As recently as December 2012, San Diego Hospice was still being asked by auditors to submit documentation on every patient admitted.

Pacurar says Medicare could demand repayment of “millions” of dollars once the audit is complete, if it finds patients accepted into the program were not eligible.

Already, San Diego Hospice shut down its 25-bed hospital, laid off nearly 300 people, and consolidated its offices from Mission Valley into one location in Hillcrest. The move came after a lawsuit was filed by the owners of the Mission Valley office building, claiming San Diego Hospice had missed its December rent payment.

The beleaguered organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, saying it would allow them “to continue our operations, while reorganizing our assets and exploring our structural options to adapt to the current circumstances.” In a statement on its website, the hospice provider said it had cut its patient census by 50 percent over the past three months, “creating additional severe financial challenges.”

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