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Health

San Diego Hospice Lays Off Staff, Cuts Services

San Diego Hospice has laid off 260 employees and closed its two small hospitals. Medicare audits and a shrinking number of patients have prompted the cuts.

By its own admission, San Diego Hospice hasn't always followed Medicare paperwork guidelines to the letter.

As a result, the hospice may have to refund the government millions of dollars. In the meantime, the agency has had to lay off staff and close some of its programs.

Hospice President Kathleen Pacurar said she doesn't know what the results of the Medicare audits will be.

"But what we do know now is because Medicare's looking at all of our documentation, it's highly likely that for a couple of months, or a quarter at least, our income will be decreased severely," she said.

Pacurar explained that since June, their patient load has shrunk from 1,000 to 700. She says all patients continue to get good care in their own homes.