Giving voice to victims of Family Health Centers of San Diego

Fight Back

Fighting Back

Complaining about poor medical service or abusive treatment at FHCSD

    Horrific reports of rude and incompetent treatment, patient abuse, malpractice at Family Health Centers of  San Diego are getting more frequent while at the same time this organization has made it almost impossible for anyone to complain.   Indeed, staff at FHCSD will make it clear that they believe something is wrong with you if you do complain - they seem to be trying to make you believe you are getting the free services they have provided out of the generosity of their hearts.

This insightful post made by Elizabeth Peterson last year spells out the problem perfectly.  You are not an "individual' to FHCSD staff - you are a statistic, a billing entity, and as many have pointed out they do not think of you as an equal - and a significant number of people report that they were considered 
"not even human" by the condescending staff there.  

We applaud Elizabeth for her courage in posting this.  Complaints about the pathetic state of the FHCSD mental health department seldom are published publically because of the "shame" of admitting you need mental health treatment but fear she will soon find out that FHCSD has rigged the system.  The Director of Mental Health at FHCSD is named Myra Ruby - as incredible as it may seem, this is the first and only job she has ever had in her life.  She has zero problem-solving ability and apparently is there only to build a legal case against "trouble makers".  The unfortunate situation patients of FHCSD have to deal with is that they have set up a system with zero accountability.  This is a Medi-Cal billing mill - if staff are "making their numbers" that is all the management at FHCSD cares about.   This page will provide information on the best ways to get your complaint heard so at least you can prevent them from harming others who come after you.  

Where to Complain?  

There are actually many places to "complain" or "file a grievance" against FHCSD or one of their rude or incompetent employees, but here is the problem.  When you can complain in dozens of places, it is the same as not being able to complain at all.  FHCSD seems to have found a lightly regulated niche to run what is increasingly looking like a criminal operation.  

In addition, FHCSD seems to have created an organization where there is zero responsibility and zero accountability.  If you received poor treatment they will make it so that no one employee at FHCSD was really responsible, and as many have reported they have a way of making you to blame for their poor performance. 

Still, it is the responsibility of every person who has been mistreated by FHCSD to do their best to make this known to regulatory authorities so that it doesn't continue to happen to the next guy.  Staff at FHCSD know how to make every complaint a "one-off" - not recorded and like it never happened.  Complain more than once - as a patient or an employee, and they will find ways to get rid of you. 

Filing Complaints against Family Health Centers of San Diego

We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE patients who have experienced unprofessional or inadequate treatment at FHCD to file at least one complaint if you have not been able to get your issue resolved in a timely manner.   The official system FHCSD has set up is ridiculous and really is designed to put their problems right back in your lap; rather than a simple online form, you are expected to try to get through to the clinic director by phone to try to resolve the situation.   

There are a few problems with that.  Clinic Directors are politicians who don't have authority over any of the professions and have gotten where they are by advocating for those professions and not for patients.  The first thing many patients who encounter an issue with the substandard care at FHCSD discover is what so many others have, "They don't care".  They don't, and the reason for this phone call is to make sure there is no paper trail and nothing goes outside the organization.  

The FHCSD Official Approach 

The official FHCSD recommendation of making a complaint is to call the clinic director.  If you have no health care alternatives, and you think it is something possible to work out, you should try that first.   Beware though, their "solution to everything" is give you another "appointment" even if that does not solve your issue - they will be able to bill Medi-Cal or your insurance and claim they tried to help you if it goes any further. Calling the clinic director may work - depending on what you think should happen, but the most likely scenario is that you will be "scheduled another appointment" to "fix it". 

The Joint Commission 

The Joint Commission is the accreditation agency for Family Health Centers of San Diego, and given what is going on at FHCSD it's hard to see how anyone could say they are doing a good job.  In fact, they say their mission is to help organizations they accredit "improve their operations".  So right off the bat, they are on the side of FHCSD, not the patient 

California Medical Board. 

County of San Diego

Civil Rights Commission 

This page will provide

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  1. I couldn't agree more. It's impossible to find the place to to recieve complaints. I have been off and on and off mental health meds for years now. The turnover among Physchiatrists is huge. I would show up for appointments and they were gone. Then would follow a total abdonement of care. One of those lasted an entire year. I've lost my apartment, recieved tickets lost customers because I could not get meds re-filled.


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