Since beginning our journey together, we have received hundreds of questions from you wanting to know more about the transition to Kindred and combined path forward. We appreciate all your thoughtful questions and are continuing to work to communicate information as soon as it is available.To make this information easy to access, we have developed a webpage dedicated to our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Use the themes below to quickly navigate to the specific topics/sections of interest. If you have any additional questions that have not been addressed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employee Opportunities and Development
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The combined company will embrace the best practices of both organizations, which we expect will create exciting career opportunities for many employees. Kindred has demonstrated a history of investing in its employees through educational, and professional and leadership development opportunities that will continue in the combined company.
As a combined company, Kindred will perform annual employee evaluations in the ordinary course of business order to acknowledge areas where employees are doing well, to determine areas for improvement, and to identify needed resources or training. In many cases evaluations are conducted around the anniversary of an employee’s service date.
Until the transaction is complete, Kindred and Gentiva will continue to operate as two separate companies. Due to legal restrictions, as a Gentiva employee you are unable to apply as an internal hire for Kindred positions prior to close. However, we welcome your application now as an external candidate to Kindred.
After the transaction closes in early 2015, the combined company will have a significant presence in local communities in 2,869 locations throughout 47 states. This nationwide presence offers new employment opportunities within the combined company.
Please note that from Day 1 through the end of 2015, we will be undergoing a “transition period,” in which we will work to get the Gentiva employees onto Kindred’s payroll and systems. During this time, many decisions will be made with regard to how to design the new benefit plans and how to handle former years of service. If you wish to apply, relocate or take a position with Kindred, prior the transition date, you will start with Kindred as a “new hire” and as such, this will have an impact on your current benefits, PTO and credited years of service with Gentiva.
We encourage employees to wait until after the “transition period” so that they may not have their benefits interrupted and so that they continue to be eligible any for adjusted service time that Kindred may honor. The same philosophy will hold true for any Kindred employee wishing to apply for opportunities with Gentiva.
2015 will be an exciting time as we begin to combine best practices and streamline processes. This comes with many opportunities to help lead, share experiences and cross train. Over the course of the next few months we will be able to create a better picture of our training needs and will be sure to communicate any applicable opportunities. If you are interested in supporting these efforts, please be sure to let your supervisor know.
One of our greatest strengths is our ability to offer patients comprehensive services throughout their care transition. While it is too soon to determine if we will seek contracts and staff facilities where inpatient rehab or long-term care is not currently in place, it is a part of our long-term patient care vision. As of today, the Integration Team is working to identify our company's services and patient needs which will help to determine how our future contracts and facilities/positions are addressed.
At Kindred, we value the career and educational aspirations of our employees. As we look to harmonize our benefits offerings in 2016, Tuition Reimbursement and Educational Assistance will be a key part of the conversation.
While we have not yet determined how we plan to combine or reassess our Tuition Reimbursement programs, Kindred currently provides educational assistance through tuition reimbursements. We will provide you with more specific information about Kindred's 2016 Tuition and Education Program offerings as soon as it becomes available.
We know how important the Clinical Ladder is to your professional development and culture. We have currently assembled a team who is helping us find ways to maintain and update this program for the combined Kindred and make it more inclusive. At this time, we are arranging focus groups with individuals who were and were not a part of the program to better understand to help us develop the best program for the combined company. Throughout this process, it is our goal to make this program more inclusive for our entire company.
The Integration Team plans to transform the Gentiva University platform into the new, Kindred University. While the functionality of Gentiva University will remain the same, we plan to incorporate new and innovative content to meet your training and development needs. We appreciate your patience as we finalize this effort and will provide you with more information as soon as it becomes available.
Like Gentiva, Kindred deeply values the contributions of our volunteers to provide our residents with care, comfort and companionship. In regards to the Volunteer Coordinator role, Kindred Hospice branches will continue to have one volunteer coordinator per branch. As we progress with our integration activities, we will assess the most effective model to manage and support the dedicated volunteers who care for our patients.
Our leadership team is dedicated to harnessing the combined power of the entire Kindred organization. Now that we have officially combined, we encourage you to work with your colleagues across service lines to communicate and share best practices and institutional knowledge.
Our team is in the process of combining the Kindred and Gentiva payroll systems, which will help us determine the official “start date” for dual Gentiva and Kindred employees. We will be able to provide you with more clarification and information as we near the final stages of this effort.
Kindred appreciates the need for flexibility with schedules and work locations. For the remainder of 2015 Kindred and Gentiva employees will remain on their legacy pay system, which means there will be no change in current scheduling practices.
Our Integration Team is currently reviewing the best mix of scheduling options in 2016, however we plan to continue offering PRN, part-time and full-time employment opportunities. These discussions are very personal and we will do our best to evaluate each employee’s needs on an individual basis.
Our team is in the process of analyzing dual Gentiva and Kindred employees to determine their official “start dates” and legacy companies. All decisions are being handled on a case-by-case basis and you should receive notification from your HR representative on this matter in the coming weeks.
No, Kindred does not require its registered nurses (RNs) to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
We appreciate your commitment and years of service to Gentiva and intend to use your current hire date with Gentiva to determine your tenure in regard to benefits and seniority.
