CMS Announces Plans to End the Blanket Waiver Requiring Nursing Homes to Submit Staffing Data

June 25, 2020

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to end the emergency blanket waiver requiring all nursing homes to resume submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by August 14, 2020. The PBJ system allows CMS to collect nursing home staffing information which impacts the quality of care residents receive. The blanket waiver was intended to temporarily allow the agency to concentrate efforts on combating COVID-19 and reduce administrative burden on nursing homes so they could focus on patient health and safety during this public health emergency.

The memorandum released today also provides updates related to staffing and quality measures used on the Nursing Home Compare website and the Five Star Rating System.

To view the memorandum to states and nursing home stakeholders, visit:


Medicare Care Choices Model One-Year Model Extension Announcement

June 25, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will extend the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) by one calendar year, through December 31, 2021, allowing more Medicare beneficiaries to access supportive care.

MCCM tests a new option for Medicare beneficiaries to receive supportive care services from selected hospice providers. It evaluates whether those services can improve the quality of life and care received by Medicare beneficiaries, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce Medicare expenditures.

Under the extension, participating MCCM hospices will be able to enroll eligible beneficiaries through June 30, 2021 and provide MCCM services for them through December 31, 2021. The extension will not affect the model’s other existing operations or policies.

The extension will apply to hospices already participating in the model; no new hospices will be enrolled. CMS will contact hospices participating in the model in the coming days and invite them to apply for the voluntary extension.

For more information on the model, please see its webpage.

Questions or Feedback?

If you have questions or feedback, please email the MCCM model team at

Addiction and Social Isolation – How to Help

Amid COVID-19, Find Screening Tools to Identify Substance Use in Your Patients. Social isolation and the stress of a pandemic increases the risk of using drugs across all populations; similarly, people in recovery may experience urges to use substances, and are at an increased risk of relapse during these trying times.

Talking with patients about their substance use using validated screening tools can be an effective way to reduce these risks.

Click HERE to view additional information.

Webinar: National Health Services Corps (NHSC) New Site Application for Rural Health Clinics

Date: June 30, 2020

Time 1:00 PM Central


Interested in recruiting providers through the NHSC and the federal government’s loan repayment programs? Learn more about how to make your Rural Health Clinic eligible for the newly-created Rural Community Loan Repayment Program. Join us June 30th for a webinar with Michelle Stewart, an expert from the Health Resources and Services Administration to learn what you need to do to become (or recertify as) an eligible NHSC site! The deadline for this application cycle is July 21st so you will have plenty of time to make your RHC eligible for the next round of placements.

Topic: National Health Services Corps (NHSC) New Site Application Webinar for Rural Health Clinics
Speakers: National Health Service Corps expert Michelle Stewart from the Health Resources & Services Administration

The webinar is free of charge and open to everyone. Please feel free to share this information with others whom you believe could benefit from participation in this webinar.