Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gentiva Has 32,000 More Employees to Ignore


Gentiva's acquisition of Harden Healthcare added:

  • 160 locations, an increase of 38%
  • Over 25,000 patients, an increase of  29%
  • 32,000 employees, an increase of 210%

Gentiva had over 5.5 patients per employee in 2012.  The differential implies Harden had 0.8 patients per employee (25,000 patients/32,000 employees).  Could Community Care's 31 locations have distorted the numbers so greatly?  If yes, that's a staff intensive product line (quantity wise).   

The end result is Gentiva has triple the number of employees to ignore. 


Sunday, December 1, 2013

One Miserable Star for OneGentiva


A Gentiva ex-employee posted a review on GlassDoor before Thanksgiving. It points to the OneGentiva reorganization and the integration of Harden sites, most of which will be done by the end of the year.

"Worked directly with absolutely Great people but Corporate management seems completely focused on their balance sheet."

RN Case Manager (Former Employee)
North Atlanta, GA

I worked at Gentiva full-time for less than a year

Pros - The character and compassion of the (disposable) people who you work with....... And if you like being used, lied to and then unceremoniously discarded with one day's notice and a two week severance package, Gentiva is a wonderful place.

Cons – Corporate Leadership's history (and future) of closing offices and terminating employees because last month's plan is changed to not being in this month's plan. ..... One day you're told that you're doing a great job and the next you're told that you're no longer needed. Gentiva has become a company that makes money off their employee's compassion but has no compassion for it's employees.

Advice to Senior Management – You're on the path to move from being the "biggest player in the market" to becoming a business school "case study" on how to completely lose sight of what made you successful. .... And changing your name to try to avoid the bad reputation you're building in the market is not "a fix".

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
It gives Home for the Holidays a new twist for the recently unemployed. The Gentiva jobless might envision CEO Tony Strange as Ebenezer Scrooge or The Grinch prior to growing his heart.  Apparently, firing people and closing locations is fun, a key component of Gentiva's latest strategy.

Time and time again Gentiva executives showed their lack of understanding of hospice philosophy and end of life care.  They plan to solve hospice volume issues by installing leaders who have to manage and market two other product lines.  I see the move as backhanded punishment for hospice executives who failed to deliver results for the last 21 months.  Let me know your insights,


Friday, November 29, 2013

Gentiva Expects Turnover


A highly respected corporate person said "I consider anyone with over one year's tenure with our company a long-timer."  Apparently, Gentiva leaders don't hold dear things like knowledge, experience, dedication, and commitment.  It's the blind leading the blind at our site given our tin eared Branch Manager (BM) and horrific turnover.

Turnover carries a steep cost, as others have to make up for the loss of experienced, capable employees.  Hospice work is hard enough, but it becomes a bear when having to do the work of two people.

It's the kind of bear that eats you, which makes for more turnover.  Beware the bears from BM level and above. The rabbit hole deepens at merger mad Gentiva.  What about Generic Hospice?


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Gentiva's Integration of Local Markets - What's Your Story?

To Gentiva-Harden Home Health & Hospice Employees:

I understand your site leaders, branch managers and executive directors are currently planning (plotting) the integration of Gentiva-Harden's local markets per orders from CEO Tony Strange. Should you have a story you wish to share, I'd love to hear it.  Send it to and be sure to use your home computer.  

I appreciate the darkness in your company, as we have it at Generic Hospice.  It's hard to do the good work of caring for patients in a company that cares so little about its employees it hasn't asked them the most basic of questions for years.  What do you like about your job?  Do you feel supported by your manager?  How could corporate leadership help you do your job better?  My Gentiva friend said "Not one of the legions of corporate fools that parade through our office has asked such a question.  As for a company-wide employee survey, they ditched that years ago."

It's difficult doing serious work of caring for hospice patients under whimsical, autocratic management.  The whimsy will soon be in overdrive as people are axed and locations closed or sold.  This tragedy of management will produce many stories, none of them fun.  Send yours, if you wish.  I'll read every one, maybe publish a few on this blog.  Godspeed.

Generic Hospice

P.S.  Prayers were requested for employees of a closed Inpatient Hospice Unit in the Houston area.  More Gentiva IPU's have been shuttered.  Many, many people face the prospect of job loss under Tony Strange's regime.  Having fun yet? 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gentiva-Harden Integration Looms at Site Level


Gentiva has a number of image-obsessed leaders like the one you described at your Generic Hospice site.  What will happen when two or more orbs meet to decide how to implement corporate strategy in their overlapping market?

Will they draw straws, i.e. trade turns selecting who will stay and who'll be terminated?  That prospect looms throughout Gentiva and Harden's overlapping territories.  Gentiva CEO Tony Strange said this would occur in most markets before the end of the year.  It's the second week in November, so plans will be made quickly.

Gentiva already cut over 100 positions at the area, regional and corporate levels with their OneGentiva initiative.  I expect the number of jobs cut from overlapping market integration to be much higher.  Gentiva employees near the red and blue balloons pictured above should prepare for the possibility of being axed.  Image obsessed leaders will be the worst communicators of the company's plans. 

Gentiva's earnings call provides much more information on corporate strategy than our Branch Manager ever shares.   Might looming meetings be chock full of surprises?

How many will be staged to maintain the illusion that Gentiva has cooperative, collaborative, inspiring leaders?  The reality is my site has the exact opposite, an exclusive, autocratic, soul sucking micro-manager.  Any integration coming from this person will be based on whim and used as a weapon of motivation destruction. This management apple, as rotten as it is, doesn't fall far from the tree.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chaos Squared: Generic & Gentiva


The similarity of our plights, yours at Gentiva and mine at Generic Hospice, are eerie.  Our Branch Manager, who personally has driven off legions of great clinical staff, had the gall to tell me, "I feel so bad the nurses can't keep their Patient Care Supervisors."