Yes, and we believe that because of the breadth of Kindred’s post-acute services, the combined company will provide new opportunities for nurse practitioners and other clinicians.
Generally speaking, the law and our conflict of interest policy prohibit an employee from accepting outside employment in an organization that does business with the Kindred family. That means you cannot simultaneously provide services to any company or group of companies within the Kindred family as both an employee and independent contractor. This ensures that we account for all of the hours you work and provide you with all of the benefits you are due. As of February 2, 2015, if you desire to continue your employment with the Kindred, you will no longer be able to accept contracting assignments with any provider that is a part of the Kindred family. Please contact your manager if you have any questions.
At Kindred, we are proud of our commitment to our greatest strength – our dedicated employees. In order to equip our teammates to provide high-quality medical care and rehabilitation, we invest in ongoing training, educational opportunities, sharing of best practices, as well as providing the proper tools and resources. Our goal is to ensure that all of our employees have the background and training to provide the very best in care and services to our patients.
Gentiva’s Clinical Ladder program is well-respected and well-established. We share the goal of providing training and resources to ensure that all of our clinicians are able to grow professionally. In that regard, this is a program that will be evaluated by the Integration Team as we work to identify the best practices and programming excellence for the combined company.
To assure a strong future and the best in clinical excellence, Kindred is proud to offer our Nurse Leadership program and other ongoing education and training programs for our clinical teams. Our goal is to attract, develop, and retain outstanding talent and to provide opportunities to grow professionally.
As mentioned in our last edition of Better Together, all legacy Kindred at Home hospice employees are required to complete the CIA training by May 4, 2015. If you are a home health employee with no hospice responsibilities you are exempt from this requirement. If you are required to take this training, it has been loaded into the “My Required Training” section in the Learning Management System. It is imperative that you complete your training by the deadline. In the event you are unable to take this training by May 4, 2015, you will be unable to work until the training has been completed. Please contact the Compliance Department at 800.545.0749 or your supervisor if you have any questions.
Please note the training requirement mentioned in Better Together applies only for newly Covered Persons, meaning people who are new to the CIA. This includes Kindred employees who have hospice operations, clinical and/or sales and marketing responsibilities. Those employees who must take the CIA training should have already received notification.
Gentiva legacy hospice employees who completed their CIA training prior to the acquisition are not bound by the May 4th deadline. They will need to complete the required annual training by Dec 31, 2015. The annual training will kick off after May 4th.
If you are a home health employee with no hospice responsibilities, you are not required to complete the hospice CIA training.
Kindred Healthcare has established partnerships with various colleges/universities across the United States that allow employees and immediate family members to take advantage of special scholarships and tuition discounts. In addition, most schools have waived the application fee! Educational institutions like Capella University, Corporate College, Webster University, American Sentinel, Phoenix, Chamberlain College and Western Governor’s University are among some of the partnerships established with Kindred. The tuition discounts range from 5%-20% depending on the institution. Each college/university has developed a Kindred employee portal that provides prospective Kindred students with information on degree programs, scholarship opportunities and FREE informational webinars. If you are a legacy Kindred employee, please visit our Training and Development site for more information on educational opportunities. If you are a legacy Gentiva employee, you may visit the Resources page on Gentiva University.
Employees who are required to travel on behalf of the company should continue to expense mileage and time per Gentiva Policy and charge expenses to their personal credit cards. Kindred will promptly reimburse expense reports and provide employees with the necessary funds to pay their credit card bills by the next due date.
We are reviewing the current travel and expense processes for both Gentiva and Kindred and will communicate new processes for requesting and booking travel and reimbursement when changes are made.
If you have questions related to HR or Payroll processes or programs, please refer to the quick reference chart listing the best points of contact for a variety of issue.
Your 401(k) account will be merged into the existing Kindred plan, whose service provider is T. Rowe Price, effective January 2016. You will receive more detailed information about these changes in December.
Contributions to the non-qualified deferred compensation plan are Gentiva assets, despite being held in a special type of trust account that applies to these plans. The plan document specifies that accounts must be distributed within 90 days after a “change in control,” which would occur at close. The two companies will be reviewing this as part of our integration planning, and we will advise affected individuals.
While no final decisions have been made, we would expect that the vesting requirements would continue to apply.
The completion of the merger is not a termination of employment from Gentiva, so your loan will not be due in full at that time. Your 401(k) plan and the loan repayment process will not change after close in 2015. When the Gentiva 401(k) plan merges into the Kindred 401(k) plan in 2016, you will be able to continue your loan payments within the Kindred 401(k) plan.
We anticipate that after the close of the transaction, Gentiva employees will have the opportunity to roll over their current 401(k) into the Kindred plan in 2016. When plans are merged, there will be a brief blackout period that needs to occur when the accounts are moved from one record keeper to the next.
As we are reviewing options for 2016, we will certainly evaluate continuing to offer the 401(k) to PRN employees.
There are a few differences. First, you can only cover the child(ren) of your Domestic Partner if your Domestic Partner is covered on the plan. Kindred permits you to enroll foster children, in addition to stepchildren and adopted children. For all dependents, however, you will need to provide verification documents.
Kindred wants to ensure the plans are available to you and your eligible dependents on a cost-effective and legally compliant basis – and one way we do this is to ensure only those that are truly eligible for benefits are added to our plans.
