Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) - Best Practices

Nancy Leveille and Carl Pucci in Finance & Reimbursement

As the mandatory PBJ start date approaches (7/1/16), AHCA has identified best practices from providers who are currently meeting the reporting requirements. See AHCA guidance below for detailed information, including links to educational webinars, vendor listings and AHCA staff contacts for further questions.

Dear State Executives:

We have received several questions about how to capture and submit contractor and consultant hours to CMS as part of the mandatory staffing data submission process - Payroll Based Journal (PBJ). We have also learned about solutions that AHCA members are implementing at their centers.

Below are best practices that we've identified from those members who are meeting the requirement for the submission of contractor/consultant hours. To assist in communicating these practices to your members, enclosed are a template email and a template newsletter article for your use.

  • Some members are having their consultants/contractors use the center's time swipe system to capture their hours directly into their time and attendance system which can then be exported into an XML file. Note that the hours in the time and attendance system cannot exceed the hours paid on your contractor/consultant invoices.
  • Other members are requiring consultants/contractors to submit the hours worked each day in a format that easily allows uploading them into a time and attendance system. This solution only works if the time and attendance system allows for easy upload of a file with all the hours for each consultant/contractor.
  • Members are also contracting with vendors who for a fee will combine all contractor/consultant hours into an XML format to be uploaded into the CMS system. For this solution, members are still required to capture the hours worked each day by the contractors/consultants and provide that information to the vendor in an Excel or CSV format. AHCA is aware of two vendors - ezPBJ and MuellerProst - (there may be more) that allow for providers to upload their own contractor/consultant data and convert it into the required XML files.
  • Some members who do not have a large number of consultants/contractors working in their centers have decided to manually enter in the data for their hours.
  • Lastly, certain members are working with contractors/consultants who are proactively providing the nursing center with their hours in an XML format.

For any of the above solutions, we encourage members to have conversations with their consultants/contractors as well as their time and attendance vendor. Any solution should be tailored to the needs of the center.

AHCA offers educational webinars and a number of other resources to help with PBJ on the ahcancalED site. We also recommend this list of vendors that AHCA is aware of.

Members may also submit PBJ questions to AHCA staff at:

We hope this information is helpful as your members work towards compliance.


David A. Gifford
Senior Vice President, Quality and Regulatory Affairs
American Health Care Association


Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Sr. Director, Member Operational Support
518-462-4800 x20

Carl J. Pucci
Director, Finance & Reimbursement
518-462-4800 x36