By Jennette Barnes | April 29, 2019
NEW BEDFORD — Five area nursing homes have been placed in receivership after bounced paychecks and unpaid bills put residents in danger, The Standard-Times has learned.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office successfully petitioned a Suffolk Superior Court judge for receivership on Monday, saying more than 200 residents could be at risk of injury or death. The facilities lack critical supplies, and they could soon reach dangerously low staffing levels, Healey’s office told the court.
The nursing homes are Bedford Gardens, Bedford Village and Rockdale Care, all in New Bedford; Dighton Care in Dighton; and Highland Manor in Fall River.
The petition provided new details about the worsening situation, including:
At least one nursing home has been notified that its food service vendor will no longer deliver food, starting April 30, due to nonpayment;
Another facility has run out of milk for residents;
Phone service has been shut off at Highland Manor and Dighton Care, blocking access to patients’ electronic medical records;
Internet and/or phones at all facilities will be shut off within the next few days;
Separate phone lines at Bedford Village and Dighton Care that are required to connect their fire alarms to their local fire departments will be turned off within the next few days; and
Employee health, dental and vision benefits will be terminated if premiums are not paid by Tuesday, April 30.
Judge Douglas Wilson ordered the appointment of KCP Advisory Group of Billerica to execute the closure of the nursing homes and to manage them until they are closed.
Sources indicate that the receivership is not intended to stop the homes from closing.
Jillian Fennimore, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Maura Healey, said the AG’s office is monitoring the closure.
“Today’s action is necessary to protect the health and safety of residents at these facilities and to ensure that employees are getting paid,” she said in email. “Our office is pleased to have secured this receivership as we continue to monitor the closure process.”