Acceptable dependent verification documentation includes:
You must provide all required documentation verifying the eligibility of any dependents you want to cover under your Kindred benefits by December 18, 2015. To submit your dependent documentation:
For more information about what documentation is required for each dependent, please visit www.KindredBenefits.com.
Yes. Kindred’s Healthy Steps Wellness program is a multi-faceted approach to well-being comprised of a Well-Being Assessment (WBA), a Health Screening, online activities and telephonic coaching. By participating in the program you can save money on your medical premiums by earning the Healthy Rewards Rate. The program is available to employees and spouses/domestic partners enrolled in a Kindred medical plan. Visit www.kindredbenefits.com for more details.
In order to earn the Healthy Rewards Rate, you and your covered spouse/partner must complete the online Well-Being Assessment (WBA) by December 7, 2015. To complete the WBA, visit www.healthystepswellness.com. Remember, completing the WBA is the first step in ensuring you and your covered spouse/partner receive the Healthy Rewards Rate that saves you $75 to $110 per month, depending on your coverage tier. Information about the subsequent steps required to maintain the discounted rate is available on the program website, as well as the Kindred Benefits Marketplace.
Yes! Kindred allows you to enroll in Transportation Benefits, a program designed to allow you to pay for qualified commuting expenses on a pre-tax basis (aka commuter spending account).
If you have questions about your current 2015 benefits, you can still call the Gentiva Benefits Center at 844.730.8907. If you have questions about 2016 benefits, beginning October 19 you can call the Kindred Open Enrollment Benefits Center at 866.435.5231. Beginning November 25 and going forward, you may call the Kindred HUB for all of your benefits questions at 800.991.6171.
Kindred’s Open Enrollment period will be November 5-24, 2015. If you want coverage for yourself and your dependents in 2016, you must enroll by November 24. Your current coverage will not continue after December 31. Just like Gentiva, if you miss the deadline to enroll, you will NOT have coverage in 2016. Beginning October 19, you may access benefit materials online at www.kindredbenefits.com. Enrollment begins on this same site on November 5.
Your first paycheck with Kindred will depend on your facility and payroll frequency. If you are paid weekly, your first paycheck will be on January 8, 2016 (for the period of 12/26-1/1), and you will have one day of Kindred benefit deductions taken. If you are a corporate employee, your first paycheck will be on the January 8, 2016 paycheck (for the period of 12/26-1/2) and you will have two days of Kindred deductions taken. If you are paid semi-monthly, your first paycheck will be on January 13, 2016 (for period ending 12/31), and will not include any Kindred benefit deductions. If you are paid bi-weekly, your first paycheck will be on January 15, 2016 (for the period of 12/26-1/8), and you will have eight days of Kindred benefit deductions taken.
Good news! Your last 2015 deductions will be taken earlier this year, and your final paycheck of the year at Gentiva will have NO benefit deductions. If you are paid weekly, your December 24 paycheck will have your final 2015 benefit deductions (your 12/31 paycheck will have no benefit deductions). If you are paid bi-weekly, your December 18 paycheck will have your final 2015 benefit deductions (your December 31 paycheck will have no benefit deductions). If you are paid semi-monthly, your December 30 paycheck will have your final 2015 benefit deductions (your January 13 paycheck will have no benefit deductions). Keep in mind that this does NOT apply to 401(k), home and auto, or Ennis Foundation deductions; those amounts will be deducted from all paychecks unless/until you make a change.
This will depend on the carrier/network you choose. You may want to confirm your providers are in-network prior to enrolling. You can do so by going to the carrier’s website and conducting a provider search. You may also call the Kindred Open Enrollment Benefits Center if you need assistance.
By enrolling in one of the three HSA-eligible plans you are eligible to participate in an HSA. An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account you can use to help cover the cost of your healthcare.
If you enroll in an HSA in 2016 you will establish a new HSA through Mercer Marketplace and receive a new debit card. Your current HSA through Optum Bank will remain open and you can continue to use funds from it. However, you will no longer be able to contribute to it through payroll deduction. You have the option to roll over funds from your Optum Bank HSA to your new Mercer Marketplace HSA. Beginning January 1, 2016, visit www.kindredbenefits.com to obtain the Mercer Marketplace HSA Funds Transfer & Contribution Instructions Form.
As long as you enroll in one of the three HSA eligible plans you will have the option to enroll in an HSA on the Kindred Benefits Marketplace website or on the phone with the Benefit Counselor.
You may make pre-tax contributions to your HSA through payroll deduction. You may also make aftertax contributions by making direct payments to your HSA account.
Depending on the plan and coverage level you choose, Kindred may make contributions to your HSA. In order to receive any Kindred contributions, you must open your HSA through Mercer Marketplace. Please review the Decision Guide available at www.kindredbenefits.com for additional details.
Yes. Employees are eligible for most health & welfare benefits the 1st of the month following 60 days of continuous full-time employment. If the 60th day is the first day of the calendar month then coverage is effective that day. Employees must enroll within 31 days of their hire date or change to an eligible status. Employees are eligible for disability benefits after completing 12 months of continuous full-time employment (auto-enrolled). Employees hired on or before 12/2/15 at Gentiva will be eligible for Kindred benefits effective January 1, 2016, including disability. Employees hired on or after 12/3/15 are subject to Kindred’s waiting periods, including the one-year wait for company-paid disability.