Nurses can't keep their manager because the BM micromanages them to the point they resign or are fired.  Our Branch Manager psychologically tortures them until they quit to save their sanity or become shells of their former self, ensuring the bad end.  I've seen it over and over and over.

Talented nurses, who would be great leaders, want no part of it.  One told me recently, "Why would I want that job?  It only lasts a year."

But it's a very long year, as the BM psychologically breaks people.

1.  A year with lots of written counselings.  How's that for coaching?
2.  A year with interminably long supervisor meetings with BM.  This court is a chance for the BM to show their brilliance, receive compliments from underlings, setup future scapegoats and deride staff who through their dedication and caring make the site and its managers look good.
3.  A year where the BM delegates virtually all their work to underlings, especially patient care supervisors who would be happy to do the work, only they have more than they can handle, being new or covering two jobs.  Also, item #2 makes it difficult, given the many hours eaten each day by the BM's Royal Court.
4.  A year where the BM repeatedly instructs the patient care supervisor what to do and say, as if they have no brain.  This applies to the patient care supervisors' one-on-one meetings, nurse team meetings and all employee meetings.
5.  A year where the BM moves through the office like a shark, looking for someone to bite.  The shark frequently attacks patient care supervisors, but is known to bite any employee with little to no notice.
6.  A year where the patient care supervisor is not allowed to communicate with staff on BM initiated firings or the plan to cover that person's work.
7.  A year of surprises where staff believe they've kept the BM informed, only to have the BM say "You never told me that."  When this happens to a new patient care supervisor, it's their first clue they're on a frightening ride in the BM's whack-job nuthouse.
8.  A year where the BM tells corporate by phone how great they are, blaming underlings, especially patient care supervisors, for any performance shortfalls.
9.  A year where the BM pushes whatever corporate initiative they have a role in to the exclusion of employee desires.  The pressure to do something "voluntary" grows exponentially to enhance the BM's image.  Employees exist to make the BM look good.
10.  The BM will get their way.  It may take time and support from clueless human resource representatives, but the BM will prevail.

Our BM could take a dump and corporate would fawn over it like a truffle.  Frankly, that's what they've done repeatedly when we've complained about it's size and odor. 

Good luck with the Harden integration.  I'd be interested to know if you've experienced anything like my manager.  Would Gentiva's ongoing chaos help or hurt someone like that?


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wrecked Gentiva to Get New Paint


Gentiva held their earnings call today.  Gentiva CEO Tony Strange encouraged Wall Street analysts to look at this shiny new Harden acquisition and pay little attention to the company's subpar third quarter.  The crew of financial analysts seemingly bought into the Harden talk, treading lightly on Gentiva's deteriorating revenues and volumes.  It's clear investors didn't buy the spin, driving Gentiva's stock price down nearly 10%.  

Prior to closing the Harden deal Gentiva announced OneGentiva, where area and regional leadership, both sales and operations, support home health, hospice and community care services.  Strange indicated 100 field operating and sales positions were eliminated in creating OneGentiva.  These cuts should more than fund Gentiva's consulting deal with CapStar, Harden's former private equity owners.

OneGentiva's focus will be:
OneGentiva -  Key strategies shared in October
1)  Realign mission across all three divisions
2)  Redefine operating model and structure
3)  Improve hospice results
4)  Create a culture of field focused support for our corporate organizations
5)  Achieve sustainable growth in all of our businesses

Strange said something odd in his description of the new regional structure post Harden transaction closing.

"Harden's Chief Operating Officer Chris Roussos has been named the Regional President of our new South Central Region.  This region includes Texas and the majority of the current Harden geographies, thereby reducing the integration risk for most of their existing businesses."
Does that raise the integration risk for Gentiva operations in Harden territory?
As for Gentiva Hospice branches:

"We are going through each and every branch, evaluating the rate reduction models for 2014, the impact of overlapping territories and our ability to create market density.  As a result, we have or will be consolidating branches, as well as exiting certain markets and/or certain business offerings where it is no longer feasible to fulfill our commitment to our mission.  We expect the majority of this work to be completed in the remainder of this year."
Tony Strange beat the "hospice marketing equals home health marketing" drum for nearly two years on investor calls.  When hospice volumes didn't go up as predicted, Strange finally admitted they weren't the same. Yet, the OneGentiva reorganization includes:

"Each region will have a single-sales organization focused on the delivery of a unified comprehensive service offering to our referral sources. However, the product delivery systems for the 3 business lines will continue to function separately as they do today."
If Gentiva hadn't unlocked the key to hospice marketing as a stand alone group, how will it do so in a unified offering?

Gentiva refinanced existing debt and added more to fund the Harden deal:

Our blended interest rate based on outstanding balances on the term loans at closing came down from 6.45% to 6.36%....  The first principal payments on the term loans are due in March 2014.
Gentiva added debt to buy Harden, which CEO Strange admitted came at a premium price.  This small break in the interest rate cannot compensate for the hundreds of millions of new debt financing.  Gentiva previously had a cash crunch around principal and interest payment time.  How will things look come March 2014? 
On an annualized basis, Harden-related synergies are expected to be approximately $28 million by 2015. This includes approximately $16 million from the elimination of overlapping corporate costs, and the remainder from the consolidation of regional area and branch organizations, as well as other cost-savings initiatives 
More jobs are at risk for current Gentiva/Harden employees.  It goes beyond the 100 operating and sales positions.

