• Kindred Leadership Shares Inspirational Words

    By Kindred Healthcare
     Kindred Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Diaz and President and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin A. Breier speak at the 2013 Clinical Impact Symposium. Kindred Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Diaz and President and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin A. Breier speak at the 2013 Clinical Impact Symposium.

    Kindred Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Diaz and President and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin A. Breier addressed participants at Kindred’s Fifth Annual Clinical Impact Symposium by painting a portrait of where Kindred is now, and where the company is going over the next several years, as the American healthcare landscape continues to change.

    “We are seeing rapid change in the way healthcare is delivered in this country,” said Diaz. Delivering high quality, low-cost care, reducing rehospitalizations and adapting to new payment models that focus on a patient’s entire episode of care are the orders of the day.

    As the nation’s largest diversified provider of post-acute care services, Kindred, which cared for over half a million patients last year alone, is well-positioned to meet these challenges.

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  • Reach Out and Build Consumer Awareness of Case Management

    By Wendy De Vreugd, RN, BSN, PHN, FNP, CCDS, MBA
     Wendy De Vreugd is the Senior Director of Case Management, West Region, Hospital Division. Wendy De Vreugd is the Senior Director of Case Management, West Region, Hospital Division.

    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.

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  • 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.

     Erica Graziosi, Medical Records Coder Erica Graziosi, Medical Records Coder

    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.

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  • Reflections of a Case Manager

    By Crystal DuBose


     Crystal DuBose, BSW, MBA, District Director of Case Management Crystal DuBose, BSW, MBA, District Director of Case Management


    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.

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  • 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.

     Kelly’s therapists from left to right: Stacey Irek, OT, Steven Desaulniers, PT, and Laura Beard, SLP. Kelly’s therapists from left to right: Stacey Irek, OT, Steven Desaulniers, PT, and Laura Beard, SLP.

    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.”

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  • Therapy for Those Who’ve Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury

    By Kindred Healthcare

    When someone suffers a traumatic brain trauma — whether it’s from an automobile accident, severe stroke or other injury — he or she is initially admitted to an Intensive Care Unit. After patients are medically stable, it may be necessary to transfer them to a long-term acute care or transitional care facility before an acute rehabilitation or subacute rehabilitation facility.

    According to Terry Eberly, a speech pathologist at Kindred Hospital Denver, two assessment methods are used to determine the extent of the injury and issues that need to be addressed:

    Based on the results of the evaluation, a plan is customized to the needs of the individual, encompassing and integrating therapies to treat respiratory, speech, motor, visual, orthopedic and other identified issues.

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  • A Day in the Life of a Coder

    By Kindred Healthcare

    In acknowledgement of Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) Week, The Kindred Continuum speaks with Patricia Kerr, coder for Kindred Hospitals Louisville, Louisville at Jewish Hospital, Nashville and Dayton.

    Patti, age 50, lives and works remotely in Crestwood, Kentucky.

    KC: What is your daily schedule like?

    PK: I usually log on by 8 a.m. First, I compile my daily reports for admissions and discharges, and update my ongoing lists. I also note any new procedures on the daily list provided by transcription. After assessing what admissions and discharges must be done that day in order to keep within department turnaround times, I prioritize my work for the day. I verify and update vent hours for patients that I’ve noted on admission, code admissions, discharges and procedures for each of my four facilities. I also check for new trackers and scans throughout the day.


     Coder, Patricia Kerr in her home office. Coder, Patricia Kerr in her home office.


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  • To the outside world, it’s the coding system that allows for the classification of diagnoses and procedures, used by the medical community nationally and internationally. To the 75 people who traveled to Kindred’s Support Center for a two-day Annual Coding Services Education Meeting, it’s simply known as the annual coding update to ICD (International Classification of Diseases), and more specifically ICD-10, the tenth revision of the guidelines, which was this year’s hot-button subject. And, importantly, it’s their critical piece of the Kindred mission of providing hope, healing and recovery.

     Annual Coding Services Education Attendees Annual Coding Services Education Attendees
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  • Investing in our People Directly Results in Quality Care

    By Kindred Healthcare

    In recognition of the Labor Day holiday, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight and recognize Kindred’s greatest asset – our dedicated employees.

    Without the 78,000 compassionate colleagues taking care of more than 70,000 patients and residents each day, we would not be the company we are today.

    The Kindred workforce is a team of diverse individuals who share the common goal of providing the highest quality care for patients and residents throughout the post-acute care continuum. This diversity is clear in the fact that in 2012, our workforce was more than 80% women and approximately 40% minorities. We firmly believe in recruiting a strong workforce that resembles the variation and diversity of those we care for.

    In order to assure a strong future, Kindred has a long-standing commitment to investing in a broad-range of training opportunities – with $34.2 Million spent on employee training in 2012 and an additional $3 Million in tuition reimbursement.

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  • Mentoring Matters: Teach Others, Teach Thyself

    By Kindred Healthcare

    Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division’s Case Management mentoring program in the West Region follows these credos. The program began in 2010 for new MSN-level registered nurse case manager graduates from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland and Sacramento, CA, and has recently been extended to bedside nurses who wish to transition into the case management field. To foster the growth, development and mentoring of existing Kindred employees, academic partnerships with nursing training programs have also been developed between Kindred, the University of Phoenix and its nationwide campuses and online programs, and American Sentinel University online programs in Aurora, CO. These partnerships offer tuition reductions and other benefits to Kindred employees.

    Both of these opportunities for mentoring facilitate a pipeline of eager students and recent grads, ready for the nurturing, growth, and development that strong mentoring supports.

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