Latest SimplePBJ™ features and upgrades

Check out the most recent improvements we've made to help make Payroll-Based Journal reporting even simpler.


We're working to make PBJ reporting simpler

Our team closely monitors all changes to the Payroll-Based Journal policy and specifications so we can quickly implement functionality and reduce the burden of PBJ compliance. Following are the most recent improvements to SimplePBJ™.

Fall 2019

Ongoing CMS PBJ audits illustrate some data triggers and Facility reporting behavior that are likely to generate a PBJ audit. ezPBJ added new checks for audit triggers and implemented many performance improvements for an ever-expanding customer base. Based on customer feedback, here are the latest enhancements and additions to ezPBJ:

  • Added new PBJ Audit risk check for HPRD changes
  • Enhanced Five Star Projector with new Goals settings
  • Added Census modifier to Five Star Projections and daily Census details to replicate the CASPER 1704S Daily MDS Census report
  • Modified File Delete capabilities to ensure large file uploads complete before being deleted
  • Enhanced Meal Break rules for customers using Kronos' meal break algorithm
  • Updated ezPBJ's support number to (469) 916-2818

Summer 2019

With CMS' major changes to the Five Star rules, ezPBJ added an account-wide view of Five Star ratings for all facilities and updates mirror CMS changes to Census data collection.

  • Added single page summary tab to display Five Star projections for all facilities in the account
  • Added single page summary tab to display all Prior Quarter Five Star ratings for all facilities in the account
  • Updated Benchmark to display CMS exceptions for 1 - Too New to Rate, 2 - Not enough data available to calculate a star rating., 6 - This facility didn't submit staffing data, or submitted data that didn't meet the criteria required to calculate a staffing measure and 18 - This facility isn’t rated due to a history of serious quality issues and is included in the special focus facility program.
  • Removed PBJ Census functionality corresponding to changes by CMS

Spring 2019

New CMS guidelines meant updates to ezPBJ to reflect changes in the Five Star calculations as well as new PBJ penalties added to our Error Checker rules.

  • Updated Five-Star cut points and Staffing Five-Star table for late April CMS release. PBJ reports from Oct. to Dec 2018 will be calculated with these new cut points — and released in late April 2019.
  • Updated Error Checker with new CMS 4 days rule and additional audit checks
  • Added Weekday vs. Weekend Per Resident Day metrics for quick review of weekend gaps
  • Added and reformulated Error Checks to synch to CMS' Five-Star reports

Winter 2018/2019

Brought real-time Census and Expected Hours to the Five Star projection and added more Validaton tools to avoid audits and other issues.

  • Added new menu item "Five Star Projection" - available for ProSuite customers
  • Integrated to real-time calculations of Expected Hours and Census from SimpleLTC
  • Integrated to CMS Census reports for customers without a SimpleLTC integration
  • Launched new error check to identify Exempt staff exceeded 40 hours
  • Added new Change % on Quarterly Totals to highlight inconsistent totals quarter to quarter

Fall 2018

Launched new Five Star calculators and what-if tools to answer the question "Why did my Five Star rating come in that way last quarter?"

  • Added "5-Star Staffing Results" to the Benchmarking menu - available to ProSuite, FastFile and ezPBJ Essentials customers
  • Provided "What-if" scenario building tool to estimate staffing hours needed to change the active Staffing Five Star rating
  • Added "Reporting Status" menu option for groups with multiple facilities to monitor collective reporting progress
  • Added new utilities to handle negative hours and meal break scenarios; new feature to remove meal breaks from XML files
  • Expanded Error Checks to include triggers for the qualifying Automate One Star criteria defined by CMS

Summer 2018

Introduced the first PBJ benchmarking tool and Hours Per Resident Day calculator for validating PBJ submissions.