As you would expect, with the Harden acquisition integration, branch closures and consolidation and our One Gentiva initiatives, there will be a lot of moving parts in the fourth quarter. The final results for the fourth quarter of 2013 will be subject to a number of factors, including the impact from additional closed or sold locations, the timing of branch consolidation, the timing of synergies, the timing of One Gentiva initiatives, the final results from the Harden business valuation and the balance sheet accounting treatment of various items related to the Harden consolidation.
It remains to be seen how quickly the axe falls.  Will Gentiva fire more employees between Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Might some chose to leave first?  Watch the moving parts.  Beware what drops from above, like manipulation schemes.

The alignment of the incentive plans in each market between operations of home health and operations of hospice and community care, I think, will be the last component to really try to marry those businesses up in the individual markets.

When people don't have good work to do, they must be bribed to perform.  I hope Generic Hospice isn't as broken as Gentiva.    


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Recently Fired Gentiva Employees Should Know

Dear StrangeTony,

A number of area and regional staff members lost their job when Gentiva purchased Harden Healthcare.  They became expendable as the acquisition neared closing.  They may want to know the severance package for Gentiva's senior leaders as outlined in a SEC filing:

(i) The Company shall pay to the Executive (A) base salary at the rate then in effect through the date of the Executive’s termination of employment in accordance with the standard payroll practices of the Company or such earlier date as required by applicable law, and (B) any earned but unused paid time off (“PTO”) in accordance with the Company’s general PTO policy, which shall be paid in a lump sum ten (10) business days after the date of such termination of employment;

(ii) The Company shall pay to the Executive an amount in cash equal to two times (2x) the sum of (A) the Executive’s annual base salary in effect immediately prior to the date of the Executive’s termination of employment or the date of the Change in Control (whichever is higher), and (B) the higher of (x) the Executive’s target annual bonus for the year that includes the date of the Executive’s termination of employment or (y) the annual bonus of the Executive averaged for the three (3) years immediately prior to the year that includes the date of the Executive’s termination of employment; and such amount shall be paid, subject to Section 10 below, in a lump sum ten (10) business days after the date of such termination of employment;

(iii) The Executive shall be entitled to a pro rata share of the target annual bonus for the year that includes the date of the Executive’s termination of employment based on the number of days of such year that the Executive was employed by the Company, which shall be paid, subject to Section 10 below, in a lump sum ten (10) business days after the date of such termination of employment;

(iv) The Company shall continue to cover the Executive and his or her dependents under, or provide the Executive and his or her dependents with insurance coverage no less favorable than, the Company’s life, health and dental plans or programs (as in effect on the day immediately preceding the Protection Period or on the date of termination of his or her employment, whichever is more favorable to the Executive) for a period equal to the lesser of (x) two years following the date of termination or (y) until the Executive is provided by another employer with benefits substantially comparable to the benefits provided by such plans or programs, provided, however, that the provision of this benefit shall be contingent upon the cooperation of the Executive (or his or her spouse or dependent, as applicable) with any reasonable request by the Company to facilitate the provision of such benefit, including responding to questionnaires and submitting to minimally intrusive medical examinations. Executive shall be responsible for any Federal, state or local tax with respect to such benefit coverage described in this subsection (iv);

(v) All options to purchase Company stock held by the Executive and all restricted shares of Company stock, restricted Company share units, performance share units, performance cash awards and other equity-based compensation awards held by the Executive shall become immediately vested in full upon such termination of employment, and all such stock options shall be exercisable for the longer of (x) one year following such termination of employment (but not beyond the original full term of the award) or (y) such period of time as may be provided for in the plan under which such awards were granted; 

(vi) All of the Executive’s benefits accrued under the pension, retirement, savings and deferred compensation plans of the Company shall become vested in full; provided, however, that to the extent such accelerated vesting or benefits cannot be provided under one or more of such plans because of nondiscrimination requirements under the Code, a cash amount equivalent to any unvested benefits shall be paid to the Executive outside the applicable plan in a lump sum, subject to Section 10 below, ten (10) business days after the date of termination of employment; provided, further, however, that, to the extent any such unvested benefit constitutes nonqualified deferred compensation for purposes of Section 409A of the Code, the payment of a cash amount equivalent to such nonqualified deferred compensation shall instead be made at the time the underlying benefit was otherwise scheduled to be paid under the applicable plan; and 

(vii) The Executive shall be entitled to outplacement services with an outplacement firm of the Executive’s choice for up to twelve (12) months or until the Executive obtains comparable employment (as determined by the Company), whichever is shorter; provided, however, that (i) the Executive must select an outplacement firm and commence the outplacement services no more than ninety (90) days following the Executive’s termination of employment, (ii) such outplacement services must be reasonable and commensurate with the Executive’s position with the Company (as determined by the Company), and (iii) in no event, shall the aggregate amount the Company incurs to provide such outplacement services exceed more than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000)

How many employees who lost their job in a change of control move got any kind of severance package?  How does their severance compare with this agreement's generous provisions?


Monday, October 28, 2013

Gentiva's New Band of Wealthy Brothers


Regarding the Gentiva-Capstar agreement:   Are you suggesting the expert in Community Care would pick a low risk measure to ensure they are compensated at a maximum level (a combined $1,750,000) vs. getting nothing, nada, zero for their expertise?


Reply from Anonymous - YES!

Comment from StrangeTony -  That sounds like something the Generic Hospice bunch would arrange to enrich the small band of brothers at the top. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fishy CapStar Consulting Deal


I find it amazing how people at the top find ways to enrich one another.  Does this pass the smell test, especially if the parties have knowledge that the condition stipulating payment will occur?

