The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced plans today to end the emergency waiver and resume requirements for all nursing homes to submit staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system. Providers must have second-quarter staffing numbers to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by Aug. 14. Meanwhile, staffing data submitted for the end of 2019 will be captured for public posting and ratings.

CMS recommends that first-quarter data be submitted but does not require it.  Industry apologist Steven Littlehale, chief innovation officer at Zimmet Healthcare Services Group advises not to submit the staffing data.

“While Q1 data will not be used in Five-Star, if you choose to submit it, it will be publicly accessible and be possibly used by others,” Littlehale cautioned. “I would be careful in sharing data externally that isn’t required, but keep meticulous documentation on your staffing and all your attempts to provide appropriate staff to your residents. Secondly, COVID-19 hit our nation hard, but not equally. Certain markets were severely hit, while others had no cases. Five-Star doesn’t adjust for these geographic variances.

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