The Governor of California has signed two pieces of legislation designed to strengthen hospice oversight. The new laws include a moratorium on new hospice provider licenses as well as an extensive audit of California’s licensing and oversight processes.
The LA Times reported that the number of providers operating in the state has ballooned during the past several years, particularly among for-profit companies. This rapid expansion has contributed to rising instances of fraud and negligence, according to the Times, which also cited a “cottage industry” of kickbacks and deceptive practices.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that patients who are at the end of life receive appropriate care and an obligation to stop fraud that preys on those patients, diverts precious resources, and steals money intended to provide care to the dying,” California Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) wrote in an Ventura County Star guest editorial.
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