This story has been updated to include comments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
A report from a national nursing home commission outlining recommendations for providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is now in federal regulators’ hands and awaiting final approvals before wide release.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which commissioned the report, responded Thursday morning to an inquiry from McKnight’s Long-Term News, acknowledging it received the final report Tuesday. It will be made public following a review by the agency.
The leader of the Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes said it delivered the final report to CMS, as scheduled, on Tuesday.
“As is common practice, we reviewed our findings with agency leaders to ensure technical accuracy. The substance of the report and its recommendations have not been disputed or altered by CMS,” said Jay Schnitzer, chief medical and technical officer of MITRE, in a statement sent to McKnight’s on Wednesday.
“CMS offers its sincere thanks to MITRE for all their work related to convening the Commission, and to the Commission members for their input and expertise,” CMS added.
The 25-member panel, which was established in April and featured a variety of long-term care stakeholders, was tasked with reviewing nursing homes’ response to the public health crisis and delivering recommendations for new regulations and procedures for future emergency situations.
One commissioner told McKnight’s she expected the report to be released “sooner rather than later,” given the urgent nature of the national health emergency. Like others on the panel, however, she said she did not know what the finalized version of the report would look like. The commission’s last meeting was three weeks ago.
A CMS spokeswoman confirmed last week that a draft version of the report containing recommendations was delivered to the agency’s Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. She added that CMS Administrator Seema Verma wouldn’t be briefed on it until the final version of the report was delivered.
That draft reportedly called for the federal government to, among other things, assure all nursing homes have at least a three-month supply of personal protective equipment and address staffing issues. It was not clear whether recommendations would extend beyond mere suggested or “guidance” status.