Washington — The Life Care Center of Kirkland, which was the site of the first coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., is facing a $611,000 fine following a federal investigation into its causes.
The skilled nursing facility said it had removed three Immediate Jeopardy citations since the investigation and will address all concerns in a timely fashion.
“The federal administrative process provides a means for us to dispute any findings which we believe are incorrect, and we believe some are here. However, we will follow [the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’] process and not address our responses in the public,” Life Care said in a statement.
Life Care received a $13,585 per day penalty for alleged deficiencies dating back to Feb. 12.
The fine could be raised or lowered depending on Life Care’s compliance with a plan of correction.
The facility failed to report an outbreak of respiratory illness to local authorities for two weeks, gave inadequate care to its residents during the outbreak and did not provide 24-hour emergency doctor services, according to the investigation.
The facility also allegedly failed to follow infection control protocols required to prevent infection, allowing the disease to spread.
The deaths of 37 people had been linked to the facility as of April, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.