a press release.

Having the ability to create reports automatically that are upload-ready to CMS’ system is key, notes Kronos, Chelmsford, Mass. Time and attendance systems that have been enhanced to include PBJ reporting can eliminate manual input of data, reduce data errors and streamline the whole process.

Software that can convert staffing data from any timekeeping system into the required format for PBJ submissions can reduce cost for providers, according to ezPBJ, Rochester N.Y., which released its universal conversion and reporting software earlier this month.

SNFs that are putting their own data directly into the CMS PBJ system can find all the latest manuals, data specifications and version updates on CMS’ PBJ technical page.