Yes. You must actively enroll in 2016 benefits on the Kindred Benefits Marketplace at www.kindredbenefits.com no later than November 24, 2015 to have benefits in 2016.
For benefits questions, the Kindred HUB is the only number you need to know. Just call the Kindred HUB for the benefit support you need, all in one place. The Kindred HUB, which stands for “Help Understanding Benefits,” is designed to make managing your benefits easier and help you take advantage of the many programs and resources Kindred offers. Benefit Specialists are available Monday through Friday, 7 am to 9 pm, ET. The number is 800.991.6171.
Yes; however, Kaiser will be offered only in California.
If you complete your enrollment by November 24, and provide all dependent verification documentation by November 24, you should receive your ID cards by January 1, 2016.
Yes, the amount of your life insurance coverage will automatically carry over, but the carrier and certain plan provisions will be different. Most importantly, the maximum amount will be limited under the new plan, as the Kindred plan allows elections up to 5x salary instead of 6x salary. If you elected 6x salary, your election will be reduced to the maximum available under the plan (5x). However, you may elect additional whole life insurance as a voluntary benefit on the Marketplace.
Kindred provides eligible employees with company paid life insurance of one times your annual base salary.
Yes, you will have many more options, and can elect up to $10,000 in coverage for your eligible dependent child(ren) and $50,000 for your spouse.
If you do not complete the “Evidence of Insurability” (EOI) process with Gentiva and receive approval on or before December 31, you will NOT be entitled to the higher level of life insurance benefits. Your 2016 life insurance coverage will be the coverage you had in place with Gentiva on December 31, 2015, subject to the limit of 5x salary.
Kindred provides Long-Term Disability coverage at no cost to eligible employees when you are unable to work due to an illness, maternity, or injury.
No, you can continue your current MetLife coverage through convenient payroll deductions in 2016. Policies will be transitioned from Gentiva to Kindred.
Both packages are provided to you through a Private Exchange, which allows you the opportunity to select the benefits plan that works best for you and your family. Although you will notice similarities with the networks (BCBS, UHC, etc), plan features and benefits (HSAs, FSAs, etc), the plans are different. Kindred’s plans are designed to promote consumerism and wellness, and there are no copayments. You are encouraged to contact the Kindred Open Enrollment Benefits Center to learn more about these features. Kindred also offers a comprehensive array of voluntary benefits, including identity theft, hospital indemnity, critical accident coverage, and pet insurance. Kindred provides you with short-term and long-term disability coverage at no cost.
Yes. Per Diem employees are eligible for hospital indemnity, accident, critical illness, identify theft protection, legal, and pet insurance through direct bill, meaning payment is handled directly between the employee and the carrier. Part-time employees are eligible for these same benefits plus vision and are able to have their premiums withheld through convenient payroll deduction. Additionally, both per diem and part-time employees are eligible for PerkSpot online discounts mall.
You will need to work through the transition of care department with the new provider.
If the disability occurred on or before December 31, 2015, it will follow the current Gentiva plan and benefit.
Kindred’s Employee Engagement Survey is open to all full-time, part-time and per-diem Kindred at Home employees, regardless of whether they were legacy Gentiva or Kindred. Our survey will be open from April 27 through May 26. Please visit http://pwcsurveys.pwc.com/kindred and have your Employee ID to log in and take the survey. As a combined organization we look to grow through your feedback.
There will be no changes to payroll services or cycles for Gentiva employees in 2015. As we continue working through the integration process for the combined company, we will be sure to share details with you.
The harmonization of pay practices and payroll cycles for the combined company is part of our integration process as we look to identify best practices from both organizations. Depending on position and, in some situations, location, Kindred employees may be paid a salary, per visit, or hourly. The majority of Kindred employees are paid bi-weekly, although many are paid semi-monthly or weekly. Kindred employees have the option to enroll in Paperless Pay that provides 24/7, online access to payroll information.
At Kindred we are committed to doing what we can, when we can to retain and recruit top talent, which includes providing merit increases. At this time our Integration Team is working to identify an organizational structure and processes that will best support our employee and patient populations. As part of this analysis, we will discuss a process to determine pay raises. As soon as we have additional information we will share it with you. We appreciate your patience.
Absolutely not, salary cuts are not in any conversations.
We value the work you do each day, and it is our goal to demonstrate that appreciation through merit-based increases. We all know that healthcare has experienced some reimbursement challenges in recent years, but at Kindred we stand behind our commitment to do what we can, when we can, to recognize the hard work of our teammates.
You will no longer be able to update your personal information in MyWorld after December 29, 2015.
There are multiple options for accessing your online paystub using Kindred’s Paperless Pay site:
You will be required to enter your Social Security number (SSN) each time you access the Paperless Pay system. Once you key in your SSN, you will be required to enter a PIN (Personal Identification Number) number.
