Kindred Ready to Solve Challenges to Current Healthcare System

By Kindred Healthcare
 Ben Breier, President and COO, Kindred Healthcare (left) and Paul Diaz, CEO, Kindred Healthcare Ben Breier, President and COO, Kindred Healthcare (left) and Paul Diaz, CEO, Kindred Healthcare

“Care transitions across the continuum” is the focus of this year’s Kindred Clinical Impact Symposium, and the topic could not be more timely or important, according to Kindred’s Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Diaz, and its President and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin A. Breier, who welcomed the symposium’s 400 participants this morning.

In today’s healthcare environment, putting patients and residents in the right place at the right time is imperative, Kindred’s leadership said. Baby boomers are aging, creating a stress on the American healthcare system, and government and healthcare organizations are calling for the management of patients at a lower cost. We are seeing moves toward reducing costly readmissions to acute care hospitals, and managed care and pay-for-performance models of healthcare delivery.

There are currently 47.6 million Medicare beneficiaries with approximately 9,100 new beneficiaries added each day. To answer the call to lower costs, lengths of stay in acute care hospitals have been shortened, and as a result, skilled nursing facilities are being asked to do more. Sub-acute units have become even more important, as has home health care, with 35 percent of Medicare beneficiaries discharged from acute care hospitals to post-acute care.

As the leading diversified post-acute provider in the United States, with facilities in 41 states and over 20 integrated care markets, where several Kindred facilities and services operate in one geographical area, Kindred is well positioned to be the solution to many of the challenges to afflict the current American healthcare system, said Breier. Kindred has seen over half a million patients this year, and we have collected data showing that 92 percent of patients and families were satisfied with the care they or their loved ones received and would recommend Kindred.

We are sending more patients home;  in the Nursing and Rehabilitation divisions, 18 percent more patients have been sent home from 2008 to 2012, with nearly 53 percent of patients discharged home after an average length of stay of 30 days. From 2008 to 2012, we have reduced lengths of stay 8.5 percent in the Hospital Division and 26 percent in nursing centers.

Kindred is exceeding national benchmarks on many key quality indicators. Compared to our competitors, Kindred’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers have ranked first in quality over six consecutive quarters, according to national quality data.

Now is the time to focus on how we can improve care transitions as they become even more important. Breier and Diaz suggested several steps Kindred might take to continue to improve and build our full continuum of services as we lead our field:

  • An expansion of home health and hospice services, as more patients are discharged home and the patient population requiring and benefiting from hospice services grows
  • Extending physician coverage across sites of care all the way to the home, as we ultimately strive to keep people well and at home
  • A continued shift toward patient-centered care and cognizance of its importance in Kindred’s mission
  • Working with payors and hospital systems on aligning incentives
  • An enhanced focus on care management and the development and enhancement of clinical programs that follow the patient through episodes of care
  • Significant investment in technology that can help us more effectively and securely transition our patients
  • Preparation of the capabilities to participate in an environment heavily focused on managed care
  • Physician and medical staff development and medical leadership and physician alignment (the creation of collaborations with physicians and health systems in the markets we serve)
  • Network development: the implementation of strategies and to effectively interact with Accountable Care Organizations and Payors

The 2012 Clinical Impact Symposium brings together all of Kindred’s divisions  to talk collaboratively about shared issues and learn about resources and tools we can spread to our 80,000 employees across the country with the goal of improving the work we do  and our focus on our mission of healing,  hope, dignity, recovery and value.

To be effective in improving and augmenting care transitions, we need to break down silos and integrate care. Diaz stressed that whether symposium participants represent an integrated care market or not, the tools shared over the next couple of days will be applicable to all and can improve operations throughout the company, as we strive to deliver high-quality care at the lowest cost by providing superior clinical outcomes in the most appropriate setting.

[slideshare id=15155987&doc=cispresentation-121113090216-phpapp02]

Ben Breier (left), President and COO, Kindred Healthcare and Paul Diaz, CEO, Kindred HealthcareBen Breier, President and COO, Kindred Healthcare (left) and Paul Diaz, CEO, Kindred Healthcare