The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspot areas. Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White House Coronavirus Task Force. QIOs are CMS contractors who work with healthcare providers to help them improve the quality of healthcare they provide to Medicare Beneficiaries. In addition, the agency is implementing an enhanced survey process tailored to meet the specific concerns of hotspot areas and will coordinate federal, state and local efforts to leverage all available resources to these facilities. The purpose of these efforts is to target facilities with known infection control issues by providing resources and support that will help them improve quality and safety and protect vulnerable Americans.
Nursing homes are especially vulnerable to the prevalence and spread of COVID-19. Additional resources are needed to ensure nursing homes take proactive steps to enhance infection control policies and practices to limit potential transmission and prevent widespread outbreaks within these facilities.
This is part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of nursing home residents across the country during the public health emergency.