St Paul, MN  (KROC-AM News) -Two area nursing homes have been taken over by the Minnesota Health Department due to concerns about their financial situations.

One is the Owatonna Care Center and the other is the Faribault Care Center.  The department obtained a court order Thursday to assume control and has arranged for Volunteers of America/ National Services to serve as the managing agent during the receivership.

The department says the Faribault center has 52 residents. The Owatonna  Center has 36 residents. The centers have a combined payroll of around 130.

A Maryland-based real estate investment trust called Omega Health Care Investors owns the two centers.  Utah-based Deseret Health Group was the operator and manager of the facilities. The Health Department says the two are facing financial challenges and were no longer going to be operating the nursing homes.

Concerned that the company’s financial difficulties could threaten services for residents, the department petitioned the court for permission to assume control of the nursing homes.

“We took this step as a last resort once it became clear the nursing home licensee was no longer going to be able to care for residents and provide the basic necessities,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Edward Ehlinger. “We are assuring family members and residents that they can safely stay at the facilities while the situation is being resolved.”

Nursing home receiverships are authorized by state law and used only in emergency situations. The department’s goal in a receivership is to protect the health and safety of residents. By law, the receivership cannot exceed 18 months.