A nonprofit organization with health centers in Merced and Stanislaus counties has closed down all of its clinics, according to a notice on a clinic door.
Merced-based Horisons Unlimited Health Care recently filed for bankruptcy and has been embroiled in legal battles between clinic leaders since March. According to the notice on the Los Banos clinic door, Horizons closed all of its clinics as of Aug. 1 because of “their current financial condition.”
Horisons has eight clinics throughout Merced, Madera, Mariposa and Stanislaus counties, with three of the clinics serving patients in Newman, Patterson and Livingston. Patients were offered pediatric, OBGYN, chiropractic, dental, family practice and mental health services.
Last month, patients said they were being turned away and told to find other doctors while staffers were laid off. Patients said Horisons staffers weren’t able to access all of their medical records, and were neither given explanations why they closed nor alternate options to receive care.
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The patients said they could not get any answers, and clinic staffers weren’t talking. Dozens of calls for comment from clinic administrators since March have not been returned.
The notice on clinic doors this week addressed numerous previously unanswered questions patients have had since the clinic filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May.
The medical records of Horisons patients “will be maintained and in a secure and confidential manner beyond the date of closure,” the notice said. The appointed Chapter 11 trustee for Horisons, Kavita Gupta, “will remain custodian of the records,” according to the notice.
The clinics are required to provide patients with their medical records, according to officials at the U.S. Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. If they’re having a difficult time getting copies of records, officials said, patients can file a complaint.
Legal representative of the clinic told the Sun-Star they filed for bankruptcy in order to keep clinic open and serve patients. Horisons served thousands of patients, 80 percent of which were on Medi-Cal, a health care program in California that serves low-income people, according to documents filed through the U.S Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of California Fresno Division.
In Merced County, about 51 percent of people are insured under Medi-Cal.
Since March, Horisons Unlimited Health Care has been involved in lawsuits filed through the Merced Superior Court alleging its former long-time CEO, Sandra Haar, was engaged in misconduct that allowed Haar and her family to profit from the clinic.
Board members leading the nonprofit clinic were also muddled in a legal battle that had two sides pitting lawsuits against one another over allegations of mismanagement and misuse of financial assets.
For more information for patients who need medical records, call 209-385-5200 during business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, the notice said. Walk-ins at the 936 W. Main St. clinic are also allowed during business hours.