Nursing home at epicenter of Seattle-area coronavirus outbreak faces $611,000 fine
SEATTLE -- Federal inspectors have found that a Kirkland nursing home failed to provide adequate care to residents during a novel coronavirus outbreak that claimed 37 lives, and that staff members continued to admit new residents well after they knew a respiratory illness was spreading at the facility.
In a scathing review, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, also found that the Life Care Center of Kirkland attributed the outbreak in February to a typical flu, despite several residents with the illness testing negative for it, and did not promptly report to health officials.
Life Care faces a potential $611,000 fine and the loss of its Medicare and Medicaid funding if it does not correct multiple deficiencies cited by inspectors, CMS said in a letter to the nursing home's director.
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services also found Life Care violated state requirements and ordered the facility Thursday not to admit new residents until it is back in compliance.
In a statement, Life Care said it would continue to work with CMS to address its concerns.
"We are confident that with guidance from CMS we will be able to continue to be a top-rated facility going forward," Life Care said, referring to the high overall rating it previously received from the agency.
--The Seattle Times
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