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 CMS Plans to End Blanket Waiver Concerning Staffing Data, PBJ System

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said it plans to end the emergency blanket waiver related to 42 CFR 483.70(q) that requires all skilled nursing facilities to submit staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system.

Providers will need to submit data through PBJ for the second quarter of the year (April – June) due on August 14. The agency noted that the PBJ system allows the agency to collect nursing facility staffing information that impacts the quality of resident care.

 “The blanket waiver was intended to temporarily allow the agency to concentrate efforts on combating COVID-19 and reduce administrative burden on nursing homes so they could focus on patient health and safety during this public health emergency,” CMS said.

In reaction, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) said the skilled nursing profession appreciates the continued reporting flexibility that CMS has provided. “It recognizes the challenges that providers are facing during the pandemic,” the association said.

Still, “we want to emphasize that the fight against this virus is far from over for our long term care providers, and they need continued support from our federal government. We hope CMS recognizes this and the urgent need to prioritize resources to protect long term care staff and residents.”

CMS noted that the memorandum on PBJ also provides updates related to staffing and quality measures used on the Nursing Home Compare website and the Five-Star Rating System.

See the memorandum at: www.cms.gov/medicareprovider-enrollment-and-certificationsurveycertificationgeninfopolicy-and-memos-states-and/changes-staffing-information-and-quality-measures-posted-nursing-home-compare-website-and-five-star.

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