Court Appoints Receiver to Manage Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center
BOSTON – A court today appointed a receiver for the Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center (RoxComp) to oversee its closure, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced.
On Thursday, the AG’s Office filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court seeking a court-appointed receiver to oversee the center’s closure. Today, Judge Garry Inge appointed Joseph Feaster, an attorney at McKenzie and Associates in Boston, as receiver. Feaster has previously served as Interim President and CEO of the Dimock Community Health Center.
As part of his duties overseeing the closure of the RoxComp facility, the receiver will ensure that patients are properly assisted in transferring their care and medical records. He will also work to ensure that employees receive the wages they are owed.
“RoxComp has provided critical health services for more than 45 years, but unfortunately its finances have deteriorated to a level that it could not recover,” AG Coakley said. “A receiver is a necessary step to provide for the proper care of former RoxComp patients and ensure staff are paid the wages they are owed.”
“The Department of Public Health is working in close collaboration with the Attorney General and our partners in the community to see that the health needs of the neighborhood are met through Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center’s closure plan,” said DPH Interim Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith. “The receiver will help us ensure that all patient care needs are addressed and transfers are accomplished in a safe, appropriate manner.”
“I am pleased that Attorney General Martha Coakley, Secretary of Human Services John Polanowicz, and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Jim Hunt have confidence in my serving as Receiver for Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center.,” Mr. Feaster said. “RoxComp has been an important primary health care provider in Boston for many years, and it is my intention to manage with appropriate diligence and respect the orderly disposition of patient transfer, employee pay and benefits, accounts receivables and payments, and the preservation of assets. I look forward to immediately assembling a team to address the task before me.”
RoxComp abruptly closed late last month. That closure followed several serious regulatory and compliance issues cited by the federal and state regulators beginning in April 2012.
After an on-site inspection in January, the Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a written warning directing the center to develop a plan of correction to respond to deficiencies in the administrative, clinical and financial systems, including:
- Vendors terminating services for the disposal of medical waste;
- Improper medical records storage;
- Improper storage of medical and nursing supplies; and
- Poor on-site security.
According to the complaint, RoxComp failed to develop a verifiable plan to meet these and it relinquished its federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant. It also agreed to relinquish its DPH license effective April 19, 2013.
Following the Center’s closure, it failed to effectively assist patients or manage its financial obligations. The Center has continuing unmet obligations to notify almost 4,000 patients about its closure and to offer them transfer of their care to another provider. It failed to remove medical waste from its premises. It terminated all of its employees on March 20, but did so without providing them with wages owed. And it has failed to pay its other creditors or to collect receivables owed to the Center.
According to the complaint, The Attorney General’s Office sought and obtained the receiver to preserve the health, safety, and well-being of its patients, wind down the Center’s operations in an orderly fashion, and conserve the Center’s assets.
RoxComp patients who need help transferring their care or accessing their records should call the case managers at Whittier Street Health Center, who will connect them with any other health center or provider, at (617) 427-1000.
Patients who need information about accessing a new provider should consult the “Find a Health Center” page on the website of the Mass League of Community Health Centers or the “BMC Connect” line at Boston Medical Center, (800) 841-4325 on Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.