A national coalition focused on improving the quality of care and life in nursing homes on Tuesday rolled out its nine action plans. They range from ideas to improve wages to extending annual surveys to two days with longer intervals in between. 

The Moving Forward Nursing Home Quality Coalition has convened more than 120 stakeholders and organizations that work in and advocate for the long-term care community to develop recommendations based on the problems raised in the National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality report from the National Academies. The plans call for partnerships with policymakers, regulators, providers and workers, and even nursing home residents. 

“Every day is a reminder of how urgent nursing home quality improvement is and that when we work together, meaningful, quality improvement is possible,” coalition Chair Alice Bonner said in a video posted to the group’s website. 

The action plans focus on culture change, care planning, financial and ownership transparency and accountability, and health information technology. Each of the nine plans lists the specific goals, steps to achieving them and timelines. They also note required partners and infrastructure needs. The coalition said that several plans are already underway, and there are teams established in Michigan and Pennsylvania that are in the process of deciding which actions plans to tackle. 

In an interview with McKnight’s Long-Term Care News on Tuesday, Bonner said the reception to the plans has been positive. 

“We have a number of organizations, including nursing homes, that have already written and said, ‘If there’s testing of new systems and practices, we will be a test site,’” she said, adding that the coalition will be evaluating volunteers to ensure that results are scalable. “We’re not just picking 5-star nursing homes.”

One of the action plans focuses on designing a facility recertification survey that considers residents’ perspectives. The action plan proposes creating a two-day version of the traditional survey that gives more time to investigate complaints and spend more time in nursing homes with a history of non-compliance or lower quality measures. The surveys would take place every nine to 15 months, the plan recommends.  It also contains a goal of piloting this new kind of survey in at least one state with one or two survey teams. 

Another action plan looks at ways to improve wages for certified nursing assistants, and notes that just half of the 24 states with a nursing home Medicaid value-based payment program include a workforce metric. The coalition hopes to partner with one or two states that have payment incentive programs in place to include a metric that would incentivize higher wages and better benefits. 

The group also wants to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to propose similar metrics with the plan, saying there has been little guidance from the federal agency on how to structure such programs.