Earlier this month, one of the biggest hospices in the United States, San
Diego Hospice, pled for financial help when it filed for
bankruptcy in the wake of a federal investigation into the facility's general
health care practices. Specifically, the hospice's tendency to provide
treatment to patients who are expected to live more than six months was
called into question. In its attempts to continue operating, San Diego
Hospice has taken drastic measures since filing for bankruptcy. In less
than a month, the facility's workforce has been dramatically reduced,
as has the facility's overall patient load.
The practices of San Diego Hospice that ultimately led to a federal investigation
of the facility include suspected treatment of many patients whose life
expectancy was failed to be documented by the doctors who work at the
facility. The result? Treating thousands of patients at a time, some of
whom reportedly "lingered" at the facility for years, despite
Medicare's strict guidelines which stated that patients should only
be treated if they have six months or less left to live. The scrutiny
under which the facility was brought was enough to financially deteriorate
it, thus resulting in the ultimate bankruptcy plea that was filed earlier
Now, the same facility that used to house thousands of ailing patients
is down to approximately 600 patients. In addition to this cut, hundreds
of workers at the facility have reportedly been laid off as a result of
the facility's bankruptcy, which brought on substantial amounts of
bad publicity along with the need to more strictly comply with the Medicare
program's regulations. It is the hope of San Diego Hospice that its
recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy will provide the facility with
the financial protection it needs in order to remain open and operating.
In the meantime, other healthcare facilities have stepped in to help.
Scripps Health, which currently serves up to 500,000 patients on an annual
basis has already bought a small local hospice in the area in order to
ease the situation at hand. The healthcare facility is now offering hospice
care to individuals who need it, many of whom might otherwise have turned
to San Diego Hospice for the medical care they need. In fact, the CEO
of Scripps Health has expressed his professional belief that more and
more hospitals will soon be expected to take similar actions as those
that his chain recently took. As he disclosed to Kaiser Health News, the
CEO is under the impression that more hospitals will be in a position
that requires them to take over hospice services as the stand-alone hospice
facilities continue to face financial difficulties.
The hardships faced by San Diego Hospice are not unlike those being faced
by many more hospice facilities throughout the country. The National Association
for Home Care & Hospice reports that an increasing number of hospice
healthcare facilities are experiencing financial challenges as a result
of the federal attention being paid to these facilities. Specifically,
these hospice programs are being asked to devote more resources than feasibly
possible, all for the sake of guaranteeing their compliance with the rules
that have been established by Medicare.
Reports from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice go so
far as to numerically display the ways in which hospice facilities are
struggling across the board. According to the Association's findings,
for the 2012-2013 fiscal year hospices haven't been receiving the
annual increases that they are used to; rather than seeing a 2.5-3% increase,
they are instead only being given about a 0.9% increase. The financial
tightening experienced by hospice facilities nationwide certainly seems
to be taking its toll, as evidenced by San Diego Hospice's recent
filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
At San Diego Legal Pros, we are well aware of the financial difficulties
that are currently being faced by residents, business owners, healthcare
facilities and the like – both in San Diego and nationwide. As such,
we are prepared to offer our professional services to individuals in need.
For all of your bankruptcy questions and
debt relief queries, we are here to provide you with answers. When you work with a
San Diego bankruptcy attorney from our firm, you can feel secure in our
guaranteed discharge program, which promises you your money back if we
aren't successful in discharging your debt. Don't struggle with
financial difficulties alone.
Contact our office for the help that you both need and deserve.