Scripps Seeks to Acquire Assets of Troubled Hospice

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , February 14, 2013

The audit result also forced San Diego Hospice to dramatically scale back, lay off some 400 employees and reduce patient census to 400, says Kathleen Pacurar, San Diego Hospice CEO. Many of the hospice's former patients are now being cared for by 18 other hospices around the county.

But with the bankruptcy court's approval, Van Gorder says, "we can make sure we can offer appropriate care based on the patient's desires and needs."

Scripps may also reap shared savings through bundled payment programs by owning a care delivery setting that replaces aggressive, futile care in hospital ICUs that many patients don't want or need, with comfort and pain-remediating care in their homes.

The deal includes Scripps' acquisition of San Diego Hospice's electronic medical record license and associated computer equipment.

Steve Escoboza, President and CEO of the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial County, says the Scripps move "goes toward what hospitals and other providers are trying to do, which is align themselves to have their own continuum of care.  It's all about population health, the triple aim."

Escoboza adds, "bundled payment systems are the next big thing on the horizon. And those in the C-suite are thinking this way, to provide the full complement of services."

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