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Payroll Based Journal (PBJ)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) identified staffing as a vital component in a nursing home’s ability to provide quality care. CMS has revised its methods for collecting staffing data and is using it for a myriad of purposes in an effort to more accurately and effectively gauge its impact on quality of care in nursing homes. CMS now posts condensed staffing information on the CMS Nursing Home Compare website and it is used in the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System to rate staffing levels based on resident's care needs.  

Section 6106 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires facilities to electronically submit direct care staffing information and hours (including agency and contract staff) based on payroll and other auditable data. CMS developed the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) for this purpose. This system allows staffing information to be collected on a quarterly basis. It is auditable to ensure accuracy.  

The data, when combined with census information, can be used to report on the level of staff in each nursing home, as well as employee turnover and tenure, which can impact the quality of care delivered. Public use data files are available on Data.CMS.gov

All nursing homes have access to this system and are now required to use it. There is no cost. Information on registration and training is available in the downloads section of this page below. 



Informational Guidance

CMS Information


Contact Info



How to Audit Your PBJ Staffing Reports: click here

Staffing Data Audits  Avoid a One-Star Rating  Staffing Measures and Ratings Methodology Requirements for RN Staffing  Rural RN Waiver Requirements


Informational Guidance

PBJ Staffing Hours Presentation

PBJ Data File Download Instructions

How To Obtain a CASPER Account


CMS Information

CASPER Reporting User's Guide

CMS - Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) page

Quality, Safety & Oversight (QSO) Memo, 2019-02-NH



42 CFR §483.35 Nursing Services


Contact Information 

QIES Help Desk
1000 NE 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Phone: 405.271.5278

E-mail: Click here to email


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