With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), thousands of employers are now subject to a variety of new reporting guidelines and compliance considerations, particularly with regard to employee staffing data. The provisions of ACA Section 6106 are bringing additional reporting requirements for nursing and/or long term care facilities referred to as Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) reporting. The change aims to standardize the reporting of staffing data related to its frequency, accuracy and auditability (including agency and contract staff).
Quality of Care, Staffing and Scheduling
Staffing is a critical factor in the quality of care offered by long term care facilities. How much staffing, turnover and tenure are all directly related to quality of care, and how staffing data is reported is central to the updated ACA reporting guidelines.
In an effort to further increase accountability and standardize data submissions, starting July 1st, 2016, facilities will be required to report data electronically for direct care staffing using the new PBJ system.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services, has introduced the system and issued the requirements in connection with their responsibility to simplify administration and oversee quality standards for long term care facilities. The developed system will not only allow for more consistent and auditable data, but will also be used to enforce compliance in the future.
Care facilities have been invited to use the new reporting system starting October 1st, 2015 on a voluntary basis, and will be required to file on a mandatory basis as of July 1st, 2016. Training will be provided by CMS, and facilities will report on census and staffing data quarterly.
Seeking Out a Solution
With the updated requirements for accuracy, frequency and auditability, facilities are being encouraged to seek out systems or partnerships with technology vendors who offer solutions that assist in meeting PBJ reporting criteria. Such tools will not only assist in meeting compliance guidelines but can also automate the significant task of tracking staffing data on a daily basis. This can be especially challenging for care facilities with a diverse array of employees and schedules.
An Automated Time and Attendance Solution
For care facilities not already using an automated time and attendance solution to track employee schedules and hours, now is an ideal time to research solutions and upgrade current processes. Although facilities may view the requirement as a costly change, adopting an automated solution typically has the opposite effect. Not only can an automated time and labor solution reduce compliance risk, but it can also decrease overall administration and labor costs.
The primary benefit automated timesheet and scheduling software is the ability to conveniently schedule and track large groups of employees in a fraction of the time of older spreadsheet and calendaring tools. Another benefit is the ability to conveniently and electronically report on staffing data. Whether employees are working remotely or on site, there are ways to capture and validate when and where employees are working in an automated fashion.
941 Timekeeping Can Help
With July 1st approaching quickly, contact 941 Timekeeping to learn more about how an automated time and attendance solution can streamline your ACA tracking and long term care compliance reporting.