Gentiva entered into a five-year consulting agreement (the “Consulting Agreement”) with Javelin Healthcare Holdings, LLC, now named Harden Healthcare Holdings, LLC and an indirectly owned subsidiary of Gentiva, and Capstar, pursuant to which Capstar will provide the Surviving Company with certain transitional, strategic or commercial matters, including assistance with the development and maintenance of relationships with key customers and third party payors, and any other services as may appear to the Surviving Company from time to time to be necessary or appropriate in connection with the foregoing. 

Pursuant to the Consulting Agreement, Gentiva and the Surviving Company have agreed to pay Capstar an amount equal to $1.0 million per year (commencing as of January 1, 2014) if the Community Care Rate (as defined in the Consulting Agreement) exceeds the Base Community Care Rate (as defined in the Consulting Agreement). If for a given year the Community Care Rate fails to exceed the Base Community Care Rate, Capstar will not be entitled to any payment under the Consulting Agreement for such year. 

Additionally, on the Closing Date, Gentiva entered into an agreement pursuant to which Capstar Investment Partners, L.P., a Texas limited partnership in which Mr. Hicks has an indirect material interest (“Capstar L.P.”), has agreed, to terminate a certain sublease agreement in connection with the consummation of the Mergers. Under this agreement, Gentiva has agreed to pay Capstar L.P., for each of five calendar years commencing January 1, 2014, an amount equal to either (i) $750,000 if the Community Care Rate exceeds the Base Community Care Rate for such year and (ii) zero dollars if the Community Care Rate fails to exceed the Base Community Care Rate for such year. 

As for 2014 Medicaid Companion Care rates:

For fiscal year 2014 and thereafter, this component will be determined by summing total reported foster/companion care coordinator wages and allocated payroll taxes and benefits from the most recently available audited cost report, inflating those costs to the rate period and dividing the resulting product by the total number of foster care units of service reported on that cost report. 

If companion care rates automatically inflate in 2014 Capstar's $1.75 million payment is in the bag.  One might've thought $409 million in cash and stock would've been enough for Capstar.  It looks like they may pull another $8.75 million from Gentiva.  How many people will be fired to fund this private equity enrichment plan?

As for Capstar's commitment to quality, none of their hospice physicians are board certified in hospice and palliative medicine.  All of our site's physicians are board certified.

This deal looks more financial and less patient care oriented as news dribbles out.  Leading provider now means "just a little bit better than our competition."

Our site used to provide the best service, hands down.  Gentiva took that away.  How much lower can it go as executive enrichment grows?  Sad days, indeed.


P.S. - The Chairman of Capstar Partners, now Vice Chair of Gentiva's board, will sell nearly 2.3 million shares of GTIV, valued at over $27 million.  Gentiva employees got their PTO benefit reduced.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Gentive Closes on Harden


Gentiva executives stand ready to integrate local sites now that they've closed the Harden acquisition.  Our Chairman of FUN said they've already reorganized corporate and regional leadership.  This resulted in a number of people losing their jobs, which seems the distinct opposite of fun.  

This has the feel of the 1,000 person layoff Gentiva conducted in late 2011.   Our site lost six people in that round.

Guess who'll be making decisions about us going forward?  People who don't know jack squat about our site.  This is how many corporate support people we've had in the last two years

Area Operations Managers - 3
Area Sales Managers - 4
Area Clinical Support Persons - 4
Area Human Resources - 3

Doing the math, that's four positions, occupied by 14 different people over two years:

10/4 =  2.5

That's 250% turnover in twenty four months.  A corporate person hardly gets to meet people at our site before they're fired, moved or replaced.  This explains why no one has ferreted out our toxic Branch Manager (BM).  It takes skill and attention to discern this person is abusive and incapable of leading in a consistent, collaborative manner.     

From my seat OneGentiva's tag line should be "Rampant Chaos."  What will Gentiva's Corporate Talking Heads' do next to traumatize our site? The answer should be forthcoming in several weeks.  One thing's guaranteed.  Due to exceedingly poor communication, everything will be a surprise.


P.S. The firings and surprises have already started.  It didn't take two weeks. I expect many more corporate "support" changes.  Can Gentiva get turnover over 300%?  I know it's a stretch goal, but this mendacious bunch can surely do it.

P.P.S.  In the 3rd Quarter earnings call CEO Tony Strange announced 100 positions gone as a result of synergies created by OneGentiva and the Harden deal.  He expects more as overlapping territories are addressed by the end of the year.  Chaos continues.

P.P.S.S.  Gentiva hit 300% turnover in corporate support positions for our site.  They did so by giving us another Area Operations Manager and Area Sales Manager.  Sixteen people have now occupied four slots in two years.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Generic Hospice Fires Chaplain


It sounds like things are getting crazy at Gentiva with all those corporate machinations.  Generic Hospice isn't much different. We've been owned by four different companies.  Thank God none ever came around to visit.  They were just a voice at the other end of the phone, barking orders.

The Generic rabbit hole recently had our Branch Manager (BM) fire our best chaplain for working for free.  The chaplain had been warned for:

1)  Working overtime to meet patient and grievers needs
2)  Working overtime to meet patient and grievers needs without permission from management
3)  Working to meet patient patient and grievers needs off the clock, i.e. not putting down their hours worked.
4)  Living, which was in direct opposition to our Branch Manager's desire

This chaplain inspired the rest of us by always listening to our concerns, issues and problems.  Our BM could care less about any staff needs or concerns, unless they miraculously intersected with their needs.

Anyway, the BM canned our chaplain, right there in a public hallway.  Then the darnedest thing happened. The chaplain raised their cross and proceeded to conduct an exorcism.

