CMS tasked MITRE, the operator of the CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare (Health FFRDC), with an urgent assignment: Convene a commission of experts to address safety and quality in nursing homes in relation to the public health emergency. The main purpose of the independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes (Commission) was to solicit lessons learned from the early days of the pandemic and recommendations for future actions to improve infection prevention and control measures, safety procedures, and the quality of life of residents within nursing homes. CMS outlined four objectives for the Commission.
- Identify best practices2 for facilities to enable rapid and effective identification and mitigation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission (and other infectious diseases) in nursing homes.
- Recommend best practices as exemplars of rigorous infection control practices and facility resiliency that can serve as a framework for enhanced oversight and quality monitoring activities.
- Identify best practices for improved care delivery and responsiveness to the needs of all nursing home residents in preparation for, during, and following an emergency.
- Leverage new data sources to improve upon existing infection control policies, and enable coordinated actions across federal surveyors and contractors (as well as state and local entities) to mitigate the effects of SARS-CoV-2 and future emergencies.
MITRE created 27 recommendations, covering testing and screening, equipment and PPE, cohorting, visitation, communication, facilities, data collection and more. To get a sneak preview of new regulation that might be coming your way, click here to read the full report.