• Ever wonder what Kindred is doing to take a lead in confronting issues that affect hospitals all over the country, such as alarm fatigue, which happens when too many beeps and buzzes become like background noise to caregivers? The Hospital Division’s Respiratory Care Council is addressing this healthcare challenge as well as others like it. Meeting every other month, the Council’s 21 members – representing each of the regions in which Kindred delivers care, as well as the Support Center in Louisville – strive to identify and share best practices and standardize systems and procedures across the division. They are also working with colleagues from Kindred’s other divisions to achieve enterprise-wide standardization when appropriate.

    Respiratory Care Council Tackles Important Issues, Shares Best Practices

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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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  • After several years of anticipation and a great deal of confusion over the Affordable Care Act, today marks the day that the insurance marketplaces – otherwise known as exchanges – begin enrollment for individuals not covered by employer insurance benefits.

    In recent days and weeks, there has been additional confusion about what this all means with debates about defunding healthcare reform on Capitol Hill and the most recent shutdown of the federal government. So, we want to explain what this all means for you.

    First of all, neither the current back and forth in Congress or the temporary government shutdown over the budget will impact the insurance exchanges. As the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this morning, “the marketplace is open for business.”

    So what does it mean?

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  • The View from the Lou - SNF Physician Workforce Challenges

    By Marc Rothman, MD

     

     Dr. Marc Rothman, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Nursing Center Division Dr. Marc Rothman, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Nursing Center Division

     

    It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to know that changes are afoot in the SNF physician workforce. On some days it seems like our way of life is nearly extinct. I’ve had a dozen phone conversations over the past eighteen months with colleagues in Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont – to name a few – who all relate a similar tale: there used to be 8-10 physicians who cared for SNF patients in our community, now there are only two or three, sometimes only one, and in a few instances none at all! In several instances, the struggle to find physician coverage for our residents and medical directors for our centers has been painstaking and nerve-racking. And it is the rare physician who arranges his or her own succession plan, as you probably well know.

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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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  • Kindred Regulatory Update

    By Kindred Healthcare

    In recent weeks, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued several final regulations that included Medicare payment updates for fiscal year 2014, which begins on October 1, 2013. Three of the final rules addressed updates to the long-term acute care hospital, inpatient rehabilitation facility and skilled nursing facility prospective payment systems (PPS).

    Long-Term Acute Care Hospital FY 2014 Update

    In the final LTAC hospital payment update, CMS announced that for fiscal year 2014 Medicare payments will increase by 1.3 percent, which includes a 2.5 percent market basket update offset by outlier payments, the  second installment of the budget neutrality adjustment, and productivity adjustments.

    The rule also included several regulatory changes including the full implementation of the 25% Rule beginning on October 1, 2013 and new measures that will be added to the LTAC hospital Quality Reporting program in FY 2017 and FY 2018.

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  • Key Obamacare Provision Delayed Until 2015

    By Kindred Healthcare

    7-2-2013 8:30pm: Forbes.com has a very good article with background on the issue and implications for businesses: http://onforb.es/19V4IGJ

    7-2-2013 8:50 pm: Washington Post outlines seven reasons this delay is huge.

    Opinions expressed in any of the included stories or their publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Kindred Healthcare and this blog post is a compilation of news stories from other sources that have appeared during the past week.

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  • What is an ACO?

    By Sophia Kroon

    Born out of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the concept of the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is tied to the goal of providing better and more efficient, coordinated health care to more people at lower cost. The organizations themselves are composed of groups of physicians and other providers of Medicare-covered services, and venues where care is provided, connected by networks of individual practices or partnerships, joint ventures or hospital-employed ACO professionals.  Payment is tied to the achievement of health care quality goals, and the organization is expected to be patient-centered, with patients and providers working together toward optimum health care delivery.

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  • Social Workers Touch Patients’ Lives in Many Ways

    By Sophia Kroon

    March is National Social Work Month and a perfect time to recognize the invaluable role social workers play at Kindred Healthcare.

    “Social workers are integral to the care provided to patients,” says Stacey Hodgman, Sr. Director, Care Management. “In order for a patient to truly heal physically, their social and emotional needs must be addressed and in balance with their condition."

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  • Activities of daily living including cleaning, grooming, cooking, and countless other actions we do in stride come easily to the vast majority of the population.  Imagine that you suddenly find yourself performing these tasks slower than usual, or unable to complete them at all.  This can be a reality for much of the aging population.

    National Senior Independence Month sets out to help older citizens remain in control of their daily lives. According to the Administration on Aging, “85% of adults over the age of 45 say they’d rather stay in their own homes” as opposed to moving into a facility.

    Here are some home safety tips to continue living independently:

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