Sunday, February 12, 2017

Causby's Latest Stock Award

Strange Tony,

On 2/02/2017 EVP & President Kindred at Home David Causby received 17,692 new shares of common stock bringing his total Kindred holdings to 179,162.

Pursuant to his Employment Agreement, the reporting person (David A. Causby) was granted 53,077 restricted stock units, vesting in three equal annual installments beginning February 2, 2016.

And what did the company give employees the last few months?  A co-worker remarked we didn't get candy for Christmas in 2016.  Executives sent sweets our first year under Kindred ownership.

Causby will get another $1 million bonus for showing up to work on August 1, 2017.  So that's where our candy money went.  Will they go after our lunch money next?

Anonymous (from Kindred loves executives)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Kindred's Dealing with Ventas

Strange Tony,

Kindred President Ben Breier opened his portion of the third quarter earnings call with:

"Last night we announced the strategic decision to exit the skilled nursing facility business, which is the final step in a process that began for us 15 years ago when Kindred operated over 300 skilled nursing facilities.'

'A full exit of this business, together with the significant cost realignment initiative we are undertaking in connection with the exit, are substantial steps forward in our effort to continue to transform Kindred's strategy and growth profile to enhance shareholder value. We're pleased to be working with Ventas to finalize an agreement that will create value for Ventas and Kindred shareholders, and facilitate Kindred's exit from the skilled nursing business."

Most people don't know but Ventas birthed Kindred via a spinoff on May 1, 1998.  The two companies remained intertwined ever since.

Kindred reduced its significant nursing home division by selling facilities in 2013 and 2015. Breaking Ventas leases cost Kindred serious money:

In January 2015 Kindred paid Ventas a $40 million early termination fee associated with nine leased facilities.  In 2013 Ventas received a $20 million early termination fee associated with fifty nine leased facilities.

Kindred paid $521 million in rent to Ventas over the last three years. 

  • $172 million for the year ended December 31, 2015
  • $192 million for the year ended December 31, 2014
  • $248 million for the year ended December 31, 2013

That relationship will be tested in Kindred's decision to exit the nursing center business, which Breier said is struggling to meet budget targets.

"Our exposure to the challenges facing the nursing center industry are expected to amount to $40 million to $50 million worse than our 2016 operating plan."

Kindred plans to sell its remaining nursing homes during 2017, but it will need to buy them from Ventas before reselling them.  McKnight's said "Kindred's skilled nursing portfolio includes the 36 Ventas facilities, 26 facilities the company owns and 25 that are rented from other companies. Kindred expects to bring in $100 million to $300 million from the sale of the portfolio."

In prior nursing home asset sales Kindred recorded an asset impairment charge of $8 million and a loss on divestiture of $2 million.

The nursing center wheel is about to fall off the Kindred wagon.  Oddly, it could fall to Care Capital Properties, Ventas skilled nursing REIT spinoff.  That might explain Kindred executives clarity on how much they expect to make on the sale.

“We expect the after-tax net proceeds from the sale of these assets will range from $100 million to $300 million after transaction costs, severance expenses, and the amount payable to Ventas for the sale of the Ventas Properties,” he said. “We expect to apply these anticipated net proceeds to reduce funded debt, which combined with the impact of our cost realignment initiative, the elimination of approximately $90 million of annual rents, and the reduction of approximately $30 million of annual capital expenditures will reduce our leverage.”

Why should anyone at hospice care what happens in the nursing center division?  With $1.2 billion in revenue gone executives will likely provide us more attention.  In Gentiva or Kindred that is generally an uncomfortable thing.  Their plans didn't work for the nursing center segment, likely because they were divorced from reality.  There is a limit to staff's ability to endure executive ignorance, aggression and impatience.  It's a harsh contrast to the hospice movement's core founding principles.

Anonymous (from Kindredful)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Retirement Plan for Non Executives: Keep Working


Gentiva employees experienced a series of benefit reductions in 2014, the very year executives agreed to sell the company to Kindred.  That pattern continued while Kindred executives kept telling employees we were "better together."  That was clearly not the case in the retirement arena.

Gentiva COO David Causby did not want to hear employees voice and he does not look after them now as Kindred at Home President.  Yet rhe company continues his obscene pay levels, which includes another $1 million bonus for showing up to work on August 1, 2017.

Kindred plans to restore a minuscule 401k match beginning in February 2017.  It will match $1 for every $10 an employee contributes.  That's well below Gentiva's 401k contribution level.  For an employee to take advantage of this benefit they would need lots of discretionary income.  Most of my hospice coworkers don't have funds to contribute given years of nonexistent to paltry raises and shifting significant first dollar health care costs to employees.  That occurred with the elimination of the physician copay benefit in 2016. 

It looks like another Kindred benefit for wealthy executives.  Kindred continues to be Better Together for this exclusive bunch.

Anonymous (from Kindredpoor)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kindred's 2016 Accomplishments

Strange Tony,

Kindred published a list of accomplishments for 2016.  “In 2016, we made significant progress in our continuing efforts to grow the Company and improve our quality outcomes across our care settings,” said Benjamin A. Breier, Kindred’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are setting the foundation for a stronger Kindred as we drive effective patient-centered care solutions and proactively address the changing healthcare marketplace.”

