State takes over nursing home with unpaid bills, inability to make payroll

The Minnesota Department of Health has assumed control of Pine Haven Care Center in Pine Island due to concerns over unpaid bills and the safety and care of residents. 

A Ramsey County judge granted the temporary order Friday, June 10 and the state took control of the facility on Saturday. MDH 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.

MDH took this action after Pine Haven staff found evidence that the facility had a growing list of unpaid bills and inability to meet payroll. These financial problems threatened staffing levels, medications for residents and critical services.

In a statement, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the takeover is a rare action, but was necessary to ensure the safety and care of residents.

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 and typically appoints a managing agent to conduct the daily work of managing the facility.

Pine Haven has 52 residents and is licensed for 70 beds.

Last year, the state took control of Twin City Gardens nursing home in northeast Minneapolis. The nursing home was then shut down due "significant structural deficiencies."