When immediate long-term or nursing care for a family member is needed, there is often a very small window for nursing home research and review. To fill an urgent need, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services developed Nursing Home Compare to ensure that loved ones are properly placed in an accredited, nurturing environment, and properly informed on vital next steps. As you know, spouses, parents and/or other family members can search for nursing homes based on location or other specifications from a list of certified, rated facilities. With over one million visits annually, according to the CMS, your facility’s place on the list matters.

Meeting requirements and maintaining Nursing Home Compare ratings is almost entirely dependent on accurate reporting. Under the Affordable Care Act, CMS introduced Payroll-Based Journal reporting (PBJ) as an optimal way for facilities to electronically submit employee and census information on a quarterly basis. With a requirement to submit detailed, highly accurate payroll data from the previous quarter within 45 days, disconnected reporting is not an option.

Under strict regulations by the CMS that govern operations, care standards, government aid reimbursement and staffing allotment, long-term care homes face a non-compliance domino effect. Without accurate timekeeping and payroll data submissions, quality of care ratings drop and companies will have their rating removed from the Nursing Home Compare site, effectively resulting in a loss of residents and decreased revenue.

To avoid such implications and ensure regulations are met and recorded, long-term care facilities must step back and focus on ensuring their most basic administrative processes are as efficient and streamlined as possible. Since one of the most critical sets of processes relates to accurate and reliable timekeeping, establishing a best-in-class human capital management solution featuring advanced time and attendance software that links with their payroll system is a no-brainer.

Below are a few ways that an HCM solution can streamline PBJ reporting, ultimately ensuring the highest levels of compliance are achieved.

  • Accurately track resource use

Resource tracking is twofold: staffing information such as how many staff are currently employed, where they worked, when and with what patients, and how many rooms/beds were filled on a quarterly basis.

With staffing being the primary contributor to patient care, understaffing is seen as negligence, in the most extreme cases, a potential criminal act. That is where time and attendance software comes in; simplifying and automating the labor and staffing management process with fraud and error prevention.

Secondly, the patient population, payer information and volume of individual need-based care determines the reimbursement levels allotted by Medicaid and Medicare plans at the end of the quarter or year. Without proper Medicare and Medicaid health compliance, or if a failure to meet basic quality of care conditions is found, nursing or long-term care homes may not be covered.

  • Provide an auditable method of data collection

Linking time and attendance with payroll and HR software ensures continuously updated employee information and accurate time tracking, removing business and human error. By using an advanced HCM solution, data such as Employee IDs, hire dates, pay type codes and hours, and the primary payer of each resident is continuously and comprehensively collected on a single platform; deliverable in one, easily exportable XML file.

  • Future proofing

The CMS is continuously updating its Nursing Home Compare and Five-Star Quality Rating System by expanding the reports required on patient health and recovery, staffing hours per resident and government healthcare policies in an effort to improve the accuracy and value of online nursing home information.

The right HCM solution should be flexible enough to keep up with changing rules governing time tracking, leave, and federal and state overtime rules within the system at any time, eliminating the risk of non-compliance and assuring data is submitted to the CMS free of error and up to date.

The CMS uses the PBJ records on staffing turnover and tenure to determine the quality of care associated with a nursing or long-term care home, ultimately determining a company’s reputation, fines and/or closure. To avoid such an instance while saving time and resources, health care facilities need an advanced cloud-based HCM solution that will update and upgrade along with ACA and CMS requirements, creating peace of mind for operators and staff and ensuring long-term organizational success.

Bob Greene is the Channel Partners Manager at Ascentis.

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