Updated 4:52 a.m. Wednesday.
Scripps Health announced Tuesday that it will begin offering hospice services in the wake of San Diego Hospice's recent cutbacks and decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The region's largest health care provider said it acquired Horizon Hospice in Poway, which provides end-of-life care in a patient's own home. While those services will be integrated into Scripps Health, Horizon Hospice will continue to operate under its own name.
"As one of the region's largest providers of health care services, Scripps has a responsibility to provide access to high-quality hospice care today and well into the future for our patients and the community," said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps Health's president and chief executive officer.
"Our decision to offer these vitally important services ensures access to high-quality hospice care, not only for Scripps patients, but for patients and families across the region," Van Gorder said.
Scripps Health already provides medical house calls around San Diego County.
Palliative care services to Scripps Health's patients had been performed by San Diego Hospice, which recently reduced the number of its clients and employees because of financial difficulties and an investigation by Medicare, according to Scripps officials.
In announcing its plans to reorganize, San Diego Hospice said it encourage Scripps Health -- its largest referrer -- to start providing hospice services.
-City News Service