LOS ANGELES (AP) — A state audit finds California’s lax oversight of its hospice system has led to widespread fraud within the rapidly growing industry of end-of-life care — potentially putting patients at risk of harm in their final days.
The report made public Tuesday concludes that the Department of Public Health isn’t rigorous enough in vetting facilities applying for licenses and then doesn’t adequately follow-up on investigations of suspected fraud.
Public Health says it agrees with most of the audit's findings.
Auditors say the number of hospices has shot up without a proportional need for end-of-life care.
Some patients were discharged after receiving hospice services, a clear indication of potential fraud.