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September 24, 2020

The Final Report from the Independent Nursing Home COVID-19 Commission to CMS

In an effort to protect the residents of nursing homes from COVID-19, CMS sought an independent review and assessment of the nursing home response to the pandemic in June 2020. CMS hired MITRE to solicit membership applications, select the members, and to create the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes (the Commission). The goal was for the Commission to review and assess the current and future responses to COVID-19 and potential future infectious disease outbreaks within nursing homes.

On September 16, CMS received the final report from the Commission. CMS released an overview of the public health actions it has taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes. CMS acknowledged nursing homes and other shared or congregate living facilities (e.g. assisted living facilities) have been severely affected by COVID-19 because these facilities host older individuals with multiple medical conditions, making them particularly susceptible to complications from the virus. Also, CMS recognized the Commission’s expertise, as the federal government is using the Commission’s feedback to refine its approach to fight the adverse impacts of COVID-19. The Commission’s report contains best practices that emphasize and reinforce CMS strategies and initiatives to ensure nursing home residents are protected from COVID-19.