by Mary Stroka
The Minnesota Department of Health announced Monday that it took control of a nursing home center on Saturday because staff reported the facility has a growing list of unpaid bills that threaten critical services for residents.
The Ramsey County court granted a temporary order June 10 to allow regulators to ensure residents’ safety and continued care while operations and management issues are handled at the facility, Pine Haven Care Center in Pine Island, a news release said.
“MDH acted after staff found evidence that the facility’s growing list of unpaid bills and inability to meet payroll threatened staffing levels, critical services and medications for residents,” the release said. “MDH and the temporary management team will stabilize the facilities’ operations to support staff and to ensure patients receive quality care.”
Pine Haven Care Center has 52 residents and licensure for 70 beds, the release said.
Minnesota law allows regulators to assume control of a nursing home for up to 18 months in some situations when there are serious health and safety concerns for residents. MDH obtains responsibility for the facility’s operations and finances and tends to appoint a managing agent for the daily work of managing the facility. In this incident, the agent is professional management organization Pathway Health.
The center’s residents and staff learned of the change over the weekend, the release said.
“This rare step is one we do not take lightly, but the evidence indicated a need for immediate action to ensure that residents are safe and continue to receive essential services,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said in the release. “We are focused on a smooth transition and determining the next steps that will meet the needs of residents, staff, and families.”
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Mary Stroka is a contributor to The Center Square.