CMS Announces Membership of Independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Today, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the MITRE Corporation has published the membership of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. CMS seeks an independent review and comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The agency tasked the contractor, MITRE, to solicit membership applications, select the members, and facilitate the Commission’s work. The Commission’s review will help inform current and future responses to COVID-19 and potential future infectious disease outbreaks within nursing homes.

“The unique vulnerability of nursing homes – populated by frail, elderly residents living in close quarters – to a highly contagious, deadly disease like COVID-19 has placed nursing homes at the center of America’s pandemic response. CMS has acted swiftly and decisively to promote infection control and maximize transparency and accountability. We mourn the precious lives lost in nursing homes, and commit to refining and perfecting our approach with the help of the Coronavirus Commission on Nursing Home Safety and Quality. The members of the Commission are talented, experienced, and deeply committed to this population. We congratulate them on their selection and look forward to working closely with them,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

The Commission will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes. Based on its assessment, the Commission will make recommendations on actions and best practices for immediate and future actions.  Three key areas of focus for the Commission include:

  • Ensuring nursing home residents 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.

The 25-member Commission is diverse, representing a variety of expertise, affiliations, backgrounds, and geography, including resident advocates, infectious disease experts, directors and administrators of nursing homes, academics, state authorities, clinicians, a medical ethicist and a nursing home resident. In addition to the official Commission members, there may also be additional members added to help bring additional viewpoints and insights. MITRE will convene and moderate the Commission throughout the summer of 2020. CMS anticipates the Commission’s final report in fall of 2020.

The Commission members are:

  • Roya Agahi, RN, MS HCM, WCC; Chief Nursing Officer, formerly of NYC Health + Hospitals, soon to be of CareRite, New York
  • Lisa M. Brown, PhD, ABPP; Professor of Psychology, Palo Alto University, California
  • Mark Burket, CEO, Platte Health Center Avera, South Dakota
  • Eric M. Carlson, JD; Directing Attorney, Justice in Aging, California
  • Michelle Dionne-Vahalik, DNP, RN; Associate Commissioner, State Health and Human Services Commission, Texas
  • Debra Fournier, MSB, BSN, ANCC RN-BC, LNHA, CHD, CPHQ; COO, Veterans’ Homes, Maine
  • Terry T. Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN; President, The John A. Hartford Foundation, New York
  • Candace S. Goehring, MN, RN; Director, State Department of Social and Health Services, Aging and Long-Term Support Administration, Washington
  • David C. Grabowski, PhD; Professor of Healthcare Policy, Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Camille Rochelle Jordan, RN, BSN, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CDP; Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations & Innovations, Signature Healthcare, Kentucky
  • Jessica Kalender-Rich, MD, CMD, AGSF, FAAHPM, FACP; Medical Director, Post-Acute Care, University of Kansas Health System, Kansas
  • Marshall Barry Kapp, JD, MPH; Professor Emeritus of Law, Florida State University, Florida
  • Morgan Jane Katz, MD, MHS; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland
  • Beverley L. Laubert, MA; State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, State Department of Aging, Ohio
  • Rosie D. Lyles, MD, MHA, MSc, FACA; Director of Clinical Affairs, Medline Industries, Illinois
  • Jeannee Parker Martin, MPH, BSN; President and CEO, LeadingAge California
  • G. Adam Mayle, CHFM, CHC, CHE; Administrative Director of Facilities, Memorial Healthcare System, Florida
  • David A. Nace, MD, MPH, CMD; President, AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Pennsylvania
  • Lori Porter, LNHA, CNA; CEO, National Association of Health Care Assistants, Missouri
  • Neil Pruitt, Jr., MBA, MHA, LNHA; Chairman and CEO, PruittHealth, Inc., Georgia
  • Penelope Ann Shaw, PhD; Nursing Home Resident and Advocate, Braintree Manor Healthcare, Massachusetts
  • Lori O. Smetanka, JD; Executive Director, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, Maryland
  • Janet Snipes, LNHA; Executive Director, Holly Heights Nursing Home, Colorado
  • Patricia W. Stone, PhD, MPH, FAAN, RN, CIC; Professor of Health Policy in Nursing, Columbia University, New York
  • Dallas Taylor, BSN, RN; Director of Nursing, Eliza Bryant Village, Ohio

This Commission builds upon the agency’s five-part plan unveiled in April 2019 to ensure safety and quality in America’s nursing homes, as well as recent CMS efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 within these facilities. 

CMS Public Health Action for Nursing Homes on COVID-19 as of June 4, 2020
February 6, 2020CMS took action to prepare the nation’s healthcare facilities for the COVID-19 threat.
March 4, 2020CMS issued new guidance related to the screening of entrants into nursing homes.
March 10, 2020CMS issued guidance related to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
March 13,  2020CMS issued guidance for a nationwide restriction on nonessential medical staff and all visitors.
March 20, 2020CMS announced a suspension of routine inspections, and an exclusive focus on immediate jeopardy situations and infection control inspections.
March 30, 2020CMS announced that hospitals, laboratories, and other entities can perform tests for COVID-19 on people at home and in other community-based settings outside of the hospital – including nursing homes.
April 2, 2020CMS issued a call to action for nursing homes and state and local governments reinforcing infection control responsibilities and urging leaders to work closely with nursing homes on access to testing and PPE. 
April 15, 2020CMS announced the agency will nearly double payment for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of COVID-19 cases.
April 19, 2020CMS announced it will require nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 to all residents and their families, as well as directly to the CDC. On May 1, 2020, CMS proposed policy in an Interim Final Rule. 
April 30, 2020CMS announced the formation of a Commission that will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to COVID-19.
May 6, 2020CMS released a memorandum to State Survey Agency directors with more details on the reporting requirement announced on April 19.
May 13, 2020CMS published a new toolkit comprised of recommendations and best practices from a variety of front line health care providers, governors’ COVID-19 task forces, associations and other organizations and experts and is intended to serve as a catalogue of resources dedicated to addressing the specific challenges facing nursing homes as they combat COVID-19. Toolkit is found here: Toolkit
May 18, 2020CMS issued guidance for state and local officials on the reopening of nursing homes. 
June 1, 2020CMS issued guidance to states on COVID-19 survey activities, CARES Act funding, enhanced enforcement for infection control deficiencies, and quality improvement activities in nursing homes. CMS also issued a letter to Governors.
June 4, 2020CMS post first set of underlying COVID-19 nursing home data and results from targeted inspections conducted by the agency since March 4, 2020 linked on Nursing Home Compare

###

Related posts