Trump Administration Announces Call for Nominations for Nursing Home Commission

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May 14, 2020

Contact: CMS Media Relations
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Trump Administration Announces Call for Nominations for Nursing Home Commission

As a part of President Trump’s plan to Open Up America Again, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing a call for nominations for the new contractor-led Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes to help inform immediate and future responses to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) within these facilities. This independent Commission’s work will build on the Administration’s long history of decisive actions to protect nursing home residents. The Commission will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes and will inform immediate and future actions to address the virus in order to safeguard the health and quality of life for an especially vulnerable population of Americans.  The Commission will consist of a diverse group of individuals, which may include industry experts, clinicians, resident/patient advocates, family members of individuals residing in nursing homes, medical ethicists, nursing home administrators, academics, infection control and prevention professionals, state and local authorities, and other stakeholders whose expertise can contribute to one or more of the areas on which the Commission will focus.

“The tragic reality is that the coronavirus has had devastating effects on nursing homes,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “This inherent challenge makes a comprehensive review of the nation’s response in this area imperative, as we seek to protect nursing home residents both today and in the future.”

An independent contractor intends to convene the commission and manage all aspects of the process, including nomination and selection of members, facilitating meetings, and independently producing a final report to CMS Administrator Verma regarding findings and recommendations. 

The contractor is soliciting nominees for the commission from health industry professional, clinical, advocacy and consumer organizations known for their nursing home focus and expertise. The contractor is accepting nominations on their Nursing Home Commission Nomination website, where additional information about the Commission and its purpose can also be found.  

The contractor has indicated that nominations will close on May 22, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EDT, with announcement of the names of the Commission members occurring by the end of May.  The Commission will commence its work in early June 2020.  The contractor will compile the results of the Commission’s work and submit the final report to CMS on September 1, 2020.

The full list of CMS Public Health Action for Nursing Homes on COVID-19 to date is in the chart below.

CMS Public Health Action for Nursing Homes on COVID-19 as of April 30, 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