Just as the chaplain got out "Satan, I rebuke you" the BM, with full facial contortions, shouted, "Get the _uck out of my hospice!"  The BM grabbed the cross and began wrestling for control.  The struggling pair lunged left, causing the chaplain's back to hit the wall hard.  The chaplain worked to regain their breath.  In doing so the chaplain faced their former boss' mad, bulging eyes.

After reaching into their jacket pocket the chaplain threw something white into the BM's face.  The BM screamed in pain, then seemingly shriveled to nothing before our very eyes.  The chaplain stood over the shell of empty clothes, saying "Get the _uck out of my faith."

I asked the chaplain what they'd thrown.  The answer, "Exorcism salt.  Does in a corporate slug every time."  I asked the chaplain to drive a tanker load to our corporate office.  They should arrive any minute.

Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we might be free at last of abysmal management.  Your partner in suffering foolish leaders who can't manage what they can't understand. 


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gentiva Reorg 2.0


Get this:  In Spring 2013 Gentiva Hospice executives confessed to making a mistake by treating hospice like home health.  They confessed it took three years and a 1,000 employee layoff to learn hospice was not home health.  The edict generating corporate office could've asked hospice employees post-Odyssey merger and learned that long ago.

Instead they brought back the Chairman of Fun, who engineered Gentiva's corporate restructuring pre-merger with Harden Healthcare.  The C-Suite took the same leaders who couldn't tell the difference between hospice and home health and reshuffled the deck.  Home Health came out on top, with Hospice lucky to be in the five card draw.  The winners will be in charge of hospice, home health and community care.

While it takes a different clinical mindset to execute home health (restorative) vs. hospice (palliative), apparently no particular management experience or orientation is required.  At Gentiva sites are specialized, while bad management is universal.

Gentiva's various levels of chiefs can "mis-manage" anything.  They've achieved high employee turnover within declining overall revenues.  Don't forget zero consistency or credibility regarding the corporate chieflets who descend on our site, offering "advice" without questioning.  From my chair the primary management tactic seems to be vacuous cheerleading over arbitrary census targets.

Despite a requirement that employee satisfaction be surveyed annually at the site level, I've never seen one in my years of employment.   It's patently laughable that the divided Gentiva ever put patients or employees first.  Gentiva.1 issued top down edicts, completely ignoring longstanding talent and experience at the site level.

The Fun Chair removed the dot at Gentiva.1.  Here's my suggestion for the new corporate tag line  

Gentiva1 :  Kick-starting Chaos

Add Harden to this deformed company and things should get exponentially chaotic.  That is if credit markets hold up and banks listed at the top of this post actually fund the deal.  Strange days indeed.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

YCCOM's Many Meanings at Gentiva


Somewhere in Gentiva's hospice acquisition evolution it picked up YCCOM, which stands for "You Can Count on Me."  Maybe it had real meaning before the third or fourth buyout.  The other day a co-worker offered other interpretations of YCCOM.

"You Can Crap on Me"

"You Can Count on Mismanagement"

"You Can't Change our Mind"

"Your Controlling Character Obliterates Motivation"

"Your Conscience Cramps our Money"

"Your Counterfeit Chumminess Offends Me"

"Youthful Company Cheerleaders Oust Meaningfulness"

"Your Control Curtails our Morale"

"Your Creativity Contradicts our Management"

"Yellow Cowards Causing Outright Misery"

"You Can't Come (up short) on Metrics"

Other Gentivites:  Feel free to send any YCCOM's to  It's his Generic Hospice blog.  I only resonate with strangetony from a Gentiva perspective.  YCCOM away!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

One Gentiva: One Wall Street


Gentiva catered to Wall Street in two acts this past week.  First, the company revised its executive incentive compensation plans to meet longstanding concerns expressed by the investment community.  Gentiva badly lost the last two proxy votes on executive compensation, the nonbinding shareholder "say on pay." 

Second, Gentiva executives called Wall Street analysts to announce the Harden Healthcare acquisition.  They made this call at 9:00 am Eastern.  Investment house analysts were able to ask questions about the deal.  Employees got the call at 11:00 am Eastern, where there was no opportunity for questions.

Analysts seemed excited about the deal.  While it improved Gentiva's national footprint for hospice and home health, it essentially was doubling down on Gentiva's current model.  Harden's Community Care, Medicaid Primary Home Care, division was sold as diversifying from Medicare, until one considers Medicaid sits within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid.  The feds pay roughly two thirds of Medicaid bills while states pick up the rest.

Gentiva's CEO Tony Strange and CFO Eric Slusser sold the deal as deleveraging.  They went on to say debt would be 5.1 to 5.5 times equity in the combined company.  Not long ago Gentiva violated debt covenant restrictions well below those levels.  This resulted in a significant payment to debt holders and ratcheting up Gentiva's interest rate to junk levels.

With an asset write down Gentiva's leverage ratio rose as high as 32.25, according to Y Charts.  That's rolling the dice in private equity like fashion.

For years Gentiva had twice as much equity as debt.  Debt ballooned when Gentiva closed the Odyssey Hospice deal with $1.1 billion in borrowings.

One Gentiva will exhaust $85 million in cash, borrow $270 million and offer $53.8 million in stock to buy Harden's home health, hospice and community care offerings.

Consider how Eric described Gentiva's leverage in this year's Q2 earnings call:

The company's leverage ratio for the second quarter of 2013 was approximately 5.1 compared to a maximum allowed level of 6.25. On a net basis, the leverage ratio was 4.1.
Tony offered this in the same call:

We're going to balance that with our debt structure and managing our leverage ratio, and we're going to manage that leverage ratio to a place where we're comfortable.
In the Q and A Eric stated:

I think an acquisition strategy could be a deleveraging strategy in this environment. 