  • Released ezPBJ Essentials, a free PBJ benchmarking tool for all skilled nursing facilities
  • Added the ability to enter a census number and build scenarios of current quarter Hours Per Resident Day metrics
  • Enabled the import of a single file to populate both the Staff and Hours sections of your PBJ report
  • Expanded the XML import capability to allow the import of multiple XML files at once
  • Improved the ability to view and monitor PBJ excluded hours and logic

Spring 2018

Launched new products and integrations to better manage complex, large payroll-based journal reporting challenges:

  • Released Fast File product for facilities who already have PBJ XML files, but are not sure they are right. Fast File is used to Validate PBJ XML data and Submit directly to CMS.
  • Integrated to SimpleLTC so their customers can now automatically send their Assembled and Validated PBJ files to SimpleLTC for direct submission to CMS.
  • Added the ability to select and benchmark key Five Star metrics for specific facilities in your subscription

Added new customer-requested utilities to improve automation of PBJ reporting:

  • Launched Employee ID linking utility for those facilities who change their Employee ID schema. Creates a CMS-ready XML file you can upload
  • Rearranged and simplified our menu, so we can keep adding new features to make PBJ validation and submission even easier
  • Added many new behind-the-scenes enhancements to improve the speed and performance of ezPBJ
  • Deployed Single-Sign On capabilities for a better user experience

Fall/Winter 2017

Helping facilities prepare and respond to CMS Audits, ezPBJ launched new tools and error checks to make compliance less burdensome:

  • Launched ezPBJ Audit Manager - a new feature to help facilities compile their Audit responses, including required files and crosswalk data already in ezPBJ
  • Launched Quarter Locks - to maintain data consistency with CMS final reports and ensure your historical data is archived and accurate
  • Added Monthly Shift Editor to enable easy and rapid entry or modification of daily hours
  • Added Template auto-mapping to automatically convert PBJ Job Type and Pay Types on import

Spring/Summer 2017

Enabled direct submission to CMS to make ezPBJ the only true one-stop shop software for Payroll-Based Journal reporting:

  • Launched ezPBJ Sender - a new feature to send PBJ reports to CMS from inside ezPBJ, monitor CMS Validations Reports and get emailed status updates
  • Deployed Copy Staff feature to replicate staff from the previous quarter and avoid data entry hassles
  • Added Staffing F-Tag validation to facilities can see the days they are likely under reporting CNA and RN hours
  • Added Audit driven error check to identify staff exceeding 80 reported work hours in a week or 300 reported work hours in a month
  • Added CMS error check for Staff with No Hours so facilities can confirm no staffing hours have been omitted

Winter 2016/2017

Applying our learnings from the first official Payroll-Based Journal submission, ezPBJ expanded error checks and added new validation tools driven by CMS PBJ policy changes:

  • Launched new Visual Dashboard for Staffing Hours per Resident. Enables facilities to compare the current month or quarter's hours to Nursing Home Compare metrics.
  • Deployed new Bulk Add hours functionality to speed entry of staff that work regular hours
  • Deployed new Bulk Edit functionality to quickly fix staff or hours records not PBJ compliant
  • Added new error check to validate Hire Date and Termination Date - so facilities can avoid common CMS rejections by maintaining consistent staff hiring records across quarters
  • Added new CMS error check on Personally Identifiable Information - ensuring Employee ID's cannot be tied back to specific individuals.
  • Added error check so that Employee ID does not contain restricted characters - to avoid file rejections if ID's don't match the new rules in the PBJ Policy Manual v2.2 of January 5, 2017
    CMS PBJ XML File

Fall 2016

Gearing up for first Compliance Deadline, ezPBJ ensured we can assemble a full PBJ report for every facility, and started creating critical validation tools so every facility can get their PBJ right:

  • Deployed XML checker to import and reconcile vendor or payroll files
  • Added CSV export of PBJ data to enable offline analysis of PBJ in Excel
  • Added more data errors to be identified and fixed in the PBJ scrubber tool
  • Launched new Visual Dashboards to visualize and drill into staffing activities in customizable charts
    • Visually see days, hours and trends over time
    • Added detailed drill downs and trends by Job Title
    • Created view to quickly spot gaps
    • Enabled pay period totals to improve reconciliation with payroll data

Spring/Summer 2016

Serving early adopters and enabling PBJ reporting from almost any payroll or timekeeping data source:

  • Added custom SmartLinx import tool to handle complex data source
  • Added additional rounding rules and paid lunch options for improved conversion of Paid Hours
  • Improved data auditing with View Matching Records button to verify data being converted
  • Launched Excel and CSV templates to simplify creation of import file
  • Added self-service implementation and support documentation via an online User Manual, Getting Started Guide and the latest CMS Policy (version 2.1)

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