California suspends Medicaid payments to Borrego Health after FBI raid

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California temporarily suspended all state Medicaid payments to Borrego Health amid investigations into the health center conducted by the state Department of Justice's Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, according to a Dec. 9 report from The Desert Sun.

The offices of Borrego Health, a federally qualified health center with more than 40 California locations, were raided Oct. 20 by state and federal agents. They arrived at three Borrego Health locations, seizing computers, taking medical records and interviewing employees. The agents also searched the headquarters of Premier Healthcare Management, which provides billing and other management services to Borrego Health.

The raids came months after the Borrego Sun published a series of articles questioning Borrego Health's medical services, management practices, governance structure and business practices. The reports found that more than 220 employees at the organization are paid more than $100,000 per year and that it paid its former CEO, Bruce Hebets, who died of cancer, a $1.9 million retirement gift. 

All of Borrego Health's facilities remain open to care for patients, spokesperson Dan Kramer told The Desert Sun. He also said the health center "continues to fully cooperate with government inquiries."

Mr. Kramer did not respond to The Desert Sun's questions regarding whether Borrego Health would appeal the suspension of state Medicaid payments or how the suspension will affect patient care.

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