Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions About the Commission

What is the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes?

The Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes (the “Commission”) is an independent entity created to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The Commission will inform efforts to safeguard the health and quality of life of vulnerable Americans as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to battle COVID-19, as well as prepare for future threats to resident safety and public health.

What are the Commission’s specific focus areas?

The Commission is tasked to: 

  1. Identify best practices for facilities to enable rapid and effective identification and mitigation of transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in nursing homes.
  2. Recommend best practices as exemplars of rigorous infection control practices and facility resiliency that can serve as a framework for enhanced oversight and quality monitoring activities.
  3. Endeavor to identify best practices for improved care delivery and responsiveness to the needs of all nursing home residents in preparation for, during, and following an emergency.
  4. Leverage new sources of data to improve existing infection control policies and enable coordination across federal surveyors, contractors, and state and local entities to mitigate coronavirus infection and future emergencies.

Who is serving on the Commission? Why were they selected?

The Commission consists of 25 members. Selection criteria included expertise in infection control and prevention or infectious disease, direct experience with the pandemic and/or other health emergencies, leadership in issues relevant to the Commission, and contribution to diversity of viewpoints and representation to the Commission’s composition.

Selected from the private sector, state government, and academia, Commission members represent a cross-section of nursing home stakeholders, including: resident advocates, infectious disease experts, directors/administrators of nursing homes, academicians, state authorities, clinicians, a medical ethicist, and a nursing home resident.

The list of Commission members is available here.

How many people applied to serve on the Commission?

MITRE received applications from more than 800 individuals interested in serving on the Commission.

Will be the Commission be led by a chairperson from among its membership?

No. The Commission will not be led by a chairperson from among its membership. Instead, convenings of the full Commission will be moderated by Dr. Jay Schnitzer, MITRE’s chief medical and technology officer.

When will the Commission conduct its work?

The Commission began virtually convening in June and will continue to do so throughout the summer. The Commission’s work is expected to be completed September 1, 2020.

How will members of the Commission convene to ensure the health and safety of participants?

Members of the Commission will only convene virtually. The  Commission will not convene in person.

Will there be any in-person travel for the Commission?

No. Members of the Commission will not be requested to travel as part of their work on the Commission. All Commission convenings will be held virtually.

Will members of the Commission be reimbursed for their time serving on the Commission?

Members of the Commission will not receive reimbursement for their time spent preparing for, attending, or following-up on Commission convenings.

What is the cost of being on the Commission?

There is no charge to serve on the Commission. However, members of the Commission will not be reimbursed for their time spent in Commission convenings and for any work they do to prepare for and follow-up on convenings.

How can I learn more about the Commission?

Please explore the remainder of this website. Content will be periodically updated.

How can I support the Commission?

Those interested in supporting the work of the Commission may submit via the public engagement page copies of or links to relevant peer-reviewed journal articles, reports, best practices, guidelines, case studies, public testimony, and/or other documents relevant to the Commission’s purpose for Commission members to consider. You may also send these items to Due to the short time frame for the Commission to conduct its work, MITRE cannot ensure that all provided materials will be considered.

How can I contact the Commission?

Please use the Public Engagement page of this website . Press inquiries about the Commission may be directed to

Will the Commission’s report be made public? Will it be edited by CMS?

MITRE will deliver to CMS a summary report and a more detailed technical report that reflect the findings of the Commission. MITRE will be solely responsible for ensuring the findings are objective and accurately represent the Commission findings.

Nursing homes are regulated, yet many violations occur annually. How will a Commission report improve execution of these standards?

Commission members have experience and expertise in every part of the research- to-policy-to-bedside lifecycle. We anticipate that the Commission’s recommendations will reflect that systems-level understanding.

MITRE’s experience tells us that while not all recommendations may be taken up by a governmental agency requesting a report, the recipients do take these reports seriously. CMS has requested this Commission to provide actionable recommendations so it can benefit from the input of additional experts as it works to protect the safety and quality of life of nursing home residents and those who serve them.

General Questions About MITRE

Who is MITRE?

MITRE’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded research and development centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation.

For more information on MITRE, please visit:

What is MITRE’s role with the Commission?

MITRE is honored to be convening this important Commission on behalf of CMS. The work of this Commission and MITRE will help CMS and nursing homes protect vulnerable residents in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and future emergencies, and enhance overall quality of care. Combining data with insights from a diverse cross-section of Commission members – from residents and their families to clinicians and infection control experts – should yield a strong set of best practices and approaches to limiting the spread of COVID-19.

What is the “Health FFRDC?”

The CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare federally funded research and development center is known as the Health FFRDC. The Health FFRDC is dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and well-being of all Americans. Sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), administered by CMS, and operated by the MITRE Corporation, the Health FFRDC serves as an objective advisor to all HHS operating divisions and other federal agencies with health and human services missions.

What are the credentials of the MITRE team that is supporting the Commission?

The team is comprised of staff from MITRE and two of our Health FFRDC Alliance Partners (Atlas Research, LLC and Ripple Effect Communications) and brings together subject matter experts with deep domain knowledge, skills, and experience in long-term care, population health, healthcare, health law and policy, data science, team science, workforce strategy, stakeholder engagement, change management, and human factors engineering.

Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited. Case 20-1713