Tags: Coronavirus | Health Topics | nursing home | washington | pandemic | elderly | seasonal flu

Washington Nursing Home Fined $611K for Delayed Response

the nursing home in kirkland, washington
(Elaine Thompson/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 02 April 2020 10:14 PM

Life Care Center of Kirkland, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the Greater Seattle area, faces a $611,000 fine for its delayed response to the outbreak that claimed 37 lives, reports The Seattle Times.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also threatened to terminate the nursing home's Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement if it did not resolve the deficiencies by Sept. 16.

Public health authorities found the nursing home did not have enough personal protective equipment and also said staff members worked with symptoms without following proper protocol. Life Care also failed to file a report with authorities for more than two weeks after it began discouraging visitors Feb. 10 because of the illness, which it assumed to be seasonal influenza.

About 57% of the patients at the nursing home were hospitalized after getting infected with the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, and has infected more than 1 million people worldwide. In the U.S., more than 244,000 people have been infected and nearly 6,000 have died.

The Life Center of Kirkland could also lose its Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program and forfeit federal payment for the patients it admitted from March 21 to March 27, though it said it was confident it would be able to continue "to be a top-rated facility going forward," referring to its five-star rating from CMS in a previous survey.

"These remedies will continue in effect until the effective date of the termination of your Medicare provider agreement, or the facility is found back in substantial compliance," said Patrick Thrift, branch manager for CMS's long-term-care survey and enforcement division in Seattle.

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Life Care Center of Kirkland faces a $611,000 fine for its delayed response to the outbreak that claimed 37 lives, according to The Seattle Times.
nursing home, washington, pandemic, elderly, seasonal flu
Thursday, 02 April 2020 10:14 PM
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