State Oversight of Nursing Homes Grows

Older couple sitting in chairs

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced that moving forward, they will use payroll-based journal (PBJ) data to identify and provide state survey agencies the type and amount of staff at a nursing home, at certain times. This way, CMS can identify facilities that do not have sufficient staffing, cite them and have them correct their staffing shortcomings.

However, critics of this plan have stated how this new process will make it even more difficult to hire staff as there is already a national workforce shortage and now more facilities will be competing for workers in order to fulfill this requirement.

This new change came about after Kaiser Health News and the New York Times investigated the government’s numbers which strongly suggested that the rating system used, embellished on the level of staffing across the country. After this discovery, CMS gave nearly 1,400 one-star reviews for low staffing in those nursing homes.

There may also be future updates to PBJ Policy Manual including updating job descriptions for the staff that are documented in PBJ.  These definitions would aim to lessen the misreporting of the staff in those roles.