March 23, 2020 — Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing the preliminary results of a recent inspection of the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington – the epicenter of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in that state.
The inspection, which the Agency conducted with the Washington Department of Social & Health Services, has helped inform CMS’s national strategy for keeping patients safe in nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. In keeping with the Trump Administration’s aggressive moves to combat further spread of COVID-19, CMS is also utilizing flexibilities allowed by President Trump’s Emergency Declaration to announce an enhanced, focused inspection process, informed in part by the Agency’s experiences on the ground in Kirkland, and close coordination and input from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This focused inspection process will be provided to all inspectors and facilities, and used on a national scale. Critically, this focused inspection process includes a self-assessment tool for providers to employ.