State of American Healthcare Policy Considered as Sierpina Makes PresentationRay Sierpina, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Government Affairs at Kindred Healthcare, addressed attendees at the 2014 Kindred Clinical Impact Symposium, sharing his thoughts on the current state of political affairs in the United States. Sierpina gave an overview of the recent elections and how they changed the landscape in Washington, and then outlined Kindred’s short, mid and long-term goals.

In the short term, Sierpina said, the Doc Fix – remedying issues surrounding Medicare payment reimbursement for doctors – will be the focus. In the mid-term, taking an aggressive approach to submitting comments related to rulemaking and also to legislation, will be critical. In the long-term, post-acute delivery reform will continue to be a focus.

“We don’t react to who is in charge,” Sierpina said. “Our priorities are our priorities, though our approach might change.”

A question from the audience addressed ICD-10 implementation.

“As with other projects that have been postponed, like the dual eligible pilot, I think CMS will feel the pressure to get these things done sooner rather than later,” Sierpina said.

A bottom line when it comes to healthcare policy and Kindred’s role in shaping change in the way healthcare is delivered in the U.S., Sierpina said, is that a very small part of the Medicare population is currently responsible for a huge part of the spend.

“Kindred can be part of the solution,” he said. “We can keep costs down by making sure patients get the right care in the right place at the right time.”