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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not for profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging

Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that supports, enables and empowers people to live fully as they age.

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Payroll Based Journal PBJ


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently posted information and a Survey and Certification Letter addressing the timing of submissions, sample data entry screens, and its expectations for how nursing homes will electronically submit their staffing data. 

Included are a draft manual for the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) data collection system and software technical specifications for vendors.

CMS will initiate data collection on a voluntary basis as of Oct. 1, 2015, with nationwide mandatory reporting by all nursing homes beginning July 1, 2016.

With PBJ (Payroll Based Journal) set to go into effect today, below is a link for a complimentary webinar by OnShift, which ran a few weeks ago just in case you missed it or need a refresher. 

On Demand: Payroll-Based Journal Reporting: Staffing Strategies for Success  Webinar

Up to date LeadingAge / OnShift Resources!   Link   (July 1)


A More Detailed Look

CMS advises the information currently posted is the first step in implementation, focusing on the type of data that will be collected, and how the data will be submitted to CMS.

Future steps will address activities such as how the data will be verified, how compliance will be enforced, and how the information will be publicly reported (such as quality measures on the Nursing Home Compare website).  CMS will provide information regarding next steps over the next several months.


Joining LeadingAge’s PBJ listserv is a great way to connect with your peers, get answers to questions and share what you know with your colleagues. Listserv membership is open to all LeadingAge members and their staff.   Click here – LeadingAge Listserv to join the Payroll-Based Journal Listserv TODAY!

This listserv is intended to provide opportunity for discussion and the exchange of information among members already participating in the voluntary collection and submission of staffing data and those who are beginning the PBJ process.

ALERT:  February 16, 2016

Linked is a letter sent by LeadingAge’s President/CEO, Katie Sloan to CMS Acting Administrator Andrew Slavitt, with a cc: to Thomas Hamilton, CMS Director of Survey and Certification expressing our current key concerns regarding PBJ implementation and requesting deferral or phase-in as necessary pending resolution of these issues.  LeadingAge also hopes to meet with CMS in the very near future to discuss these issues further in person.  We will keep you posted and share CMS’ response when received.


Draft Manual for Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) Data Collection System

CMS Staffing Data Submission PBJ includes downloads for the draft manual and the software technical specifications for vendors, i.e., for those facilities that will submit automatically from their payroll vendor.

The draft manual provides general information about:

  • The data collection system.
  • The Payroll Based Journal (PBJ).
  • How data will be collected.
  • An email address for questions: NHstaffing@cms.hhs.gov.

Included are sample submission screens, submission time frames and deadlines, and job category definitions.

Staffing Data

Staffing and census data will be collected for each fiscal quarter. Staffing data includes the number of hours worked by each staff member each day within the respective quarter.

Census data is the facility’s census on the last day of each of the three months in the quarter. Submission of staffing information through PBJ will be accessed through the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES).

This is the same system providers use to submit MDS data.

Registration for voluntary submission began in August 2015, and CMS will communicate more information at that time. Training will also be provided on registration and for both voluntary and mandatory submissions.

Nursing homes are advised to encourage software developers or vendors to participate in voluntary vendor registration. CMS will use these registrations to update vendors on PBJ news and conference call information.

Survey and Certification Letter

March, 2016  NEW – CMS Survey and Certification Memo on PBJ. Implementation of electronic submission of Staffing Data for LTC Communities

On April 10, 2015, CMS released Implementation of Section 6106 of the Affordable Care Act — Collection of Staffing Data for Long Term Care Facilities, a letter announcing that the agency has developed a system for facilities to submit staffing and census information — the Payroll-Based Journal — and notifies states of the posting of technical specifications and related information for the electronic submission of staffing information based on payroll data and the posting of general information.

States are encouraged  to make sure nursing homes are aware of the information that will be provided on the CMS website, and to encourage nursing homes to forward this link to their payroll or time and attendance vendors to evaluate the technical specifications.

Tools you Can Use

While we know many of you are already aware of the CMS PBJ website / existing CMS resources, following are the links to be sure all have access:

CMS PBJ Manual:


CMS PBJ Policy [Frequently Asked Questions] FAQ:


CMS PBJ Data Spec FAQ:




Last updated: July 1

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