• Kindred Today - Clinical Impact Symposium 2016

    By Leslie Leite

    audience 8Kent Wallace, Chief Operating Officer, took the stage to speak about the current state of Kindred. He opened with a slide that answers the question "Who is Kindred" with one sentence:

    Kindred is 102,200 dedicated teammates taking care of approximately 1,040,000 patients and residents in more than 2700 locations in 46 states.

    In many ways, the number of people Kindred employees care for is the most important number of all, and Wallace paid tribute to all Kindred employees who provide care and touch so many lives every day.

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  • As part of an ongoing effort to provide input to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its contractors and help shape value-based care, Dr. Marc Rothman, MD, Kindred's Chief Medical Officer recently commented on efforts to develop potentially preventable readmission measures for all post-acute providers. As a provider of health care services and supports across the entire post-acute continuum, Kindred has a unique perspective about the value of each setting, actual success in reducing re-hospitalizations across all post-acute settings, and certain pitfalls to avoid in quality measure creation.

    Within its comments, Kindred pointed out that it supports the development of measures to promote the delivery of high quality care to patients, and appreciates the opportunity to comment on measures that are a proxy for quality in health care delivery.  This is consistent with Kindred's endorsement of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 , which set the foundation for the establishment of cross-setting quality measures and served as an important foundation to pursuing step-wise reforms necessary for value-based post-acute care reforms.

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  • While there can be a divide between what matters to the average American and what matters to politicians, in recent years, healthcare has been on the minds of both. Ray Sierpina, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs for Kindred Healthcare, said the 2016 presidential race will continue the ongoing discussion about healthcare and healthcare reform. He added, though, that although 10,000 Baby boomers qualify for Medicare every day, candidates have yet to have a meaningful conversation about the future healthcare needs of this constituency.

    Sierpina also noted the 2016 field is one of the most diverse - racially, culturally, geographically and economically - for both the Democrats and Republicans. He cited self-described democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders and real estate developer/reality TV star Donald Trump as noted examples from both sides. 

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  • Cromnibus Bill Includes Healthcare Provisions

    By Kindred Healthcare

    Averting a government shutdown, Congress passed legislation last week to fund most of the government through next October. Known as the “cromnibus,” the spending bill was a mash-up of an omnibus bill, which is how Congress funds the government under normal circumstances, and a continuing resolution (CR), which is how Congress funds the government when they can’t come to a deal.

    The legislation provides funding for everything in the government, other than homeland security, which is operating under a separate continuing resolution.

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  • CMS Final Payment Rules Reflect Kindred Comments

    By Kindred Healthcare
    In early August, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)issued several final rules regarding Medicare policies and payment rates for several post-acute care providers – including Long-term Acute Care Hospitals (LTACs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) – which go into effect at the start of fiscal year 2015 (FY 15) on October 1, 2014.

    During the public comment period prior to the issuance of these final rules, Kindred took the opportunity to react to proposals within each rule and advocate the value of quality post-acute care services within our nation’s healthcare continuum. Read Full Post
  • 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
  • Kindred’s Ray Sierpina Honored as Patient Advocate

    By Kindred Healthcare
    Kindred's Ray Sierpina Honored as a Patient AdvocateEarlier this year the nation’s largest association of nursing and rehabilitation centers – the American Health Care Association (AHCA)– honored Kindred’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Ray Sierpina, with the coveted Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award.

    The annual award recognizes individuals who possess the compassion and commitment to the patients and residents benefitting from the medical care and rehabilitation services provided in our nation’s nursing facilities – consistent with the advocacy efforts exemplified by the late Joe Warner, the former president and CEO of Illinois based Heritage Enterprises.

    The association presents the award to members “who have worked directly to educate Members of Congress about the needs of long term and post-acute care patients and to advance quality long term care.” Read Full Post
  • On April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 was signed into law by President Obama. Most commonly, this legislation is known for providing a one-year patch to the physician Medicare sustainable growth rate – otherwise known as the ‘doc fix’ – but it also includes other important provisions including the extension of the Part B Therapy Cap exceptions process and the establishment of a value-based purchasing (VBP) program for skilled nursing facilities.

    In more common terms, the legislation creates hospital readmission reduction program for all patients cared for in nursing centers nationwide. In order to incentivize improvement in preventable admissions to short term hospitals, the legislation establishes an incentive pool for high performers.

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  • Have YOU Donated Blood Lately?

    By Kindred Healthcare

    January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month. Due to holidays, travel and hectic schedules, blood is often in short supply in the winter months. Fewer donors can result in putting our nation's blood supply at a critical low.

    About 9.2 million people donate blood each year in the United States. Are you one of them? If not, you’re not alone – according to the American Red Cross, an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10 percent actually do it. If you have donated, your donation may have helped somebody in a hospital – such as a Kindred Transitional Care Hospital – who needed blood to survive. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, and more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

    Donating blood is safe and the actual donation process takes only about 15 minutes. Type O is the most commonly-requested blood type, but donors with Type AB+ plasma can donate to all blood types.

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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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