Independent Commission to Address Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

On April 30, 2020, “CMS announced a new independent Commission that will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Commission will provide independent recommendations to the contractor to review and report to CMS to help inform immediate and future responses to COVID-19 in nursing homes.

The Commission will help inform efforts to safeguard the health and quality of life of vulnerable Americans as CMS continues to battle COVID-19 as well as preparing for future threats to resident safety and public health.  The Commission will include leading industry experts, family members, clinicians, resident/patient advocates, medical ethicists, administrators, academicians, infection control and prevention professionals, state and local authorities, and other selected experts. It is expected to convene in late May and develop recommendations on three key tasks:

  • Putting nursing home residents first by ensuring they are protected from COVID-19 and improving the responsiveness of care delivery to maximize the quality of life for residents.
  • Strengthening efforts to enable rapid and effective identification and mitigation of COVID-19 transmission (and other infectious disease) in nursing homes; and
  • Enhancing strategies to improve compliance with infection control policies in response to COVID-19.

Additionally, the Commission will focus on identifying potentially innovative approaches to using nursing home data to allow for better coordination between federal surveyors, state and local entities, and nursing homes to address the current spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes.  The Commission will also use data to assess efforts across the country to stop or contain the virus within these facilities. Additional information related to the Commission will be available soon.”

The Press Release reminds us that May is Older Americans Month.