Tony and Eric can call it deleveraging, but I don't see it.  Gentiva remains highly levered and dependent on one payer, Uncle Sam via Medicare and Medicaid.  There's also the risk of getting into a strained cash position.  The first quarter of the year is when the company's principal and interest payments are due.  Gentiva is often cash flow negative in the first quarter, then generates significant cash in the next three quarters.

Refinancing $585 million in junk debt will likely result in lower interest rates and some interest savings.  I'd venture it's not enough to offset $270 million more in borrowings.

Gentiva believes the Harden acquisition will contribute to earnings within the first year.  It remains to be seen.  This is the crew that thought hospice was home health and imposed the same operating and marketing strategies to disastrous results.  While they apologized to hospice marketers, they're yet to offer their regrets to Gentiva employees.  They did offer a video on restarting the hospice heartbeat, after tearing out our heart and stomping that sucker flat.

Anyway, there's much to celebrate in Atlanta, the site of Gentiva's headquarters.  Let's hope they don't mismanage this acquisition the way they did Odyssey.

In my community there are many great hospice nurses who'll never set their foot inside a Gentiva door.  A callous corporate did its part, but much is due to an Site Leader incapable of mentoring, but fully able to torment.  It's frightening to think how this person might traumatize any new Harden divisions put under their control. An endless series of corporate representatives repeatedly tell us how this person has their complete confidence and trust.

At One Gentiva, clueless is as clueless does.


P.S.  Gentiva's leverage at year end was 5.4 times equity.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gentiva Buying, Might Generic Hospice Sell Out?


Gentiva is buying Harden Healthcare's home health, hospice and primacy healthcare divisions from private equity firm CapStar Partners LLC.  

CapStar monetized its equity position in Girling Hospice, Home Care and Community Care.  Harden sold its Tri-Sun nursing home facilities to Senior Care Tri-Sun will rent the buildings back from SCC. The only part of Harden that remains will operate 49 nursing home operations. 

Deals, the buying and selling of health care companies, is a unique feature of health reform.  Private equity firms expect huge returns on their equity investments in health care companies.  Gentiva's move is the reverse of Amedisys, which sold part of their hospice/home health firm to KKR.

When might Generic Hospice sell out to a legendary private equity firm?  It's but a matter of time.


Update 9-21-13:  KKR recapitalized Harden in 2010 and provided funding for Harden's acquisition of Voyager Hospice.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Culture of Profound Sickness


If we stood in a healthy, functional environment with experienced, wise leaders it might make sense to speak one's mind with confidence, to share honest feelings and reactions, appeal to common sense, suggest what seems fair and just and offer ways to fix what is broken.

Sadly, the current state is dysfunctional to a high degree.  Jesus advised in such situations to be "as clever as snakes."  Battles cannot be fought in full uniform or by regiment in open field.  They must be undertaken in camouflage, visual and auditory.  Strikes must come from nowhere and return to hidden places.

The language of leaders, corporate and political sounds noble, even saintly, until examined under the light of truth where they reveal power grabs, hidden agendas, paranoia and personal enrichment.  This lament does not take away the current reality but may cause one to adjust course.

Day to day individuals must discern, does today call for simple honesty or snake-like cleverness, the kind that is aware of the distortions of our world but not buying into or supporting their employ?  Some days call for saying less, for going with the flow, however nonsensical.

The small bit of recompense in this off-balance world is leaders' lack of attention.  They are quickly diverted to another scheme which requires new fanfare and boasting.  Grandiosity comes in waves, but is quickly rendered inert by incomplete managerial follow through.

This is not ideal.  It tears at our sense of reason and rightness.  A wise man once said "Avoid the company of deluded people when you can, but when you cannot, keep your own counsel."

Many find no good support within their work system, within the body politic.  Yet there are individuals who are not asleep like the crowds.  Seek them out subtly, drawing attention neither to oneself or any awakened.  Most of all seek support in one's own depths, where Soul meets Source.  This is below and beneath the clatter, the worry, the histrionic, over-reaction, payback and insanity of our leaders during these disturbing days.

This sums up Generic Hospice.  Does it also nail Gentiva?


Monday, September 2, 2013

Another Disingenuous Gentiva Promise


I "acted now" upon receiving this flyer in the mail.  It promised a mere 15 minutes to complete the online health assessment and earn 50 points toward a Wellness Incentive.  I called the number published on the inside 877-410-0186.  I sat on hold for 10 minutes.  A Gentiva Connections representative tried to help me with my request, however she did not have access to what I needed.  At the 15 minute mark she transferred me to United Healthcare Member Services.

UHC's Member Services did not "have that information" and transferred me to the Health and Wellness Portal Technical Support.  This call dropped at the 22 minute mark.  I called back.  After 30 minutes, double the time the flyer indicated, I had a web address that would get me started.

In total I spent 45 minutes to get into a position to start Gentiva's 15 minute health assessment.  It involved three phone calls and web signup.   This is the kind of complexity and service unfriendliness I found the last few years in signing up for employee benefits.

Last year's wellness incentive was a $10 per pay period break on health insurance costs.  This year's is very unclear, but completing the health assessment only gets an employee halfway there.  Not only is the prize unknown, but the second half of the journey to achieve it is also a mystery.

Complexity and poor communication lead me to believe Gentiva doesn't want to make it easy for employees to sign up for earned benefits. 


Update 9-20-13:  I'd venture I well into four hours of time spent trying to get the incentive.  Each step of the way required a call to technical support.  Time to date?  "Just 15 minutes" roughly squared.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bad Hospice Heartbeat

Dear Anonymous,

Generic Hospice decided to blame individual employees who'd lost their hospice heart the last two years under a series of misguided and malodorous executive decrees.  Our President had the gall to record on video his concern that Generic Hospice staff were missing their heartbeat and not claim responsibility for eviscerating our hospice's heart.

