The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the development of a reporting system, known as the Payroll-Based Journal or PBJ, that nursing homes must use to submit staffing and census data as required by Section 6106 of the Affordable Care Act. This provision of the Affordable Care Act requires nursing homes to submit electronically direct care staffing information based on payroll and other auditable data. CMS plans to collect staffing data on a voluntary basis beginning October 1, 2015 and on a mandatory basis beginning July 1, 2016. Registration for voluntary reporting begins in August 2015. Nursing homes should check the CMS website for updates on the PBJ data collection system.

CMS has posted a draft PBJ policy manual on its website. According to the draft manual, staffing and census data will be collected for each quarter. Data can either be submitted manually and/or uploaded from an automated payroll or time and attendance system. Finally, CMS notes that it will conduct audits to assess the accuracy and completeness of the data. Facilities will be subject to enforcement activity for inaccurate and incomplete data.