United States

Senior Living Health Care Connection: Payroll-based journal alert


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) required facilities to submit staffing and census data through the payroll-based journal (PBJ) system. Posting verifiable staffing data was mandated for each quarter starting July 1, 2016. To be considered timely, submission of the data was to be received by the end of the 45th calendar day after the last day in each fiscal quarter. The quarters are listed below:





October 1 – December 31

February 14


January 1 – March 31

May 15


April 1 – June 30

August 14


July 1 – September 30

November 14


CMS will begin posting staffing data on the public use files on Nov. 1, 2017. Access the files. The staffing data to be posted Nov. 1 will include data submitted for the first and second calendar quarters in 2017. Currently, Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website only shows whether the facility submitted the data by the due dates. The public use file provides the verifiable staffing data indicating the number of direct care staff that are paid to work each day as submitted through the PBJ system. Nursing Home Compare continues to use data submitted by providers on the CMS-671 form which is used in the five-star quality rating system. PBJ data will eventually be used to determine the staffing quality measure and will replace the CMS-671 form that facilities are still required to complete.

Additionally, CMS has added a method to the PBJ data submission specs that enables facilities to maintain the reporting of an employee’s hours through an employee ID change. For example, if an employee leaves and then returns to the same facility, the employee’s old ID will be linked to the new ID. This feature will be available through the PBJ system beginning Nov. 20, 2017.

CMS has identified staffing as a vital component of quality care. The staffing and census information that is collected through the PBJ system provides a regular and more frequent analysis of staffing patterns in each nursing facility. This data will be used to determine quality measures sometime in 2018 and will be posted on the Nursing Home Compare website. Facilities must ensure that the data that is collected in the PBJ system is accurate and timely. The Nursing Home Compare website has become a primary source for people to research nursing facilities to find the best one for their care or the care of their loved ones. Additionally, the star rating system is used by many insurers, hospitals and other providers and payers to determine eligibility for participation in their programs and services.

For more information, contact Joan McCarthy at +1 312 634 3479.

How can we help you?

To discuss how our team can help your business, contact us by phone 800.274.3978 or

Subscribe to Health Care Leader Insights

Events / Webcasts


HHS Provider Relief Fund and compliance update

  • January 29, 2021


HITRUST for health care: The path to streamlining risk and compliance

  • December 10, 2020


HHS Provider Relief Fund and AICPA health care expert panel

  • November 20, 2020