Get this, our former logo was a heart.  When we changed companies for what felt like the third time, they rammed this generic "metric centered" cross on us.  There wasn't a lick of heart in it and they knew it. 

Just when our President couldn't go any lower, he did.  This image master wrapped himself in the most pure part of hospice, a chaplain's cloth.  It wasn't the first time I'd seen our beady-eyed leader don a godly cloak, simply by close association.   

It was difficult to set poor management aside, but I tried to focus on this pure, good-hearted chaplain who worked for free for months, while our President enjoyed executive benefits, private dining, health club and concierge medical services.  The Chaplain talked about organizational trauma inflicted on his hospice site, turnover, a series of poor executive directors, marketers there - then gone.

The President abdicated his responsibility for any declared organizational failures, especially human resource systems that could not select and retain good employees.  He simply offered the chaplain's story as the tonic for demotivated hospice workers, blind to its obvious indictment of senior and corporate management.

The Chaplain wrote a song, which was in earnest a protest song.  The timing was good given the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.  

"I have a dream that one day in the corporate offices of Generic Hospice with its President, his lips dripping with executive rewards and employee manipulation, that one day in all of Generic's offices, people will appreciated for who they are, not just for how good they make superiors look or how much they drive to the bottom line.  I have a dream that all people will be paid as much as Generic can afford, allowing workers to focus on doing good work, not some byzantine extrinsic reward system that treats people like marionettes.'

'With this change, we will be able to join hands and sing the old Negro spiritual.  Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last."   

Part of that freedom is recognizing when the innocent have been taken in by the devious for purposes of greed and manipulation.  It doesn't demean the innocent at all, just leaders who would falsely wear their mantle.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Darkness Grows


The darkness grows at our hospice site.  Turnover is a constant.  Staff come away traumatized from interactions with our site leader.  There is only one criteria to this manager's decisions, whatever is needed to maintain their image in the present moment.  That means what they told you yesterday could be completely reversed today.  Remind them of yesterday's position and they'll flat out deny it, accusing you of distorting reality.  It's a mind shattering experience, unless you realize what's happening. There is only one constant, making the executive feel superior, in control, looking good. 

I calculate our manager cost the company $750,000 in two years.  That's $25,000 each for thirty jobs.  It's crazy expensive, a fact which doesn't seem to register with Gentiva Senior Management types, normally obsessed about money and numbers.

Anyway, a handful of us will try to lift the darkness from our site.  Daily at a specified time, our crew will pray that our staff be protected from management toxicity, that God's spirit will lift our hospice team members, enabling them to provide a loving, caring presence to those on our service.  God, please hear our prayer.  Right now, no Gentiva representatives are listening.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gentiva's Q2 Earnings Call Had Tony Strange Eating Humble Pie


"Nice job in a difficult environment" was the refrain from investment house analysts to Gentive CEO Tony Strange and CFO Eric Slusser.  Gentiva's story remains essentially on the same arc.  Our highly leveraged company struggles in a declining volume and revenue environment.  Hospice admissions were down 3% year over year and average daily census even lower at 4% vs. the prior year. 

CEO Strange expected the company's home health marketing strategy could be replicated in hospice.  After five quarters with no positive impact, Strange finally believes the company needs to do something different.  I know a few people who could've saved him five quarters, had anyone asked. 

Strange believes the U.S. is back to the mid to late '90's in terms of health care financial disruption and dislocation.  Uncle Sam, as the main payor, intermittently scorches the health care earth.  In such a scenario Congress and the White House signal their sponsors that they will soon be able to buy great healthcare assets at a deep discount.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, under the leadership of 25 year HCA executive Marilyn Tavenner, provides the financial pain to healthcare providers, including those specializing in post acute care.

Credit markets provide dirt cheap, easy credit, enabling the Genitva's of the world to de-lever by buying distressed health care providers.  To a normal person it makes no sense, de-levering by taking on more debt.  If one had too much debt from rent houses, how does it make sense to buy more?  Think of it like toxic chemicals, where the solution is dilution.   It's very difficult to dilute/de-lever over $900 million in debt.  That's Gentiva's formidable task. 

Strange didn't mention hedge fund investor Mario Gabelli's recent major buy of Gentiva stock.  He did mention that Sales, General and Administrative expenses went down due to lower incentive compensation payouts.  How might a major hedge fund investor with an eye on big gains combine with an executive team intent on a return to major incentive compensation payouts?  It feels like Gentiva might start swinging for the fences. 

Back to the call.  Capital expenses for the first six months were $7 million, 1% of revenue.  This is a paltry amount for a firm expected to transition to electronic health records.  Gentiva conducted a hospice marketing campaign in four Southeast markets.  Strange said admissions and ADC increased in these markets, although he did not say by how much.  The company plans to expand the TV/Radio campaign to six more markets by the end of 2013.  That's ten out of 165 locations, a mere 6%.  The capex and marketing expenditures are hardly significant investments for a firm sitting on $185 million in cash and appear to be window dressing for analysts.

Tony said Gentiva plans to use its cash to buy down debt or grow through consolidation.  That leaves employees, who he thanked at the end of the call, waiting for dressing crumbs to fall from the executive table.  My fellow employees say it's been a rough three years under the Gentiva banner.  How're things at Generic Hospice?


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Race to the Bottom on Human Resources


After reading your note about the drive to the bottom in treatment of employees, I too sought out a nonhospice Human Resources manager and asked him a few questions.  I recalled the time when HR tried to strike a balance between economic and employee concerns.  Together, we lamented its dying.

