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The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has assumed control of a nursing home to "ensure residents' safety."

MDH on Monday announced it filed for and was granted receivership and assumed management of Twin City Gardens nursing home at 2309 Hayes St. NE, which has 31 residents and 61 employees. 

The health department says this temporary measure allows regulators to protect residents and ensure they get continued care while operations and management issues at the facility are addressed. 

“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,” Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement. “We are focused on a smooth transition that meets the needs of families, residents and staff.”

According to MDH, it has been at the nursing home to conduct complaint investigations several times this year. During the most recent visits from OCt. 12-21, MDH documented "multiple findings regarding patient care and services."

Staff at MDH found evidence of payroll checks being returned with insufficient funds and unpaid bills for oxygen, insurance and medications.  

MDH was concerned the company's growing list of unpaid bills would threaten critical services for residents, so it petitioned the court for permission to assume control. 

Pathway Health, a professional management organization, will be the facility's managing agent during MDH's receivership. The company will stabilize the nursing home's operations and make sure patients get the care they need, a release says. 

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“We are communicating with family members and residents about the transition as we work to stabilize operations and ease their concerns,” said MDH Health Regulation Division Director Martha Burton Santibáñez. “We will work with the new managing agent of the facilities to help residents and employees through this transition.”

Receiverships are allowed under Minnesota law in certain situations where there are serious concerns about the health and safety of residents. Receiverships cannot exceed 18 months. 

The last time MDH took receivership action was in 2015. 

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