Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Borrego Clinic Crisis: Clinic Implodes (Part One)


Last updated 6/1/2020 at 12:51pm

Our clinic seems to be in a total state of disarray. Staff who have been there a long time and very respected have had their employment terminated and with more people leaving. The resident physician Dr. James Huot has not been seen in months with no explanation (read story on page one). Last week, there was no one there to write prescriptions or attend to people.

Borrego Health issued a statement basically saying times were bad, and there had to be cut backs, but it would be manned. They now have two Chief Medical Officers who are meant to be supervising the medical treatments at the clinics. Executive Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alfredo Ratniewski says in his bio for Borrego Health, that his mission is to guide his organization’s team of providers to “compassionate, high-quality care to the communities he serves.”

As per their 990 filings, he is paid $642,000, p.a. and the filings show that he “works 40 hours per week for Borrego Health (i.e. full-time). His practice was acquired by Borrego Health for $2,299,181, and he personally owns two clinics in Escondido where he works, plus he practices at two other clinics. His daughter is also on the payroll, earning $222,000 p.a.

They also have a Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dauod Ghafari, his bio quotes that his “focus became refining the impact of efficiency and technology on health care at Borrego.” He is paid $578,000 for a 40-hour week, although he also works at other clinics in Escondido.

The Sun managed to speak to the Regional Director of Operations Diane Ramos, who when asked what the Chief Medical Officer, not one, but two, does, her reply was, “I really don’t know what he does.” Operating as a 501(3)c, Borrego Health is not just ethically expected to have a higher level of transparency than private health providers, it is a legal requirement when taking federal or state medical reimbursements.

She would not speak any further saying she was late for a meeting, maybe to discuss the Borrego Clinic.

So with two Chief Medical Officers who are meant to work full-time, earning over $1 million, and Borrego Health having revenues of $236,000,000, they cannot organize our clinic to operate successfully and have a resident doctor? Something is wrong.

Rumor has it that the executives might be looking at a 10-percent salary reduction, will that money go to the Borrego Clinic?

The Sun attempted to contact Mikia Wallis, Borrego Health CEO, plus other executives, but none would provide a comment. Vitar Coral, spokesman for Borrego Health, said to put any questions we had in writing, which was done. When asked about a response to the Borrego Sun questions, his attitude changed and final reply was, “We have issued a statement and are saying nothing more.”

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