Using PBJ Data to Defend Against Negligence Claims

Anyone who regularly follows the news has undoubtedly heard about the workforce shortage in America and how it’s affecting different industries. Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in particular have found it challenging to attract and retain the right mix of staff.

A widely distributed and cited report published in July 2019 revealed that the majority of SNFs met the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) registered nurse staffing requirements less than 60% of the time. For overall staffing, 54% of facilities met expectations less than 20% of the time. The report analyzed payroll-based journal data (PBJ) from more than 15,000 nursing homes and was commended for providing a “more accurate and complete staffing picture” for both CMS and the general public.

While this report and the resulting headlines contribute to a negative perception of nursing homes, it is only a generalization. Plaintiff attorneys may use the “low staffing” narrative to support their claims of negligence, but without objective data, those accusations are only assumptions.

Facilities that monitor and review their PBJ staffing data each month will be better prepared to defend themselves against claims of negligence as a result of understaffing. They’ll also be in a better position to make necessary corrections to their staffing before an adverse event occurs.

Excelas developed the Staffing Scorecard to give our clients quick access to their PBJ staffing data in an easy-to-read format. We mine thousands of lines of payroll data entries on the CMS website to produce a report that allows them to:

  • View the number of direct care hours per patient, categorized by job title.
  • Compare their facility’s staffing levels to nearby competitors.
  • Monitor their staffing trends over time so they can detect any issues.

If allegations of negligence arise, the Staffing Scorecard will show whether or not there were fluctuations or inconsistencies in staffing levels during a certain period of time. When the scorecard is combined with our medical chronology, facilities can further identify the level of care provided during significant medical events.

To experience an interactive demo of the Excelas’ Staffing Scorecard, call us at 440-442-7310 or fill out the form below.

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