Gentiva employees will continue with Gentiva’s healthcare benefits plan through the end of 2015. This also applies to your PTO program. The number of hours you earn, the maximum sick bank you may maintain, when and what amount of time rolls over, and how you use the time, will not change in 2015. Over the next several months, we will begin the process of reviewing not only the benefit programs, but all HR programs, with the goal of harmonizing the programs in 2016. As we move through this process, we will provide updates and more information.
We understand the importance of planning ahead for your accrual rates, but it is too early in the process for us to determine when the combined plan will be announced. Please look for additional updates in the Better Together newsletters.
We recognize the incredible work you will continue to do every day in supporting our patients and families and make it our goal to offer our Kindred employees a complete, competitive benefits program that offers flexibility and choice. Currently, Kindred employees immediately begin earning Paid Time Off (PTO) on their hire date which is available for use three months after continuous full-time service. Our PTO rates vary based on years of service. Kindred also offers the option to roll over PTO to sick bank days that can be used at the employee’s discretion as well as provides paid holidays. Please keep in mind that Gentiva employees will remain on Gentiva benefits through 2015 and that Kindred benefits, including PTO, will be evaluated as a part of the on-going integration effort.
Under the terms of the agreement, Gentiva shareholders will receive $14.50 per share in cash and $5.00 of Kindred common stock (which equates to 0.257 shares of Kindred common stock based upon an agreed upon fixed exchange ratio). We value your investment in Gentiva and your continued support in Kindred.
Promptly after the merger is completed, we or an exchange agent on our behalf will send to each record holder of Gentiva common stock a letter of transmittal and instructions for surrendering or transferring Gentiva shares in exchange for the merger consideration. We will file with the SEC a Registration Statement on Form S-4, which will include a proxy statement of Gentiva and a prospectus of Kindred that will include more information on the process for receiving your merger consideration.
At this time, all exchange forms have been mailed to Gentiva shareholders. If you have a question about your stock payout, please complete either of the following options:
The Gentiva Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) will terminate at the end of this current offering period. There is no action required on your part.
The option to roll over existing Gentiva shares into Kindred shares does not exist. All shares will receive the agreed upon payout at close of $19.50 ($14.50 in cash and $5.00 in stock). You can go back out into the market with that payout and purchase Kindred shares with that money if you wish.
To sell your company stock, please contact the Gentiva Benefits Center or visit Gentiva.BenefitsNow.com for more information.
As stated in a previous Better Together, Kindred does not offer an Employee Stock Purchase program at this time. If you participated in the Gentiva Employee Stock Purchase program, you should have received information about the actions required to complete the buy-out process.
As we move forward with our integration activities, we will begin making decisions around our combined benefits program. Know that we are looking at a variety of options and look forward to providing you with the strongest offerings in 2016. We will be sure to communicate more information with you as soon as decisions have been made.
The transaction closed in the first quarter of 2015; therefore the taxes will apply for your 2015 filing.
We recognize the importance of the new ICD-10 classification (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems) in more accurately classifying and tracking critical medical information. Our Integration Team is plans to deploy guidance on the migration to ICD-10 in April. We believe this will provide us with enough time to become proficient with ICD-10 well before the October 1, 2015 deadline.
Our Systems Evaluation Team, comprised of representatives from legacy Gentiva and Kindred, have carefully reviewed our coding practices to ensure we are able to meet the requirements and complexities of ICD-10. It has been determined that a centralized coding function would be more effective for the combined Kindred. By centralizing our coding practices we will become more accurate and consistent in our diagnoses which will significantly benefit the support we are able to provide our patients across the continuum of care. We will provide you with more information as we move forward with this process, but know that we have checks and balances in place to ensure you will still have the support needed to provide quality patient care.
Our goal is to implement the most appropriate health information technologies for our patients and our providers as promptly and efficiently as possible. This applies to the hospice locations for the combined company. Key stakeholders – business leaders, clinicians, and technologists – will begin to address this issue immediately following the closing of the transaction. When we know more about timing, we will be sure to share it with you.
Kindred at Home implemented the Homecare Homebase product. While this platform and supplier has proven beneficial, the changing nature of the home care business, payment models and regulation always demand reconsideration of the best options available. Accordingly, we have made no decisions around the best platform for the combined business going forward. In fact, it will be many months, or perhaps many quarters, before we have an opportunity to fully assess the implications of the options available to us.
We believe that avoiding disruption to our patient care is a critical priority for the integration. We want our patients to continue receiving the same level of quality care throughout the transition and are purposefully and diligently working through EMR decisions. While we recognize that this solution has been a long time in the making, we are not rushing any decisions and will plan to provide regular updates. Our goal is to implement the most appropriate EMR for our patients and our providers as promptly and efficiently as possible. We have initiated a steering committee of key stakeholders – business leaders, clinicians, and technologists – who will look at this question. But because this is a complex question with fairly significant implications to the future of our company, and our industry, it will be many months, or maybe even many quarters before we arrive at a conclusion.
We understand that an agile, effective and intuitive technology system is critical to our ability to provide quality patient care. Since the decision between GentivaLink and HCHB greatly affects our daily functions, the System Evaluation Team is carefully considering all options to make sure we find the best solution for our combined company. As soon as a decision has been made we will be sure to communicate our next steps and roll-out strategy with you.
