A Minneapolis nursing home has been taken over by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) because of nearly 20 care violations and crumbling finances.
Twin City Gardens nursing home, with 31 residents, will be under new management after a Ramsey County judge on Friday granted the department's request to place the facility into involuntary receivership.
"Twin City Gardens' numerous delinquent accounts and lack of supplies constitute an emergency," the Health Department told the court. "Its lack of food and medical supplies will present an immediate and serious threat to the residents' health and safety and creates an emergency situation where residents will not receive adequate care or nutrition."
The nursing home owed $40,000 to its food supplier, $65,000 to its pharmacy and $10,000 to Xcel Energy, which had sent a disconnection notice in early October, according to court documents. The facility also had difficulty obtaining oxygen and medical supplies because it owed money to those vendors.
Many nursing home workers told state nursing home investigators that their paychecks had bounced.
Twin City Gardens has been cited for violating federal and state regulations during inspections and complaint investigations.
As the problems mounted, MDH teams visited the facility daily Oct. 13-20.
Among the problems, department staff observed the facility was sharing a blood glucose monitor among residents, including a person with hepatitis C, without properly cleaning the equipment between uses. The nursing home lacked the supplies needed to disinfect the monitor, the court noted in its order.
On Oct. 15, a resident sat in feces for nearly four hours because staff did not respond to calls for assistance. The resident called 911.
"Residents are not receiving adequate care, and the situation is likely to deteriorate, possibly without notice," the MDH said in its petition to the court.
Twin City Gardens is owned by PC Hayes Management, a for-profit company with a listed mailing address in Round Rock, Texas.
Philip Thompson, who is listed as an officer of PC Hayes as well as Phil Chai Healthcare Management in Round Rock, could not be reached for comment.
According to court documents, Thompson told MDH staff that paychecks had not bounced.
The nursing home's dietary manager said Thompson had told her to limit each resident's meal costs to $5.50 per day, department investigators learned in an interview.
"MDH considers this amount less than typical for nursing home facilities in Minnesota," the agency told the court.
PC Hayes took ownership of Twin City Gardens in October 2020. But it has been unable to renew the facility's license, which expired at the end of September, because it cannot show proof of liability insurance, according to the MDH.
In addition, the facility owes the state Department of Human Services $1.4 million in unpaid surcharges, penalties and interest, including delinquent payments held over from the previous owner.
The MDH also found the nursing home was not testing some unvaccinated staff for COVID-19. According to federal records, about 55% of the facility's workers have been vaccinated.
Staff members who are not vaccinated are supposed to be tested twice weekly under government regulations. One worker had not been tested for three weeks and another for about two months.
"The facility was not tracking which staff members were vaccinated nor how frequently unvaccinated staff were being tested for COVID-19," the MDH noted.
A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday in which the nursing home owners can make their case that the receivership should not be continued.
In the meantime, the MDH said it will work with the temporary management company Pathway Health to put the facility on more solid footing.
"We are communicating with family members and residents about the transition as we work to stabilize operations and ease their concerns," said Martha Burton Santibáñez, director of the MDH's Health Regulation Division.
"We will work with the new managing agent of the facilities to help residents and employees through this transition."
Glenn Howatt • 612-673-7192