The Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes in mid-September issued a voluminous 186-page report containing 27 recommendations.

The document offered direction to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on everything from improving testing turnaround times and ensuring adequate personal protective equipment to refining cohorting procedures. 

But beyond delivering action items for the agency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the report also alerted the agency to the need for comprehensive reform of the long-term care system. It discussed a fragmented payment regimen, severely underpaid workforce and outdated facilities.   

“The time has come for a turning point in nursing home care,” report authors wrote. “The Commission envisions a person-centered, resilient system of care that is better for the next generation — one that more deeply values and respects older adults and people with disabilities as vital to the fabric of American society.”

CMS established the 25-member commission in April.