Our IS teams continue to work on integration solutions between our Gentiva and Kindred clinical/financial systems. During this effort, we want to help you be successful in easily navigating between the two environments. The Better Together Systems Access hotline is here to help you when you have questions or issues when requesting access to Gentiva and Kindred systems. Our team members can assist and guide you through the request process and can help you with any login issues.
1.888.289.2413Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
Requesting System AccessPlease refer to the April 16, 2015, Better Together for complete information on how Gentiva employees can get access to Kindred systems, and how Kindred employees can get access to Gentiva systems.
Kindred understands the importance of investing in easy-to-use, up-to-date telemonitoring equipment for the benefit of both our employees and patients. For this reason, we have invested in six different electronic information and telecommunications systems at Kindred at Home. These systems range from telemonitoring via phone calls to technology solutions that enable our employees to record and monitor vitals such as blood pressure, weight, and pulse. As a part of the integration effort, we will continue to evaluate which telemonitoring equipment best meets the needs of our combined organization.
At Kindred we also have productivity goals, but it is our intention to provide all of our employees with the tools and technology that make it easier for everyone to reach stated goals. In terms of hours worked and break times, Kindred structures our pay practices and employees’ schedules in compliance with all wage and hour laws and requirements.
At this time, the process for ordering patient supplies will not change. In the near future, we plan to enact a plan to standardize contracts and analyze the Unity Software System. As a combined company, it is important that we use the most agile and effective systems and provide standardized offerings to our patients.
At this time, no action is required on your part and we ask that you continue operating business as usual. As we progress through 2015, we will share more information about changes to our operations and brand that would affect your day-to-day activities. Please be sure to talk with your leadership and read future Better Togethers to stay up to date on our integration activities.
One of our guiding principles for the integration is that our patients will not see or experience any changes as of Day 1. Patients will receive the same type of care immediately following the integration. As part of our longer term integration effort we will take a closer look at how our companies can seamlessly integrate and offer our patients a full spectrum of care.
Spiritual care coordinators are an important part of Kindred at Home’s hospice teams, and will continue to be so within the combined company. Our interdisciplinary teams include nurses, physicians, social workers, spiritual care coordinators, certified nursing assistants, volunteers and more. Each team works collaboratively to effectively manage the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of the patient and their families.
Hospice is an integral component of the care and services that both Gentiva and Kindred deliver, and it will continue to play a vital role within the combined company.
Speech therapy is an essential service to patients across the entire post-acute continuum. We believe there will be valuable employment opportunities for therapists within the combined company.
Before we could make a true decision on our expansion plans for hospice care in Louisville, we would need to perform a detailed analysis of the market to make sure it would bring a true benefit to our patients and their families.
At Kindred, we encourage the sharing of ideas to help cultivate our rich culture. Each year Kindred produces an employee survey where we seek feedback and ask for ideas from you on how to grow our business. We hope that you continue to provide us with these suggestions and points of consideration through the annual employee survey.
Community Care Services within the combined company will be an important part of Kindred’s commitment to Continue The Care for patients across the entire continuum. Our goal is to provide all of our teammates with the training, professional development and support to provide the care and services our patients expect – regardless of setting.
We do not provide company vehicles, but we recognize that many of our team members spend a significant amount of time driving. We provide mileage reimbursement in line with our peer companies.
As we continue working to integrate the Kindred and Gentiva Travel and Expense process around first quarter 2016, we have some issues that have come up due to cross organization management structure changes. It is expected that all employees who are traveling on company business will use Concur for booking their travel. Please note the following process should be followed based on an employee’s legacy company and their manager’s legacy company.
Legacy Kindred employees who report to legacy Gentiva managers should continue to use the legacy Kindred Concur Travel system to book travel. If they have been Concur Expense users, their previous Kindred manager will continue to serve as the approver for their expenses. The employee can make copies of Concur expense reports and send them to their new manager if desired. If they are using paper expense reports, then get the new Gentiva manager’s approval on the report.
For those who are interested in travel reward and loyalty programs, Kindred has some preferred vendors and contracts that have been loaded into Gentiva’s Concur Travel for pricing:
Kindred has arranged for Avis to match your Elite status from other car rental suppliers. To request a status match, please send an e-mail to email@example.com with Proof of Status from National, Enterprise or Hertz, and you’ll be upgraded in no time. If you had earned an upgraded status based on your frequency of rentals, you will be receiving a separate communication concerning your upgraded status with Avis. Please enroll in Avis Preferred Service by clicking here to expedite your upgraded status. Please update your Concur travel profile with your newly assigned Avis Preferred number.
There should be minimal to no impact to the payer contracts. However, the Integration Team will be reviewing all payer contracts to ensure continuity of care within integrated markets and we will provide any updates as needed.
Once the deal closes, Kindred will inherent and recognize all of Gentiva’s non-compete agreements. Moving forward, we will take a look at our combined company’s non-competes and identify best practices across our organizations.
Yes, we are planning to provide a list of RehabCare contracts to sales leadership to facilitate appropriate call planning. Please look for more information over the coming weeks.
Across the country and throughout all components of the nation’s health system, there has been a significant growth in the role of Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). MCOs negotiate with healthcare providers in order to identify those providers with whom they will partner and the care settings in which they prefer to operate. Under the combined company, we will pursue a strategy to develop strong business relationships and partnerships with a wide-variety of MCOs to help provide quality-driven care management across the entire care continuum for their plan participants.
