DAP Owns Borrego
“It’s not a purchase, it’s not a change, it’s an integration”
Last updated 11/9/2023 at 12:10pm
The above is how David Brinkman, CEO of DAP, defines acquiring Borrego Health’s clinics and pharmacies. The following is about the future of the Borrego Springs assets – clinics and pharmacies – as told to the Borrego Sun by Steven Henke, spokesperson for DAP (formerly the Desert Aids Project) of Palm Springs; the FQHC that won the Borrego Community Health Foundation’s bankruptcy auction, and now owns all assets. This information was in a previous article but deserves to be published more than once.
Mainly we need to report it because Borrego Health has not changed one of its internet sites, or explained to patients, at least publicly about the sale and what it means. Perhaps, they sent messages to known clients. Or maybe, as usual Borrego Health failed Communication 101. Maybe, they don’t have to care about their clients since they have sold the non-profit.Maybe, they can’t afford to communicate the truth to internet readers.
Funny, once Borrego Health wanted to eliminate one of their doctors from their chief officer’s list; he was gone from the internet in a day. The doctor was purged from Borrego Health, with no links to be found; no matter how hard the media looked.
According to Henke, nothing, absolutely nothing will change at the clinic or pharmacy: meaning the hours will remain the same and most of the same employees are still there. DAP – get used to saying it – gave the employees an option to stay or leave. We don’t know how many have remained, hopefully, they stayed, as both are understaffed.
“The name Borrego Springs clinic and the current name of the pharmacy will remain for now; but may change in the future,” stated Henke.
The newspaper conveyed concerns of many Borregans about the merry-go-round of doctors and a desire for at least one local full-time doctor and family nurse practitioner and a behavioral therapist. If that sounds familiar, it is. That’s how the clinic was staffed before Jan Jones, nurse practitioner and Pam McEvoy, the mental health therapist, were fired by Borrego Health, prior in 2019, at the onset of the pandemic.
No reasons were given to why the two were let go. There was not even a “Thank You” for years of dedicated service to the Borrego Community. And, lest we forget, the only person besides a doctor who could write a prescription – Jan Jones – was fired.
Meanwhile, the local doctor was missing in action for three months. Leaving the clinic without anyone with authority to write medical prescriptions.
There was an option: talking to strangers on Telehealth. Doctors who don’t know you; how to spell your name; and worse yet, may not believe you about your refill for oxycodone; and required medical histories. This, while you are writhing in pain or missing a diabetes shot and trying to reach your new doctor for the fifth time.
We explained that the last doctor to resign from the Borrego Springs clinic agreed with the community that the clinic needed to be open longer hours on weeknights, like closing at 8 p.m, rather than 4 p.m. She also suggested the clinic be open at least half days on Saturday.
Henke suggested that once DAP settled in, they would be looking at the operations of all the Borrego Health clinics and potentially making necessary improvements.
How did we get here?
Borrego Health and vendors, as result of an investigation initiated by the Sun, had committed ALLEGED crimes that caused a 2020 FBI and Department of Justice raid of Borrego Health administration and other offices of Borrego Health employees, as well as Premier Healthcare Management, and a number of dental offices.
This led to Borrego Health being placed under a CAP (corrective action plan), designed and supervised by the state Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) as the alternative to the state cutting off Medicaid and denti-caid funding.
Borrego Health failed to meet the plan requirements and DHCS stopped the money.
This led to Borrego Health filing for bankruptcy. Maybe, from a lay person’s perspective, it might have been more practical to make the improvements DHCS required.
The bankruptcy led to an auction of Borrego Health’s assets; and DAP (the stalking horse) had set the benchmark for bids at $50 million and won. Hence, DAP became Borrego’s new health care provider.
That is the first complicated mystery. How did Borrego Health settle a $110 million debt with assets of $50 million? Or so the accountants say; but who reads books today anyway. The state acquiesced on the $60 million owed them; and settled for $20 million. The feds settled their debt: with DAP, agreeing to continued use of federally acquired assets.
Sadly, Borrego Health chose the alternative of bankruptcy. Knowing that money owed to small contractors, vendors and consultants would be written off, potentially having a very serious impact on their small business.
That leaves another mystery. How can Borrego Health fund all the attorneys in law suits against Daryl Priest for leases to Borrego Health that were far above market value. Then, there is the big civil action with 40 defendants, filed by Borrego Health, suing their own past employees from Karen Hebets, wife of Bruce Hebets, alleged mastermind of the long list of schemes: profiting himself; his family; and friends, to self-serving board members?
What happens if the defendants win; and all 40, accused of criminal behavior, along with their three to 10 attorneys, seek financial reparation, or counter sue.
With all of the assets gone – sold to DAP – and 2/3rds of their contractors screwed out of what is owed them; where will the Board of Borrego Health find the money to pay hundreds of attorneys to continue their lawsuits; and defend themselves against people suing them, like Mikia Wallis, the former CEO.
Since it seems, they didn’t pay their Public Relations manager for years of work, there won’t be anyone to spin their stories.
Surely, no one needs to fear: Chairwoman Sandy Hansberger has a plan?
More information on DAP can be found at https://www.daphealth.org/about-us/location-hours/