On Monday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that 14 organizations – including Kindred Healthcare – have been selected to participate in Model 3 of their Bundled Payments for Care Improvements (BPCI) initiative. The BPCI initiative seeks to evaluate the total cost of care for 60 days following an acute care hospitalization, and to have the quality of care improve while bringing down the overall cost. That includes care delivered in multiple settings: home health, skilled nursing facilities, LTACH’s, and any time spent back in the acute care hospital if needed.
On Tuesday I had the privilege of listening to a presentation by Dr. Bill Crounse, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Worldwide Health.A former family medicine doc with a background in broadcasting, Dr. Crounse started his talk by showing a cartoon depicting what people in 1925 predicted telemedicine would look like fifty years into the future. He then shared his own experience with his “Dr. Goodwell” program, which he used in the late 1990s to connect patients to their doctor via computer in order to discuss symptoms and begin the process of diagnosis and treatment. In sharing these blasts from the past, Dr. Crounse pointed out that while consumers and physicians were not ready in 1975 or even in the late ‘90s for new technology to play a real role in health care delivery, we are now living in a time that is ripe with opportunities for technology to greatly improve the way we do our work.
According to Dr. Crounse:
, of the most successful home care providers in the United States.
“The HomeCare Elite is published annually to recognize the top 25 percent of home care agencies based on publicly available performance measures,” says Scott Smith, Director of Marketing, National Research Corporation. “We also further distinguish the top 100 and top 500 agencies. The list recognizes those agencies that are doing more to improve performance and outcomes for their patients.”
Performance measures used to determine the 2012 HomeCare Elite included quality of care, quality improvement, patient experience (HHCAHPS), process measure implementation, and financial performance. The analysis used to develop the list is drawn from information that is publicly available via CMS cost reports and Home Health Compare.
is an excellent time for facilities to get the word out to the community, to residents and even to employees about what activity professionals do,” he says.
All Kindred facilities provide physical, psychosocial, spiritual and religious activities to residents. “The more people stay active and participate in life, the better their outcomes will be,” says Charnock. “We offer a variety of activities, such as church services, exercise programs, Tai Chi and laugh therapy. We also offer culinary programs, such as cooking demos and in-house lunches that the residents prepare themselves.”
The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas operates one of the largest lung transplant programs in the country; in 2012, the hospital performed 143 lung transplants and boasts excellent outcomes with a 30-day survival rate of 95 percent, one-year survival rate of 83 percent and five-year survival rate of 55 percent.
“Our outcomes are on par or slightly above the national average,” said Director of the Lung Transplant Program Harish Seethamraju, MD.
Many of those lung transplant patients are seamlessly discharged from Methodist to Kindred Hospital-Houston Medical Center, where Dr. Seethamraju and his team oversee their care as they continue their recovery.
“Do you have an advance directive?” This is one of the first questions a patient is asked when admitted to a Kindred facility. “The goal of an advance directive is to make sure that patients are making informed decisions and that we’re following their wishes,” says Kathee Paradowski, Clinical Informaticist Consultant in Kindred’s Hospital Division. All patients who do not have an advance directive are educated/counseled on the importance of creating one. They are also encouraged to designate a power of attorney for health care who can speak for them if they become so sick they are unable to speak for themselves.
I found this article about staffing issues in Home Health to be quite interesting for several reasons:
1.) Their definitions of home health vs. home care. We look at “homecare” as being an umbrella term to capture medical home health and non-medical home care, but we may need to rethink this.
2.) How we are differentiated by many of our competitors due to the background checks and drug screenings that our employees undergo?
3.) Also how we are differentiated by our certification and accreditation?
Editor's Note: Leigh White is Kindred Healthcare's Senior Director of Communications for the PeopleFirst Homecare and Hospice Division.
ProTouch, Kindred’s proprietary electronic medical record (EMR) system, helps clinicians paperlessly access and manage important patient information including vital signs, medications, progress notes and lab and radiology results. ProTouch monitors in patient rooms are continually updated as needed, and interface with a patient’s ventilator in order to provide real-time respiration information. Recent enhancements to the system include documentation and display of multi drug-resistant organisms with flagged alerts, and improvements to the searchability of transcribed reports including display by date, report type, dictator and signature status.
The next big thing? ProTouch will soon be available as an app for the iPad, allowing our clinicians to access and update important patient information even more efficiently.
. “We’re a health care organization and this is a health care issue, so we believe we should support our staff by offering this service at no cost.” The free vaccinations are available from October 1 through March 31 each year.
According to Silliman, staff is the most likely source for bringing the flu virus from the community to the Kindred facilities. “Our patients are at high risk,” she says. “Many of them are immunosuppressed. Many have comorbidities. It’s easy for them to catch the flu. If a staff member’s child comes home with the flu and the staff member hasn’t been vaccinated, that staff member can catch it and spread those germs to our patients before they realize they are sick. Staff members who aren’t vaccinated can also catch the flu from patients or other non-vaccinated employees and take it home to their families. By getting as many people vaccinated as possible, we’re decreasing the risk of more people spreading the flu and getting sick.”
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