Kindred at Home holds contracts with hundreds of insurance companies, health plans, managed care organizations and networks across the country. We review our agreements regularly to identify the ones that need to be maintained as well as recognize new agreements that would help us grow our business.
No. While we are a combined company, at this time we want our sales teams to remain autonomous and continue managing their designated accounts. This will help not only to prevent unnecessary overlap within internal roles, but will also help to alleviate any confusion for our customers. Please reach out to your supervisor if you have any questions about your current role and responsibilities.
By joining together, we have created the leading provider of integrated care with the strength and clinical expertise to improve patient outcomes, smooth care transitions between settings and create a recovery that supports wellness and independence at home. The combined Kindred is committed to serving our patients, being strong partners with our referral sources and in creating exciting opportunities for our employees.
We recognize that in certain markets there will be competing care providers, however we are confident that our combined company will offer a full continuum of care continued that will provide our patients with better care quality and more support as well as open the door for additional referral opportunities. Maintaining our referral networks is one of the most critical priorities for our Integration Team. We are currently in the process of identifying and rolling out plans to preserve our referral sources throughout the integration effort and plan to provide comprehensive talking points for our sales teams to help in these situations. We see an exciting opportunity for new, internal referrals as our patients move along the care scale across our joint company.
Maintaining and growing our referral sources is one of our critical priorities for the integration effort. It is too soon to determine if we will need a centralized intake/insurance department to manage new patient referrals, however the Integration Team is working to identify existing referral sources, such as insurance providers, and leverage new referral sources that come with our joint company’s broadened care continuum.
While we can’t mandate referrals among Kindred locations due to patient choice, we can certainly highlight the benefits of Kindred’s continuum of care. This requires grassroots efforts on everyone’s part in each market. We encourage you to reach out to your Kindred counterparts at hospitals, nursing centers, and RehabCare sites to establish relationships and start building partnerships. In many markets, Gentiva leaders have held open houses and meet–and–greets where they’ve invited sales, clinical, and operational leaders from sister Kindred locations. We encourage this and will do anything we can to help facilitate this interaction.
At Kindred, we understand the importance of an organization’s brand and have worked hard to promote and build the Kindred brand over the years. We are planning on slowly integrating Gentiva into the Kindred brand. We want to ease our customers through this transition and help them understand that the care and services they received with Gentiva will be the same with Kindred.
Since we will be such a large and geographically dispersed organization, we feel strongly about all sites adopting the unified Kindred brand once it is appropriate. We are currently developing marketing and branding strategies for areas throughout the country to help educate the public and promote the unmatched strength of our combined company.
From a first-hand experience, Kindred understands the challenges and opportunities involved with name reputation and brand integration. The Gentiva family of brands is very respected, and our goal is to unite the two companies in order to eliminate confusion in the marketplace. This is a subject that we will continue to evaluate in the context of integration.
Gentiva has established a well-recognized, well-respected brand name in the marketplace, and the Gentiva family of companies will continue to operate their business as usual. The Integration Team will address branding decisions on a go forward basis to ensure that there is no confusion among our patients and referral sources. When we have a clearer picture of what branding efforts will look like, we will share it with you.
As stated in a previous Better Together, we are looking to slowly roll-out our combined branding strategy. Regarding email and written communications, please use your standard Gentiva email signature and letterhead for the time being. We are in the process of finalizing our combing brand strategy that will help us present a united and clear message to our patients, customers and vendors. As soon as our roll-out plan is complete, we will provide you with detailed instructions on what changes and actions are required on your part.
We believe that by joining together, we can create the leading provider of integrated care that places us at the center of population health management and value-based payment trends in local markets. We know that our companies are well aligned in our Missions and in our collective commitment to serving patients in the best way possible in order to create excellent clinical outcomes and wellness.
The combination will enhance Kindred’s position as the nation’s premier post-acute care provider. The combined company will operate in 47 states and serve more than one million patients per year Additionally, the combined company will have 109,000 employees, making it the 78th largest private employer in the United States and 4th largest private employer in the healthcare industry.
Your patients will see no change in the care delivered to them each day. As long as all of us focus on the importance of continuing to deliver quality services to the patients we treat, our businesses, and the care provided will remain the bedrock of our foundation.
At the field level there will be little to no change. The combined company will embrace the best practices of both organizations, which we expect will create exciting opportunities for the majority of employees. We have already begun forming Integration Teams to help plan for the combination and we intend to work closely with the entire Gentiva management team to achieve a seamless integration of our two organizations.
The Integration Team has been developed with representatives from both companies from six key functional areas (Information Technology, People Services, Finance & Procurement, Compliance & Legal, Operations, and Sales) with an overall steering committee. Several clinical representatives are serving on and actively engaged in the Operations functional team.
The headquarters of the combined company will be located in Louisville, KY. However, the combined company will maintain a significant presence in Atlanta, Kansas City and Austin. In addition, we plan to maintain Gentiva’s financial service units (FSUs) in both Atlanta and Kansas City.
