Federal Nursing Home Commission Calls on CMS to Adopt Recommendations, ‘Reduce Suffering’

Federal Nursing Home Commission Calls on CMS to Adopt Recommendations, ‘Reduce Suffering’

Alex Spanko – Skilled Nursing News – September 16, 2020

A special federal commission on nursing homes and COVID-19 on Wednesday released its formal report, focusing on testing, personal protective equipment, and visitation as the nation’s long-term care facilities continue to grapple with the novel coronavirus.

The Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes laid out 27 primary recommendations for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), with a specific emphasis on a national testing strategy, providing operators with access to at least three months’ worth of personal protective equipment, continuing to facilitate proper cohorting of COVID-19 residents, and expanding visitation access to nursing facilities.

“To reduce suffering and to save the lives of residents and staff, CMS can implement or initiate the Commission’s actionable recommendations in relatively short order,” the commission concluded. “In some cases, CMS will need to assume a greater leadership role working with its federal partners and state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) authorities to determine which entity has authority to accomplish the Commission’s recommendations and action steps.”

The solutions target a list of seven overarching problems or improvement areas that the group identified in its analysis:

  • Ongoing supply and affordability dilemmas related to testing, screening, and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Tension between rigorous infection control measures and quality of life issues that exist in cohorting and visitation policies
  • A call for transparent and accessible communications with residents, their representatives and loved ones, and the public
  • Urgent need to train, support, protect, and respect direct-care providers
  • Outdated infrastructure of many nursing-home facilities
  • Opportunities to create and organize guidance to owners and administrators that is more actionable and to obtain data from nursing homes that is more meaningful for action and research
  • Insufficient funding for quality nursing home operations, workforce performance, and resident safety.

President Trump announced the formation of the task force at a White House press conference at the end of April, with MITRE publicly named as the third-party contractor coordinating the initiative in mid-May. The commission’s report was due September 1.

“The commission will comprehensively assess the response,” Verma said at the time of the announcement. “It will identify best practices, and also provide recommendations for how we go forward to protect our nursing home residents and make sure we are providing the best quality of life.”

Read full report here.

The group’s roster boasted a wide swath of industry representatives:

  • Neil Pruitt, Jr., CEO of Georgia-based nursing home operator PruittHealth
  • Roya Agahi, chief nursing officer of operator CareRite and former chief nursing officer for the post-acute care service line of NYC Health + Hospitals
  • Camille Rochelle Jordan, senior vice president of clinical operations and innovation for the Louisville, Ky.-based operator Signature HealthCARE
  • Rosie Lyles, director of clinical affairs for the Illinois-based medical supply distributor Medline Industries
  • Dallas Taylor, director of nursing for the Eliza Bryant Village senior housing and care campus in Cleveland
  • Mark Burket, CEO of Platte Health Center Avera, a nursing facility in Platte, S.D.
  • Debra Fournier, chief operating officer of Maine Veterans’ Homes
  • Jeannee Parker Martin, president and CEO, LeadingAge California
  • Janet Snipes, executive director, Holly Heights Nursing Home of Colorado

Other commission members included prominent Harvard long-term care researcher David Grabowski,
Justice in Aging directing attorney Eric Carlson,
National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care executive director Lori Smetanka, and nursing home resident Penelope Ann Shaw.

 

Questions?

Contact:

Laura Hofmann, MSN, RN – Director of Clinical and Nursing Facility Regulatory Services
c: 425-231-4804

Print Archives Article Library

September 16, 2020