Section 72N: Action to appoint receiver; hearing; list of persons; purpose of receivership; stay of actions
Section 72N. The department or the attorney general may bring an action in the superior court department of the trial court requesting the appointment of a receiver to operate a facility. Before the department brings such an action, a nursing home administrator designated by the commissioner shall be informed that the department intends to bring such an action and shall be informed of the reasons for the decision to bring such an action. Said administrator shall be duly licensed according to the provisions of section one hundred and eleven of chapter one hundred and twelve of the General Laws and shall have at least five years experience as a nursing home administrator. Said administrator may submit his recommendations concerning the facility proposed for receivership within two business days after receiving the above information. After said two-day period, the department, in its sole discretion may bring an action in the superior court department described in this section. A resident or guardian of a resident may petition the department or the attorney general to seek a receivership under this section. If the department or attorney general denies such petition or fails to commence action within five days, the party bringing the petition may bring suit in the superior court department for the appointment of a receiver or other appropriate relief under this section. Upon filing of this suit, a resident or guardian shall serve a copy of the complaint on the department. Prior to any hearing for the appointment of a receiver, the department shall file, and the court shall consider, an affidavit made under oath describing the results of any investigation conducted by the department, including a statement of any findings with respect to the resident's petition and the reasons for not filing an action pursuant to this section, and shall append thereto the two most recent reports of deficiencies in that facility. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as abrogating or superseding any common law or statutory right of any person to bring an action requesting appointment of a receiver to operate a facility.
The department may, in its sole discretion, in addition to or in lieu of bringing an action hereunder, assist a licensee in seeking a rate adjustment or other relief from the executive office of health and human services.
The court shall issue a short order of notice and, where an emergency is alleged, set the matter for hearing within five days after filing of the action. In all other cases, a hearing shall be set within two weeks. A receiver shall be appointed immediately, on an ex parte basis, if it appears by verified complaint or by affidavit that there are grounds for the appointment of a receiver and that immediate appointment is necessary to prevent harm to the residents.
The court may appoint as a receiver any person appearing on a list established for the purpose by the commissioner and the secretary of elder affairs after consultation with representatives of the nursing home industry. Persons appearing on said list shall have experience in the delivery of health care services, and, if feasible, shall have experience with the operation of long term care facilities.
The purpose of a receivership created under this section shall be to safeguard the health, safety and continuity of care to residents and to protect them from the adverse health effects and increased risk of death caused by abrupt or unsuitable transfer. A receiver appointed hereunder shall not take any actions or assume any responsibilities inconsistent with this purpose.
No person shall impede the operation of a receivership created under this section. There shall be an automatic stay for a sixty-day period subsequent to the appointment of a receiver, of any action that would interfere with the functioning of the facility, including but not limited to cancellation of insurance policies executed by the licensee, termination of utility services, attachments or set-offs of resident trust funds and working capital accounts, and repossession of equipment used in the facility.