It is too early in the process for us to know how this will be addressed, but our intent is to run the businesses in our markets with no disruption to care delivery. This is an area that our Integration Teams will address, and we will provide more information as it is available.
The Regional Directory is an incredible asset to our combined company. Since coming together, we have received an updated list of new employees, terms and titles. Our Regional Assistants are in the process of making these updates which should be active by April 20. Moving forward, the Regional Assistants will monitor and update the directory on a regular basis.
All Gentiva locations should be listed in the combined Kindred at Home office locator (http://www.kindredathome.com/office-locator/) as of February 2, 2015. If there is a location missing, please let us know right away at firstname.lastname@example.org so the oversight can be corrected. We are working to fully represent all of the states and markets where Gentiva has a presence throughout the rest of the Kindred at Home website and appreciate your patience as those updates are incorporated.
Kindred recognizes the significant value of Gentiva’s specialty programs and understands that the clinicians who work in these programs bring tremendous knowledge, commitment and capabilities. It is our intention to combine the strengths of both organizations and share the talents, expertise and best practices of our teams. We will provide updates and information as it is available.
Kindred also has a tuition assistance program available to full-time and part-time employees for job-related courses. Our integration teams will look at both programs to ensure that we have the best tuition assistance program in place for our combined company.
Both Gentiva and Kindred recognize the importance of providing compassion and support to those in need. To that end, we would not anticipate any changes to those programs at this time.
Your current discount will continue for all of 2015. Kindred also has a wide-variety of negotiated discounts with an array of service providers – including phone services – and we will communicate the full nature of these discount programs and other programs that feature employee preferred pricing.
At Kindred, we are committed to investing in programs and resources that enable our teammates to live healthier lives. This includes weight loss and smoking cessation assistance. While we are not able to communicate the specifics of our benefits programs at this time, we want to reassure you that the combined company will continue to encourage and support employee wellness.
The John T. Ennis Sr. Foundation is a remarkable program with an incredible mission focused on continuing the legacy of Mr. John T. Ennis, Sr., a man who selflessly served others in need. As caregivers we are always serving others, and this program has been instrumental in helping Gentiva employees in times of need.
At Kindred we have a similar program – the HOPE Fund. Short for Helping Others Persevere through Emergencies, the fund assists employees facing challenging and catastrophic life events with financial support. In past years the HOPE Fund, like the John T. Ennis, Sr. Foundation, has not only helped employees and their families, but has also partnered with the Red Cross to provide support to communities affected by natural disasters. We will continue the mission of the Ennis Foundation.
There are a variety of resources available to help answer any questions you have. Please refer to the list below for the best points of contact for issues or questions related to specific topics.
Nothing will change with the current contracts in 2015. Kindred shares Gentiva’s strong commitment of identifying and recruiting talented individuals for student internships through our strong relationships with colleges and universities. The Integration Team will be evaluating all of the existing contracts to ensure that we have the best plan in place for the combined company.
Kindred has a strong recognition program and we are committed to having a strong program in place for the combined company. At this time, it is unclear what the ultimate recognition program will look like, but it will reflect the best practices from Gentiva and Kindred’s current programs.
Our employees put our best foot forward in representing Kindred with our patients, families and communities. We ask that employees that have direct contact with patients, such as our registered nurses and physical therapists, wear appropriate attire and identification while on duty. For those employees working in Support Centers, we ask that they wear the appropriate business casual attire.
We understand the importance of site visits and want to take the time to meet and connect with individuals in the field. While we have traveled to a few locations already, we are still working to determine how site visits will be scheduled in 2015.
Kindred uses an online ordering site called Kindred on Demand. Similar to Gentiva, employees need approval from their Managers to purchase items with company logos. This process helps us track distribution to our branch locations to ensure that we are thoughtful and effective in our budgeting. Currently, Kindred and Gentiva employees do not have access to order items from each other’s company websites. However, the Integration Team is currently working to identify best practices for a comprehensive online ordering system.
We plan to slowly integrate Gentiva into the Kindred brand. Gentiva has an esteemed reputation and we want to ensure our patients and their families understand the level and standard of care they received with Gentiva will remain the same with Kindred at Home. When answering the phones, please continue to remain professional and friendly. We ask that when you refer to Gentiva you say, “Gentiva, an affiliate of Kindred at Home.” Our ultimate goal is to merge the entire organization under the Kindred at Home brand once our company and the market is ready.
Absolutely, your feedback and recommendations will be critical in helping us to successfully bring together best practices from both our organizations. Kindred currently distributes an annual employee engagement survey aimed at identifying best practices and areas of improvement at all levels of the organization. This survey is anonymous and we encourage and look forward to hearing your input when the survey is distributed later this year.
Kindred takes pride in the support that our individual employees, facilities and office locations
give to local organizations throughout the country. The company does have three primary national partnerships that we especially encourage our employees to support: the American Lung
Association, the American Heart Association, and the Alzheimer’s Association – all organizations closely aligned with our caregiving mission. Please join our efforts in supporting these organizations by visiting:
If you would like information on how to register teams for the Heart Association or Alzheimer’s Association, please contact Karen Lozado for a reference sheet.
Kindred Healthcare680 South Fourth StreetLouisville, KY 40202Phone: 502.596.7300Toll Free: 1.800.545.0749
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