The newly formed Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes is set to begin its work this month.

The commission, which the federal government announced at the end of April, is tasked with conducting a comprehensive assessment of the overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes. Its report is expected by Labor Day and will inform immediate and future actions  regarding virus protections.  

An independent contractor solicited commission nominees from health industry professional, clinical, advocacy and consumer organizations known for their nursing home focus and expertise, CMS said. The names of chosen panelists were scheduled to be announced at the end of May.

Also last month, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) recommended the commission include a state ombudsman and address how facilities can access adequate personal protective equipment. They also suggested further data collection and reporting of residents’ and staff members’ infections to increase transparency.