Members of the administration’s new Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes are expected to be revealed Friday.
More than 800 applications were received, according to an official overseeing the process. Major long-term care stakeholders, as well as researchers, consumer advocates and representatives from a variety of other affiliated groups are expected to fill the panel.
Its charge is to assess providers’ responses to COVID-19, and suggest best practices for future similar events. Plans to form the panel were announced at an April 30 White House ceremony that garnered wide attention.
Commission members have high expectations, according to a letter obtained by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News that was signed by Jay J. Schnitzer, M.D., Ph.D., vice president, chief medical officer and chief technology officer or The MITRE Corporation. The size of the panel was not revealed.
The commission will hold its first meeting next week by remote hook-up, Schnitzer said. Subsequent four-hour meetings will take place weekly through July. The commission will complete its work by Sept. 1.
“All Commission members are required to attend the kick-off and must make it a priority to attend the majority of convenings of the full Commission,” Schnitzer wrote in the letter, which was sent to selected applicants. Proxies may not be sent to any of the meetings, he added.
The commission will “collaboratively conduct a comprehensive assessment of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic within nursing homes in order to make recommendations that will inform efforts to safeguard the health and quality of life of vulnerable Americans as the nation continues to battle COVID-19, as well as prepare for future threats to public health and safety,” he said.
Selected individuals will serve in a voluntary, unpaid capacity and must sign a non-disclosure agreement and conflict of interest disclosure form.
Commission members are expected to prepare for meetings by reading and reviewing documents. Post-meeting tasks likely will involve reviewing and commenting on draft findings.
Selected individuals had until Tuesday morning to accept the offer to be on the panel. A list of members was expected to be made public by Friday evening, Schnitzer wrote.
CMS declined to elaborate on the commission Wednesday. A spokeswoman said in an email to McKnight’s that CMS was referring all inquiries to MITRE, which the agency had announced would independently run the program on May 14.
“MITRE is responsible for all aspects of the nomination and selection of members, facilitating meetings, and independently producing findings and recommendations to CMS,” the spokeswoman wrote.
A McKnight’s inquiry to MITRE this week produced only an unsigned return email noting that the nomination process had closed May 22 and that the company anticipated finalizing commission membership “in the near term.”