CMS has ended the PBJ staffing data submission waiver included in the COVID-19 emergency blanket waiver.

In a letter released June 25, CMS announced that facilities are once again required to submit their April–June PBJ data by the normal August 14 deadline.

CMS also decided NOT to require the submission of January–March 2020 staffing data for PBJ reporting, a change from earlier statements.

CMS noted that because of the waiver, approximately 40 percent of facilities did not report staffing data. The agency therefore would not be able to update the PBJ staffing measures and staffing star ratings in their regularly scheduled July release. This means staffing ratings will be held constant using October–December 2019 data.

Holding staffing ratings constant prevents facilities hoping for higher star ratings to realize any gains from their January–March staffing data. Instead, the next posting of new staffing Five-Star ratings will come at the end of October and cover just the period of April–June 2020.

For facilities hit particularly hard from their October–December staffing data, specifically those automatically downgraded to a one-star due to missing the submission deadline or for having four or more days in the quarter without a registered nurse, CMS said it will remove the one-star staffing rating and instead have the ratings temporarily suppressed.

What does this mean for me?

Do I have to submit PBJ data for April–June?

Yes, your April–June data is still due by August 14.

Do I have to submit PBJ data for January–March?

No, CMS is not requiring that you submit your staffing data for January–March.

Should I submit PBJ data for January–March anyway?

While January–March data will not be used to calculate your Five-Star staffing rating, CMS is still encouraging all nursing homes to submit the information and will post the data in a public use file on data.cms.gov

What staffing Five-Star rating is currently displayed on Nursing Home Compare?

The staffing Five-Star currently displayed on Nursing Home Compare is based on your October–December 2019 data.

When will my new Five-Star staffing rating post?

The next release of new Five-Star staffing ratings will post the end of October, and be based on your April–June 2020 data.


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