Patient Care Ombudsman Report Finds Borrego Health Delivers Essential, Quality Care



Exhaustive Third-Party Research Shows State’s Claims Are Unsubstantiated - View Full Report


BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. (Nov. 17, 2022) – Following Borrego Health’s recent filing of a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Court ordered the appointment of a Patient Care Ombudsman (PCO) to monitor and report to the Court on the quality of patient care provided by Borrego Health. Jacob Nathan Rubin, MD, FACC, was appointed as PCO by the Office of the United States Trustee, a branch of the United States Department of Justice.


With the full cooperation of the Borrego Health Board of Trustees, Executive Team and clinic staff, Dr. Rubin and his staff have conducted a thorough evaluation of Borrego Health and its operations. To prepare the report, Dr. Rubin and his staff coordinated to visit each Borrego Health facility, reviewed operations, directly observed patient care, examined quality measures, and spoke with staff, providers, and patients. On Nov. 11, 2022, Dr. Rubin submitted his first report which details his findings.


The report confirms that:

» Borrego Health is meeting standards of care.

» No significant quality of care issues were discovered.

» Borrego Health’s patients are well cared for, providers are dedicated and compassionate, and clinics are state of the art.


The report also finds that if Borrego Health were forced to close, the consequences would be devastating. To protect patients, the report aligns with previous orders by the Bankruptcy Court for the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to direct health plans to re-assign patients back to Borrego Health and for DHCS to continue to pay Borrego Health for the care it provides to its patients.


“As part of its efforts to halt Medi-Cal payments to Borrego Health, the California Department of Health Care Services called the quality of our care, teams and facilities into question.” said Rose MacIsaac, Chief Executive Officer at Borrego Health. “This report proves what the Borrego Health Board of Trustees, Executive Team, our providers and team members have always known – that we deliver essential, accessible, high-quality care to at-risk populations who have no other options.”


Dr. Rubin is an independent physician with no prior connection to Borrego Health. His responsibility as PCO is to represent the interest of patients and report to the Bankruptcy Court on Borrego Health’s provision of healthcare services to its patients.


“Beyond wrongfully casting doubt on Borrego Health’s quality of care, DHCS’ continued actions have created confusion for at-risk patients, especially those in the more rural portions of our service area,” said Sandra Hansberger, Chair of the Borrego Health Board of Trustees. “I was pleased to see the report stress concern for patients whose health plans – at the direction of DHCS – are seeking to move them to remote and insufficient care sites."


The report finds that Borrego Health’s patients have no reasonable or acceptable alternative options for care, specifying migrant workers who receive care via Borrego Health’s mobile clinics (sometimes adjacent to the fields in which they are working), some rural patients who travel by foot to see their provider and HIV patients who depend on timely and uninterrupted access to medication. The report cites that any burden placed on these patients to travel long distances to access new providers is “unreasonable and inhumane.”


Finally, Dr. Rubin finds that the patients, providers, staff, and local communities “should not be punished for the wrongs of those previously in control of Borrego Health’s finances.”


View the full report here. For additional information please visit www.borregohealth.org


About Borrego Health

Borrego Health provides high-quality, comprehensive, compassionate primary health care to the people in our communities, regardless of their ability to pay. We serve these communities and adjoining regions with respect, dignity and cultural sensitivity as a medical home and safety net for essential health care and social services. Borrego Health is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and a Federal Tort Claims Act Deemed (FTCA) facility.