BCHF: What's Going On?


Last updated 4/5/2022 at 10:32am

After 11 years at the Borrego Medical Clinic, Dr. James Huot will be retiring in January 2023. Dr. Huot was paid $400,000 annually, and according to sources, actually worked six months of the year.

Dan Kramer, publicist for the Borrego Community Health Foundation (BCHF) stated, “The Foundation continues its efforts to recruit physicians for the Borrego Springs Medical Clinic.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Laura Goetz, latest hire for the Borrego Springs Clinic, has resigned, but will be covering Telehealth appointments until her replacement is found. And Dr. Edgar Bulloch, who replaced Mikia Wallis as CEO, following the FBI/DOJ investigations, has not submitted his resignation, according to Kramer, despite rumors to the contrary. Reliable word on the street is that Dr. Bulloch is gone or leaving soon.

Dr. Alfredo Ratniewski, former chief medical officer and executive chief medical officer, as well as former CEO Bruce Hebets’ partner in the Foundation’s questionable practices and alleged fraudulent activities, latest position with BCHF, is supervising nurse practitioners. No matter the changes or charges, Dr. Ratniewski finds a way to continue adding to the millions he scored as Hebets’ best friend. Kramer reports that the good doctor is finally leaving, and has submitted his resignation. His last day on the payroll is March 31, 2022. Don’t count on it. Ratniewski’s departure has been reported before, only to be found that while he was no longer serving in an official position, he was still earning bucks on the side as a consultant.

Mark Connelly, another highly-compensated Borrego-long hauler, continues as VP of Business Operations; and finally, Dr. Timothy Martinez, with the responsibility of overseeing Dental contract services – Yes that’s him, the Dr., who didn’t report or see any problems with the secret Premier Dental management Contract, the major fraud interest of the FBI – is now a per diem dentist, covering clinics as needed. At least that’s the word from Kramer. But others say Dr. Martinez has been finally removed from any connections with Borrego Health. He has also not been reappointed to the State Dental Hygienics Board, where he served three terms as chairman.

When the Borrego Sun inquired about complaints about shocking price increases for some prescriptions at Borrego Springs Pharmacy, Kramer explained:

“We cannot comment on the increase for any medication without knowing what the medication is and what type of insurance an individual has, including the specifics of their plan. You should generally be aware that the cost of prescriptions has gone up in 2022 throughout the country. Additionally, there have been changes made to the 340B program nationally and in California that might impact prescription drug prices.”

In addition, when asked, “Why can’t people get dental appointments?” Kramer reported that there had not been a dedicated full-time dentist available. “However, a dentist, Dr. Lee Heid, started on Monday, March 14, 2022, and is available Monday through Friday.”

More about Borrego Health to come in the next issue.