Payroll-Based Journal resources

Here’s a roundup of the latest PBJ training, reporting requirements and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

PBJ reporting requirements

This information is summarized from official CMS PBJ documentation. Visit CMS for complete details.

What is Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ)?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has long identified staffing as a vital component of a nursing home’s ability to provide quality care — that’s why it’s used in the Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Rating System.

Section 6106 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires facilities to electronically submit direct care staffing (including agency and contract staff) and census information on a quarterly basis. CMS has named their reporting system the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ).

Staffing information is also posted on the CMS Nursing Home Compare website to help consumers understand the differences in levels of care and staffing in nursing homes.

The PBJ reporting requirements mean that organizations must track additional information about their staffing, including hours worked for each individual as well as position and pay classification worked.

PBJ reporting deadlines

Payroll-Based Journal reporting allows staffing and census information to be collected on a regular basis and more frequently than just during survey. This in turn provides auditable data and further ensures accuracy.

General PBJ reporting periods and deadlines are:

Fiscal quarter Time period PBJ due by
Q1 Oct 1 – Dec 31 Feb 14
Q2 Jan 1 – Mar 31 May 15
Q3 Apr 1 – Jun 30 Aug 14
Q4 Jul 1 – Sep 30 Nov 14

Required information for Payroll-Based Journal

The Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) report requires facilities to report the following information regarding employees and staff hours.

  • Employee ID: All direct care staff (both employees and contract/agency staff) must be assigned an Employee ID. The ID must be a unique identifier and not duplicated with any other current or previous staff. This ID should not contain any personally identifiable information, such as Social Security Number or name.
  • Date: The date associated with the number of hours paid to work.
  • Hours: The number of hours each individual is paid to deliver services for each day worked.
  • Job Title Code: The job role performed by the individual during the hours paid to work – there are 40 defined PBJ Job Title Codes allowed by CMS.
  • Pay Type Code: The pay classification of the individual during the hours paid to work – there are 3 defined Pay Type Codes allowed by CMS (exempt, non-exempt and contract).

Direct Care Staff are those individuals who, through interpersonal contact with residents or resident care management, provide care and services to allow residents to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psycho-social well-being.

Payroll-Based Journal FAQ

Get answers to the most frequently-asked questions about PBJ to be sure you’re staying compliant.

PBJ general questions

PBJ staffing hours

PBJ census

PBJ submission to CMS

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