BLOG Unraveling Hospice of Saint John's financial mess

3:11 PM, Nov 7, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - 9Wants to Know gets hundreds of tips a month from viewers. When we receive the same allegation from multiple people, it really gets our attention. That's what happened with Hospice of Saint John.

Employees and volunteers fretted about the rapid financial failing of the hospice. They said nurses weren't getting paid on time, and they said the hospice was shutting down its inpatient facility.

I did some checking early this summer. Hospice of Saint John, founded by a priest 36 years ago, had a sterling reputation for providing the best possible care to terminal patients. Online information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment showed a low number of complaints and excellent inspection reports.

I didn't find lawsuits from angry creditors. I did find a newspaper report where the CEO blamed financial troubles on sequestration. They rely heavily on Medicare payments which had been reduced by 2 percent.

Just after Labor Day, I received another round of tips about some dramatic changes. Hospice of Saint John was closed for good. State regulators had issued a scathing report about improper care for patients in their dying days. There was also a mention of the "Medicaid Fraud Control Unit" somehow being involved.

Where did the money go? See what 9Wants to Know discovered Wednesday night on 9NEWS at 9 and 10 p.m.

Have a newstip for me? Email me at melissa.blasius@9news.com or call 303-437-2083. You can also follow me on Twitter: @MelissaBlasius.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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