Spurred by alarms set off in an April report on the nation’s nursing homes, a coalition of 100 industry stakeholders Monday launched a collaboration to develop and test action plans based on the report’s recommendations.

Over the next two years, the Moving Forward Nursing Home Quality Coalition’s seven committees and a steering committee will advance ideas to improve the quality of nursing home life in the U.S. The report by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine urged multifaceted change in the industry, which researchers found “ineffective” and “unsustainable.”

Moving Forward is funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation. LeadingAge is the convenor, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement “will provide senior leadership and network with national organizations to design and implement action plans,” according to the coalition’s website.

The committees are: 1) Person-Centeredness, Culture Change, Care Planning & Quality of Life; 2) Staffing & Well-Trained Workforce, 3) Transparency & Accountability of Finances and Ownership, 4) Financing System, 5) System of Quality Assurance, 6) Quality Measurement & Continuous Quality Improvement, and 7) Health Information Technology.

As an example, the Quality Measurement & Continuous Quality Improvement committee will focus on improving the validity of the Minimum Data Set, increasing the weight of staffing measures within the Five-Star composite rating. It also will concentrate on measurement-related topics such as the development of psychosocial and behavioral health measures, measures of health information technology adoption, and interoperability, emergency preparedness, and financial performance among like-topics, the co-chair of that committee, Tara McMullen, PhD, MPH, told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Monday.

“The experience of BIPOC  (Black and Indigenous People of Color) residents of nursing facilities during the pandemic starkly illuminated long-standing disparities in access, utilization, and outcomes that present pressing opportunities for change and improvement,” said McMullen, adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Master’s in Aging and Health Program.

 “Understanding and quantifying disparities through the collection of demographic data is a necessary precondition to the effective selection, reporting and analysis of new quality measures.”

McMullen said that while the IMPACT Act has authorized CMS to standardize several data elements related to social determinants, more must be done to routinize the collection of that data, as well as other data elements that help to illustrate disparities. 

“We, therefore, intend to focus on surfacing strategies in this area,” she said. “Enhancing the array of data and improving accessibility of the means through which it is shared will improve public literacy and enable consumers and caregivers to make sound, informed decisions about where to seek nursing home care. We will work to ensure several measure concepts are considered for reporting on Care Compare to gauge the extent to which residents’ individual care needs, values, and preferences are being met and to enhance structural capacity in nursing homes.”

The committees will engage long-term care advocates, nursing home leaders and residents, federal and state policymakers, and others to prioritize NASEM recommendations. 

Each of the seven committees will prioritize one or two recommendations by topic in the first few months and then outline plans. They will then test and promote those plans during the second year of the initiative.