'This can't go on': Troubled provider of care to Minnesotans with mental illness falls into financial disarray


February 17, 2023

Chris Serres, Star Tribune

Bywood East Health Care on Central Avenue is one of three Minneapolis facilities whose operator has come under state scrutiny.

The operator of three Minneapolis facilities that provide care for adults with mental illnesses has fallen into financial disarray, with employees calling on state health regulators to intervene to protect vulnerable residents.

A state audit found that Mission Directed Health Care Inc., which owns homes that care for about 160 people with mental illnesses and other health problems, is failing to pay vendors for essential services such as food, internet service and medical supplies. The facilities collectively owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to vendors, and have been making unauthorized withdrawals from resident accounts, according to an audit completed in January by the state Department of Human Services (DHS).

Even as the company struggled to pay its bills, owner Stephen Kaminski of Minneapolis has withdrawn more than $150,000 from one of the facilities since last October, according to the audit. The facility lacked records showing why Kaminski withdrew the money, auditors found. Kaminski also paid himself a bonus of $75,000 from a federal grant program designed for staff retention at care facilities. Auditors determined that Kaminski was not eligible for the government payments - often referred to as "hero pay" - because he does not work on-site.



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