Tips for the PBJ Pro: Staffing takes center stage

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PBJ data in the spotlight: Staffing takes center stage

The release last month of three high-profile nursing home reports garnered much attention. First, a UCLA-Harvard Report used PBJ data to analyze nursing staff turnover in nursing homes. Then, an OIG Report examined the use of nursing home staffing data by CMS. Last came a New York Times Report on misleading nursing home ratings.

Although the findings and limitations of each report are being debated, what can’t be questioned is this: staffing has become a focal point in nursing home care and with it an increased scrutiny on staffing data.

Turnover moving to the forefront

Since PBJ reporting started in November 2016, CMS has been working on methodology to capture staffing turnover and tenure in nursing homes for inclusion in Care Compare. The March press coverage specifically focused on the issue of nursing staff turnover, elevating its importance. In fact, in a response letter to OIG, CMS confirmed it has defined a measure for staff turnover and will work toward a timely implementation.

What does this mean for me?

Now is the time to ensure your PBJ reporting accurately reflects your staff turnover. (CMS considers turnover a shorter measure of time than tenure.) Although CMS no longer collects staff hire and termination dates, it does have a record of every employee’s hours worked each quarter. We therefore expect that:

  • CMS will likely use staff Employee IDs – and corresponding hours recorded quarter to quarter – in its measure of staff turnover.

CMS can analyze whether an Employee ID has worked hours quarter to quarter and utilize that data as an indicator of staff retention.

This underscores the importance of using the same Employee IDs each quarter for PBJ reporting. Facilities that have changed their Employee IDs, perhaps due to a change in their payroll and/or timekeeping systems, would present inflated turnover metrics. Recognizing this issue, CMS implemented an Employee ID linking methodology in 2017. To ensure that staff turnover is accurately captured in your PBJ reporting: 

The linking ID file is a cross-reference XML file that will allow CMS to associate the employee’s new ID with the employee’s old ID, providing for continuity when calculating the length of time an employee has worked at your facility.

If you are a SimplePBJ user, you can download an Employee ID Linking template by accessing Utilities > Employee ID Linking (please note: you must be in the next reporting quarter — 2021 3rd Quarter — to access the download). Once completed, the file can then be uploaded and submitted directly to CMS with SimplePBJ Sender.

When will this occur?

CMS has not yet released a date. We’ve been actively watching for CMS turnover and tenure information since inception and once published will incorporate the measure into SimplePBJ. 

Quarterly reminder

Your Q2 2021 (Jan. 1 – Mar. 31, 2021) PBJ staffing data is due Saturday, May 15 and will post to Nursing Home Compare the end of July 2021. Last quarter’s Staffing Five-Star (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020 data) will post to Nursing Home Compare the end of this month.

Have more questions?

SimplePBJ will host its PBJ Quarterly Check-In on Apr. 28. This free webinar is your opportunity to get all your PBJ questions answered before the upcoming May 15 submission deadline. You can ask your questions live during the webinar, or click the button below to submit your questions now so we can prioritize them.

Ask your PBJ question

Customer Survey: New Features Added

Thanks to everyone who completed our SimplePBJ Customer Survey! You gave us brilliant suggestions for new features and functionalities — two of which you’ll see this quarter in Analyze for Issues: 

  • Ability to exclude all staff with zero hours 
  • Option to clear all invalid staff employment dates

Upcoming Conference: AAPACN 2021

Attending the annual AAPACN Conference? Be sure to visit SimpleLTC’s virtual booth and attend one of our Learning Labs. You could win great prizes like a $500 Visa gift card or Apple AirPods Pro.

UPCOMING WEBINAR: PBJ quarterly check-in

Wed, Apr. 28, 2021 | 11:30am CT
SimplePBJ will host its quarterly PBJ check-in webinar on Apr. 28. Learn the latest CMS updates and ask your PBJ questions. You can also submit questions in advance to be sure they get answered during the webinar, or ask them during the live Q&A.

Reserve your seat

UPCOMING CONTEST: Submit early and win!

Submit your PBJ report by Fri., May 7*
Need an incentive for submitting your PBJ report early? We have it! Submit your PBJ report to CMS by Friday, May 7 and you’ll be entered to win one of five $100 Target gift cards.
*Must submit PBJ data through SimplePBJ to qualify.

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