What information is required in your ACA Payroll-Based Journal?
Written by Complete Payroll
The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services gathers information about staff employed at skilled nursing facilities (SNF) in order to measure the caliber of treatment and care that patients and residents receive and how often the facility experiences staff turnover.
Employee ID Numbers
Every member of your staff is required to have a unique employee ID. This ID number is used to reference the employee on your report. No other personally identifiable information such as a name or Social Security number is used to identify employees on a PBJ.
That employee ID has to follow an employee through their entire tenure at your facility in almost all cases, with a few exceptions:
- If your facility switches vendors, you’re required to do everything within your power to retain the original employee ID numbers. However, if that isn’t possible, you can link old IDs with new IDs.
- In most cases, an employee ID cannot be reused, but some employee ID system providers allow for ID recycling when an employee leaves employment and then is re-employed at the same facility later. Re-use of the ID is allowed in this case.
Hire and Termination Dates
Your PBJ reports also allow you to include your employees’ first and (if applicable) last dates of employment at your facility. Remember, start and end dates are not tracked at the corporate level, so only track when the employee began at your particular facility.
It’s important to note that a contract staff member’s official start date is legally the very first day they performed any paid duties, but their termination date is the day you inform the employee that their contract has ended.
For a staff member, however, both start and end dates of employment are marked when paid work begins and ends.
It is optional, however, to disclude start and end dates from your PBJ reports—though not recommended. Including the information will help more thoroughly correct accidental mistakes in the case of an audit.
Staffing Hours, Time and Date
One of the most important aspects of PBJ reporting is to track the hours of your entire direct care staff (direct care meaning any employees who use social or interpersonal skills to provide care to patients).
The CMS website doesn’t track time by minutes or hours and instead tracks it by rounding to tenths of an hour, which may seem a little confusing at first, so we’ve included a little conversion chart (borrowed from the CMS website itself) for you below.
- One to six minutes is written as 0.1.
- Seven to 12 minutes is 0.2.
- Thirteen to 18 minutes is 0.3.
- Nineteen to 24 minutes is 0.4.
- Twenty-five to 30 minutes is 0.5.
- Thirty-one to 36 minutes is 0.6.
- Thirty-seven to 42 minutes is 0.7.
- Forty-three to 48 minutes is 0.8.
- Forty-nine to 54 minutes is 0.9.
- Fifty-five to 60 minutes is 1.0.
So an hour and 15 minutes is written as 1.3.
The date the hours are worked also needs to be recorded. If the employee works a shift that spreads over two days (split between midnight) then it should be recorded as two separate shifts on two days.
Job Codes and Pay Codes
The CMJ also organizes employees into different job types, with a unique job code meant to define each. However, it is reasonable to expect that an employee's expected duties may change throughout the course of a shift (for example, if a nurse spends the first half of a shift dispensing medications but the second half of a shift covering for another operator elsewhere in the facility). To account for this, the CMJ allows you to change an employee’s job code every four hours.
Pay codes classify whether the employee works for the facility directly (in exempt or non-exempt status) or is contracted labor. If an employee’s job is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), they are entitled to overtime pay unless exempt.
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