Pawtucket Falls Healthcare Center placed into receivership

PAWTUCKET – R.I. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha and R.I. Department of Health Interim Director Utpala Bandy announced on Monday that the Pawtucket Falls Healthcare Center was placed in a court-ordered receivership.

RIDOH and Neronha petitioned to enter the facility into receivership to “safeguard continuity of care” at the nursing home and ensure its residents continue to receive “skilled nursing facility level of care.” On May 15, Superior Court Justice Brian Stern approved the petition and appointed attorney Mark Russo as receiver of the facility. Pawtucket Falls has assented to the Petition.

“Today’s action follows a series of steps by RIDOH to address alleged operational and financial concerns at the facility that ultimately impact some of the most vulnerable among us,” said Neronha in a statement. “This office’s legal efforts in this situation support the important regulatory role that RIDOH plays in overseeing nursing home safety in Rhode Island. Moreover, in its role as the state’s health care advocate, this office also has a responsibility to bring action when necessary to ensure the health and safety of vulnerable Rhode Islanders.”

“Rhode Islanders should feel confident that my office and RIDOH are working to ensure that the facility is kept safe for its residents and stable for its workers,” Neronha added.

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Pawtucket Falls Healthcare Center is a nursing home facility with about 80 residents and 154 beds. RIDOH has conducted multiple surveys and inspections at the facility in the last several months, related to health and safety concerns. In February and April 2023, RIDOH issued compliance orders to the facility, which resulted in some improvements. But “concerns about the long-term stability of the nursing home’s operations prompted the petition for receivership,” the announcement said.

“Over the past seven months, a pattern of health and safety issues has emerged at Pawtucket Falls. We have tried to help the facility stabilize and create a secure environment for the people who call Pawtucket Falls home. However, in the interest of resident safety, receivership is necessary at this time,” Bandy said.

Under receivership, Russo will have control of the operational and financial management of the facility. He will submit a receivership plan to a judge and report regularly to that judge. Receivership is funded by the existing owners of the nursing home. The announcement said the RIDOH is working with a temporary manager to ensure the facility does not close.

“The residents, families, and employees of Pawtucket Falls deserve better,” Bandy said. “While it is unfortunate that we have arrived here, receivership is now a step in the right direction. It means more accountability from the licensee, and it means that the facility will have more structure and oversight to create a healthier and safer place for residents to live.”

Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Chiappa@PBN.com.