Comparison: Trump Administration Actions and Commission Recommendations

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

“On September 16, 2020, CMS received the final report and recommendations from the Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes (the Commission). The Commission conducted an independent review and comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to identify opportunities for improvement and inform immediate and future action. There are 27 principal recommendations that fall under 10 central themes (below).

As noted in the Commission’s recommendations, they focused on the following themes: long-term care financing and accountability, facility design, workforce, governance/management, technology, and data. A reoccurring topic across all of the recommendations is the need for funding to ensure nursing home staff have access to proper personal protective equipment (PPE), other critical supplies and the need for collaboration across federal partners on training/communications focused on infection control.”

Interestingly (and oddly), this 13-page CMS response document is neither dated nor does it have any identifying CMS logo or 508 language which is a standard for CMS documents.  The document has numerous links to previous guidances issued when addressing each of the 10 themes found in the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes – Final Report issued on September 16, 2020.  (I believe that the Final Report was delivered to CMS/Administration on September 1, 2020, not yesterday.)

Pages 3 and 4 of the Final Report (see link to my blog and the report in above paragraph) identify members of the Commission that fully endorse (13) the report as well as the members (11) that have reservations and the lone member that did not endorse. You can read that Commissioner’s statement here

Now, as we continue to review and digest both the Final Report and the CMS response document, we wait to see if CMS and the Administration/Congress will act on any of the Commission’s recommendations, besides responding in a twitter-like document in “warp” speed.  We all need to digest these recommendations as well as the events and death toll of the past 6 months.  That takes time and careful consideration – lives are at stake here.