Hospital and nursing center inspections and re-certifications, slowed by the government shutdown, are now back in full swing, as some officials struggle to confront the backlog. Read the story
The administration has revealed that 476,000 applications have been filed through the new online health insurance marketplaces, but enrollment figures have not been divulged yet. Read the story
Of the 476,000 applications that have been started, just over half have been from the 36 states where the federal government is taking the lead in running the markets. The rest of the applications have come from the 14 states running their own markets, along with Washington, D.C.
A program designed to improve the healthcare delivery system for those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid is facing criticism again, as it still faces implementation hurdles two years after its inception. Read the story
Ever wonder what Kindred is doing to take a lead in confronting issues that affect hospitals all over the country, such as alarm fatigue, which happens when too many beeps and buzzes become like background noise to caregivers? The Hospital Division’s Respiratory Care Council is addressing this healthcare challenge as well as others like it. Meeting every other month, the Council’s 21 members – representing each of the regions in which Kindred delivers care, as well as the Support Center in Louisville – strive to identify and share best practices and standardize systems and procedures across the division. They are also working with colleagues from Kindred’s other divisions to achieve enterprise-wide standardization when appropriate.
October 20-26 is Infection Prevention Week. The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the role infection prevention plays to improve patient safety. Kindred's Hospital Division has numerous Infection Prevention Initiatives in place to prevent the spread of infection and protect the health of patients.
The best way to prevent the spread of germs is for healthcare workers to wash their hands frequently, to properly disinfect hospital surfaces and to take other precautions, such as wearing gowns and gloves when working with people infected with resistant bacteria. Patients, family members and visitors also play a role in infection prevention and can help by properly washing their hands and wearing protective coverings as needed.
Amid reduced reimbursement and other reductions in funding, hospitals are trimming jobs and a reliable employment source, often described as "recession-proof," has taken on a new and less dependable identity. Read the story
There's been lots of talk about the glitches that have plagued the roll-out of Obamacare, but some experts explain that with large-scale software projects, these kinds of issues can be the norm, not the exception. Read the story
The inherent nature of software is that it demands perfection. Computers do exactly what they're told to do. Even small errors can be disastrous. For example, one of the first American space probes to Venus was lost in part because of a single missing hyphen character in a program.
Many senior services agencies, such as those that provide transportation for seniors to and from doctor appointments, rely on a boost provided by federal funding in the fall. Without it, some might've had to reduce services. Read the story
First of all, during the 2013 Case Management Week it is time to express our collective thanks to all our Kindred case managers and show appreciation for their daily dedication, persistence, advocacy and hard work in the care of our complex patients. The empathy that is shown every single day to our patients and families makes a tremendous difference in their lives as they go through their difficult hospital experiences. This week of heightened public awareness also gives us (as case managers) a chance to boost knowledge and share the value of a case manager’s role.
In recognition of Case Management Week, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the case managers I work with in my three Kindred Hospitals – Town and Country, Tomball and Central Ohio. I’m a medical records coder working from home, and case managers are integral to the job I do each day, and I couldn’t do it as well without them. They are my eyes and ears at my hospitals.
As a coder, I’m responsible for assigning codes to our patients’ diagnoses and procedures, for reimbursement and disease tracking purposes. As all Kindred Hospital coding specialists do, I work from my home. I make a Starbucks run each day – can’t get through without it – but aside from that little jaunt, I’m holed up in my home office with my fur babies, coding full time for two Houston hospitals and one in Ohio. I love my job, and part of what makes it so enjoyable is the strong working relationships I have with the case managers at my hospitals.
I once heard a quote from Confucius, and it has stuck with me throughout my career as a case manager at Kindred: “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” I tweaked it a little, as people sometimes do, so it really applied to my own life; that desire to succeed is not only for me personally, but also on behalf of the patients I work with each day.
With relationships with payors becoming ever-more important and a new focus on a patient's entire "episode of care," smaller hospitals are merging with larger systems with more frequency, but new issues can arise when a parent hospital is located in a different region or even state. Read the story
A boom in health care clinics inside stores, as well as urgent care centers, has been a result of the the Affordable Care Act's emphasis on less expensive, outpatient care. Dubbed the "Walk-in Clinic Revolution," this phenomenon will be a focus during the Forbes Healthcare Summit, held in New York City this week. Read the story
In places where a trickle of customers was expected, a flood often appeared, in the early days of the online health insurance marketplaces. Technology was hard-pressed to keep up. Read the story
When 37-year-old Kelly Downing came to Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation – Greenbriar, paralyzed from the neck down as a result of chronic Lyme disease, she was unlike any patient the team had ever seen.
Her occupational therapist, Stacey Irek, has said: “With her diagnosis, there was no textbook we could follow.”
The only one that might come close, they thought, was another Kelly, who had a neurological condition that had also caused neck-down paralysis, and who had been treated at Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital Clear Lake in Webster, Texas.
“Our Kelly’s brother had seen the video on YouTube about Kelly Ford – the so-called ‘Running Mom’ who had lost the ability to walk, paralyzed from the neck down,” Stacey said. “He noted the similarities and they asked us about it.”
We are excited that one of our patient success stories is getting national media attention. Kelly Downing’s inspirational recovery will be profiled tomorrow, October 9, on Katie Couric’s talk show.
For those of you not familiar with Kelly’s story, she is a 37-year-old mother who, as a result of Chronic Lyme Disease, experienced full paralysis from the neck down. Because of the clinical and intense rehabilitative interventions provided by our rehabilitation division, RehabCare at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation – Greenbriar, in Nashua, NH, she was able to regain her strength and abilities and return home to her husband, young children and active lifestyle – something she didn’t think possible before her stay at Greenbriar.
To find the time and station for the Katie Couric show in your community, click here.
Watch Kelly’s story:
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