Here are a few Kindred accomplishments for Legacy Gentiva employees:

1.  Eliminated physician copay benefit in employer sponsored health insurance for 2016.  This made employees responsible for the whole bill for a primary care illness visit and any specialty doctor visits.  A coworker at our hospice saw her cost for physician care soar from $200 to over $1,000 from this one change.

2.  Reduced 401k match by 25% in 2016 with total elimination for 2017.

3.  Purchased home of CFO Stephen Farber for $2.15 million after providing corporate legal and architectural services to resolve disputes between Farber and his neighbors.  This came after giving Farber another $250,000 in moving expenses in late 2015.  Kindred paid to have trees removed and a new driveway installed and is selling the property for $2.4 million.

4.  Conducted another employee survey and ignored concerns expressed.  Some involved legal and compliance issues.

5.  Decided to exit the nursing home sector, which was the core mission when Kindred was spun off from Ventas in 1998.  REIT Ventas focused on nursing homes and spun off the management or operating side of the company.  Kindred will have to dance with its former owner over 36 Ventas owned nursing homes as it makes the exit.

6.  President Ben Breier told Wall Street analysts the company wants over $1 billion in EBITDA for 2017.

7.  2016's end puts Kindred at Home President David Causby a mere eight months away from his next $1 million bonus.  While legacy Gentiva employees continue falling behind in pay and benefits our leader gets huge bonuses for just showing up.

I'm sure there are more accomplishments for executives, but those seem worth revisiting.

Anonymous (from Kindredful)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Kindred Selling Glenview Home Purchased from CFO Farber


The story of Kindred Healthcare's unusual 2015 benefit for CFO Stephen Farber may soon come to an end with the sale of the former Farber home for an asking price of $2.4 million.  Kindred purchased the home because three well off Kentucky men couldn't get along while sharing a common driveway.  One could expect a lecture from Jacob Marley to these men about the chains they forged by their selfish and greedy actions.

The same executives who purchased the Farber home eliminated legacy Gentiva employees' miserly retirement match come January 1, 2017.   How many tiny Tims are in the homes of Kindred employees struggling to get by today?  How much harder will their lives be later in life so Presidents Ben Breier and David Causby can squeeze out a few million more dollars in synergies?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Breier Flattens Gentiva Employee Retirement Match

Strange Tony,
Kindred struck the deal with Gentiva expecting to save and make more money.  Two years ago Kindred President Ben Breier set the expectation.  "Synergies expected to be north of $70 million at the end of year two of the transaction will be immediate — will be meaningfully accretive to our earnings."

Breier announced in his recent earnings call "on the Gentiva deal, we achieved $91 million of synergies, a savings at the high end of our already aggressive expectations." 

That aggression completely wiped out Gentiva employees 401k match for 2017. How much will executive bonuses rise from stiffing employees?  That information will be available in April.

If anyone feels run over this Thanksgiving it might have been Ben Breier on his Synergy bulldozer.

Anonymous (from Kindredful)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Kindred's Hollow Promises to Keep Teammates Informed

Strange Tony,

Kindred President Ben Breier opened Kindred's Q3 earnings call with his usual remark :  "Let me start as I usually do by extending my deep appreciation on behalf of the entire leadership team to our more than 100,000 teammates across the country. Each day our partners at Kindred work hard to improve the lives of more than 1 million patients we care for annually. The excellent care delivery and clinical outcomes we generate are the direct results of their efforts."

Later in the call he said, "the most important thing for us was that when we made this announcement yesterday, we wanted our employees, our teammates, our partners to be the first ones to hear it, not anybody else. So in terms of process and things that have become public, it was very important to me, and to our Board, and to the rest of our management team that we treat our employees the right way by making sure that they knew what was happening before anybody else did. And we're going through that process here internally at Kindred, and our folks are working their way through that."

How many of Kindred's 100,000 teammates heard about the company's strategic shift and dismal financial results from Ben Breier?  I read the release Monday evening and am still waiting for any internal news from my employer.  Wall Street analysts heard long before our local group of Kindred employees.

One could say why would hospice or home health employees need to know?  Answer:  Staff at our site have already been asked about the news by area nursing home companies.  Kindred employees could look informed or ignorant.  It was up to us to be informed.  Management delivered our staff a goose egg of information.

As for communication there was one telling interchange between an analyst and Breier.  The analyst asked how Breier or the company would define a mutually beneficial outcome for the nursing home division sale.  Breier replied, "Kindred's shareholders will have to respond to what that definition of mutually beneficial for us is."  Sadly, Breier may have a career in politics.

For the first time Breier spoke about premium pay rates for RN's across Kindred's business lines.  That's a new development, not at our site, but in the conversation with Wall Street's finest. Brier's opening pander to employees is not new.  Neither is the hollow promise to keep employees informed of key executive decisions.  The lesson is employees will have to listen to quarterly earnings calls to actually hear strategic information from Kindred's C-Suite.  Otherwise we're kept in the dark. 

Anonymous (from Kindredful Q3)