MDH takes control of Minneapolis nursing home to 'ensure resident safety'

The Minnesota Department of Health announced it has filed for receivership and assumed control of a Minneapolis nursing home "to protect residents' safety and ensure continued care while operations and management issues" at the facility are addressed.

According to MDH, under a receivership order granted Friday by a Ramsey County judge, the department assumed management at the Twin City Gardens Nursing Home, which has 31 residents and 61 employees. 

"This is the hardest action they could possibly take," Care Providers of Minnesota CEO and President Patti Cullen told FOX 9 on Monday.

The facility used to be a member of Care Providers of Minnesota, but hasn’t been for some time. Cullen says this decision, requested by MDH and approved by a Ramsey County judge, is only a temporary solution while issues inside the walls are addressed. 

In a press release, the department wrote that it has arranged for Pathway Health, a professional management organization, to serve as the facility’s managing agent during the receivership. Residents and staff were informed of the change over the weekend. 

Officials said that during the last year, MDH has been on-site to conduct complaint investigations several times. During their most recent on-site visits between October 12 and October 21, MDH surveyors documented multiple findings regarding patient care and services. 

The department also reportedly found evidence of staff payroll checks being returned with insufficient funds, and unpaid bills for oxygen, insurance and medications. 

"When you stop paying your bills and you don’t pay your staff, that’s always the trigger," Cullen said. 

"Concerned that the company’s growing list of unpaid bills threatened critical services for residents, MDH petitioned the court for permission to assume control of the nursing home through temporary receivership," the department wrote.

Receiverships, authorized by state law, allow regulators to assume control of a nursing home in certain situations where there are serious health and safety concerns for residents. By law, the receivership cannot exceed 18 months. In a receivership, MDH becomes responsible for operations and finances of the nursing home. MDH typically appoints a managing agent to conduct the daily work of managing the facility. 

According to the department, the last receivership action by MDH was in 2015.