• Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials last week revoked the prior authorization process for many drugs used in hospice care. Read Full Post
  • Terah Hatter can sum up her job in one word – amazing. Her job, she says, “is about caring.”

    “It’s an honor to walk beside the patient and family to help them through a difficult time,” says Hatter, LMSW, a social worker for, which is an affiliate of Kindred at Home and an agency that provides home health, hospice and private duty nursing care in Texas.

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  • Kindred at Home Hospice Care Supports the Whole Family

    By Kindred Healthcare

    When you learn that someone you love needs hospice care, your first thoughts are of that person. But how you cope with a loved one’s end of life is important, too, which is why hospice provides for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

    With Kindred at Home's hospice care, it’s not just the patient who is monitored. The patient’s loved ones also are assessed from the moment the patient is admitted to the program, to make sure they have the resources and support they need, too.

    Kristy Johnke, Kindred’s Regional Director of Social Programs for Home Care and Hospice in Texas, says not everyone fully understands what hospice is. Often, family members equate hospice care with “giving up,” mistakenly assuming that it means medical care is at an end and death is imminent.

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  • What You Need to Know about Advance Directives

    By Kindred Healthcare

    Advance Directives, or Living Wills, allow you to document your wishes for end-of-life medical care. In the event that you become incapacitated and unable to express your wishes, Living Wills guide your loved ones and medical professionals involved in your care when important decisions about life-sustaining treatment must be made.

    Patients are asked if they have Advance Directives when they are admitted to a Kindred facility, said Kathee Paradowski, Clinical Informaticist Consultant in Kindred’s Hospital Division.

    “The goal of an Advance Directive is to make sure that patients are making informed decisions and that we’re following their wishes,” Ms. Paradowski said.

    Once the patient’s wishes have been determined, the physician writes orders based on the patient’s desires and the Advance Directives are entered into the patient’s record.

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  • Integrating the post-acute care continuum; focusing on seamless transitions made possible through clear communication, and embracing the digital age through electronic health records systems are a few ways that Kindred is leading the charge as the post-acute sphere evolves on the changing American healthcare landscape. Kindred’s own Marc Rothman, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the Nursing Center Division, and Susan Sender, RN, Chief Clinical Officer for Kindred at Home, address these issues in more depth in M.D. Update magazine’s special section on Senior Health.

     

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  • Palliative Care FAQs

    By Kindred Healthcare
    Palliative Care FAQs What is palliative care?

     

    Palliative care is interdisciplinary care that seeks to improve quality of life and relieve suffering for those with advanced diseases.

    Where is palliative care delivered?

    What is needed for a patient to receive palliative care?

    A physician order for referral to/for palliative care.

    Who typically delivers palliative care and how is it reimbursed?

    Palliative care is reimbursed as a medical service – like seeing a primary care provider or a specialist – and payment goes to the practitioner who provides it, such as a nurse practitioner or physician. A claim is submitted for the visit, just like in the outpatient or inpatient setting, with a code for palliative care. Most palliative care teams incorporate other disciplines that often do the pre-visit prep (through a nurse, nurse practitioner, social worker or chaplain) and the post-visit follow ups.

    Who qualifies for a palliative care consult?

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  •  (l-r) Mary Van de Kamp, Tony Disser, Kathy Owens, Matt Sivret and Susan Sender (l-r) Mary Van de Kamp, Tony Disser, Kathy Owens, Matt Sivret and Susan Sender

    Representatives from each of Kindred’s divisions – the Hospital Division, the Nursing Center Division, Kindred at Home, RehabCare and the Care Management Division – demonstrated ways in which Kindred clinicians and staff across the enterprise can collaborate to improve care transitions throughout the country during a presentation at the Fifth Annual Clinical Impact Symposium.

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  • 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.

    Diaz outlined Kindred’s three general goals:

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  • What Is the Elder Justice Act?

    By Boo Tilghman, RN, BSN, CHPN
    What Is the Elder Justice Act? The Elder Justice Act is designed to provide federal resources to prevent, detect, treat, understand, intervene in and, where appropriate, prosecute elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. The Elder Justice Act is a comprehensive elder abuse prevention law which was enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010. Before The Elder Justice Act was enacted, federal funding for programs and justice regulations was not available. Now, education, awareness programs, training and other services are available to millions of seniors across the U.S.

     

    Elder abuse refers to the actions or lack of actions that harm an older adult or place them at risk of harm or within harm’s way. The harm may be physical, mental, emotional and/or financial. True prevalence is unknown primarily due to lack of consensus regarding definition. Clinicians caring for older adults are integral and crucial to the prevention, intervention and treatment of elder abuse.

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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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