• Healthcare Headlines - February 2016

    By Kindred Healthcare

    HCH Monthly

    AHA Urges Congress to Remove Legal Barriers to Value-Based Payment Arrangements

    Congress should adopt a single broad exception to federal fraud and abuse laws for financial relationships designed to foster collaboration, efficiencies and improvements in health care, AHA told leaders of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees today. Read More   

    How a New Payment Stream Could Come to Senior Care

    As baby boomers age over the next several decades, the demand for senior care options will increase-and there currently are limited ways for middle-income earners to pay for these services. Read More  

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  • What Can we do About Burnout Among Palliative Care Doctors?

    By Dianne Halderman, AVP, Clinical Operations, Kindred at Home

    Results of a recent study showed that burnout among palliative care physicians – those who focus on pain and symptom relief among patients with various diseases and conditions – is extraordinarily high: over 62 percent. The study, which relied on a survey of over 1,200 hospice and palliative care clinicians, also found that 50 percent of palliative care physicians expect to leave the field in the next 10 years. Severity of the burnout seemed to be affected by younger age, having fewer colleagues and working weekends.

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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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  • 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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  • OPTIMISTIC About Better Post-Acute Care

    By Kindred Healthcare

    As the nation’s leading provider of post-acute care services, Kindred is well-positioned to make important contributions to cutting-edge initiatives aimed at improving delivery of post-acute care across the continuum, from the long-term acute care hospital through the skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation hospital, home health and hospice.

    In two Indiana skilled nursing facilities, Kindred is participating in a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-sponsored initiative called OPTIMISTIC – Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical Quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care. The project aims to improve health care, reduce avoidable hospitalizations and increase access to palliative care.

    “OPTIMISTIC benefits our long-term residents,” said Pamela Zanes, RN, BSN, Ed.M., senior director of care transitions for Kindred Healthcare.

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  • Why Hospice? Why Now?

    By Cindy Henderson

     Cindy Henderson, BSN, RN, CHPN - Director, Acclaim Hospice and Palliative Care Cindy Henderson, BSN, RN, CHPN - Director, Acclaim Hospice and Palliative Care

    Hospice is a word that many people do not like to hear. They automatically, and naturally, equate the word with “dying.” The reality of life is that one day we will all face our own mortality. Hospice is a philosophy of care that supports those facing life-limiting illnesses. When cure is no longer possible and comfort care is desired, hospice can help people have a safe and comfortable journey as they pass from this life into the next. When hospice is recommended, we encourage people to think not about dying but about “living until you die.” Hospice is there to help provide for a safe and comfortable journey for the patient, and to help their loved ones go on living after they die.

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  • What a Physician Looks for in a Home Health and Hospice ProviderIn addition, the provider should also have a qualified medical director overseeing medical care rather than a physician appointed simply because he or she comes from a large practice that serves as a potential source of referrals.

    “In home health care, communication and detailed records of patient progress are important,” says Dr. Parker, who is double board certified in family medicine and hospice/palliative care. “If a patient’s goal is to be able to walk 50 feet to the mailbox and has progressed to 10 feet, this needs to be documented and explained. Otherwise, no one will know of the actual progress that’s being made and pressure could escalate.”

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  • As Hospice Evolves, More Can Benefit

    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

    In 2010 Congress directed CMS to begin a pilot program that would expand hospice services to include patients still seeking curative treatments. Unfortunately little progress has been made, and the program’s delayed implementation was recently featured in a news story.

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

    Last month I spent an evening with a dedicated group of physicians at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Milwaukee, one of the largest skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in the country. During his introductions, Executive Director Michael Thomas spoke passionately about the importance of communication – between physicians; physicians and nurses; nurses and nursing assistants; staff and administration and, perhaps most importantly for healthcare reform, between the acute and post-acute care settings. I could not help but think about this year’s American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

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  • On November 29, TEDMED, a multidisciplinary community of innovators and leaders dedicated to creating a better future in health and medicine, held a panel discussion via webcast titled The Caregiver Crisis. Members of the panel included upper-level management from the Center for Long Term Care Research & Policy, the National Family Caregivers Association, the Case Management Society of America, the Families and Health Care Project, and CarePlanners. This thought-provoking discussion raised many points

    Kindred’s leadership has been discussing these and related issues in other forums as well. Said Sean Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for the Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division: “We have talked about caregivers taking increasingly greater roles in care in the last few days prior to discharge from post-acute care.”

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