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San Diego Hospice Says Resignations Not Linked To Federal Audit

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San Diego Hospice officials say the sudden departure of two top executives has nothing to do with a Medicare audit of their program.

The resignations of Chief Medical Director Steven Oppenheim and Chief Financial Officer Kathy Jones were announced yesterday in an internal email. The moves came one day after the existence of the audit was revealed.

The Medicare audit is investigating the records of 149 patients between January 2009 and November 2010. Hospice programs are being audited nationwide to see if they've been too permissive in admitting people into care.

Depending on the results of the audit, San Diego Hospice may to have pay back millions of dollars to the federal government.

CEO Kathleen Pacurar said she may have to lay off employees and cut some programs. But the hospice's top executive said she's not concerned about the long term heath of the organization, and said patient care remains a top priority.