The human resources profession is not what it was.  In the last ten years, he'd seen human resources become a tool for senior management to further tilt the power scale in their favor.  He found new programs provided lip service to caring for employees.  Some lacked substance and capability, while others actually cut valuable pay or benefits.

This Human Resource disingenuousness is rife at Gentiva, which recently cut paid time off by 40 hours per year for employees hired after January 1, 2013.  The company did not come clean by announcing the change to all employees and stating critical, strategic reasoning behind such a move.

I assume they did it because they could.  Maybe it will help Senior Executives get their executive incentive compensation.  Anyway, it sent the message that Gentiva has two classes of employees.  Those hired before 1-1-13, are more valuable and need more time off to refresh, recharge.  Those hired after 1-1-13 are less valuable.

Gentiva's new clinical ladder is clearly a lip service program.  Human Resources is no longer responsible for ensuring employees are paid fairly based on their education, experience, skills and training.  That burden falls to the employee.  Employee must spend 40 hours putting together an application notebook, then submit that to a review committee where they have a 50-50 chance of garnering the reward or being determined a failure.  The process has a Roman Coliseum like feel.

Gentiva has 8,000 nurses and horrific employee turnover.  The Clinical Ladder has a fraction of clinical employees participating, less than 200 company wide.  The company bragged that in one region retention among 25 clinical ladder participants was 100%.  The 100% retention applied to one third of one percent of Gentiva employees.  This brings to mind the story of the Emperor with No Clothes as the program covers the teeniest percent of the company's human workforce. 

Gentiva has a compliance hotline for employees.  I know a number of people have contacted this hotline with ethical concerns.  One nurse was told "if you don't provide your name, your issue will not go forward."  This person did not feel supported in the least.  There was literally nowhere to share a confidential concern.

To sum up Gentiva Human Resources has a two tiered class of employees, a system for "fair pay" that 99.7% of staff aren't getting, and offers a tin ear to employees with ethical concerns.  This explains why it's been years since the company did an employee survey.  It's also been years since employees got a raise.

Gentiva is one face in the race to bottom on Human Resources.  The rabbit hole deepens...


Friday, June 28, 2013

Gabelli Ups Gentiva Stake at Bad Time

NASDAQ reported:

Mario Gabelli increased his holdings in Gentiva Health Services ( GTIV ) by 8.96% on June 13. Gabelli purchased a total of 73,400 shares at an average price of $11.50 per share. Since this transaction, the price per share has decreased approximately 10% and is currently trading around $10.39 per share. Gabelli now owns 892,300 shares of Gentiva, representing approximately 3.1% of the company's shares outstanding. Gabelli's holding history of Gentiva as of March 31.
This conflicts with a June 21 SEC filing showing Gabelli owns 5.2% or 1.6 million shares of Gentiva.  Gabelli funds lost nearly $2.5 million today.

Update 7-9-13:  Gabelli spoke on CNBC at the noon hour.  No mention of his untimely investment in Gentiva.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Generic Hospice Transfers Responsibility to Worker


Generic Hospice continues its downward slide, which began with employees having to justify compensation through a complex, convoluted clinical ladder program built on scarcity.  Employees doing human resources work continued with a new self-evaluation, which has little to do with the actual work I perform.  Now I get to do the accounting function as well.  As I already help with marketing, I'm doing my job plus:

Human Resources

All for the same pay I was hired in at   My last plane trip I sat next to a Human Resources professional.  I asked him about the race to the lowest common denominator in Human Resources.  He agreed wholeheartedly, lamenting how HR had become a tool to control expenses and people, while dramatically offering less services to employees.  Human Resources = Employee Abuse, for sure at Generic Hospice, but also at many other companies.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Human Resources = Employee Abuse


The last time our Corporate HR person visited they said corporate chiefs "loved us like our Hospice Nurse Aides love their patients".  I nearly blew coffee out my nose.  The more I thought about this attempted pander, it turned into an insult.  How dare this HR bear hug our nurse aides, (who actually know their patient's names and care for them)!

Our Nurse Aides don't conduct exit interviews.  Neither does the company.

Our Nurse Aides don't give raises, much like Generic Hospice sitting on millions in corporate cash.

Our Nurse Aides didn't eliminate the company subsidy for dental and eye insurance, before cutting 40 hours in vacation time for new employees.

Our Nurse Aides are not months late on evaluations, which are verbally positive but lack a corresponding rating.  Evaluations have become a tool for abuse.

Our Nurse Aides didn't rip employees off on mileage reimbursement by shorting them distance and offering a paltry rate per mile. 

Our Nurse Aides have the longest tenure of any group and care deeply about people, not so much about numbers. 

Generic Hospice cares about one thing and one thing only, metrics.  They've proven it repeatedly.  Our site suffered under an abusive, micro-manager for five years. Turnover, especially among clinical people who don't have to take abuse, has been obscene.  Every HR person to visit turned a deaf ear to stories of physical, mental and emotional abuse.

Our Nurses Aides are the antithesis of Generic Hospice.  They care and they give.

StrangeTony  . 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Gentiva Cuts PTO for New Hires in 2013


It's a well kept secret within Gentiva that senior leaders cut Paid Time Off for employees hired after January 1, 2013.  Here's the memo that went out to all employees on policy updates:

One has to open the policy to find the change. 

Gentiva now has two classes of non-executive employees, pre and post 1/1/13.  There's no word on the change or why this was necessary.  The number of executive decisions not expressly shared says much about Gentiva's Senior Leaders and Board of Directors.

I believe the PTO cut for new hires will provide funds for employee "pay increases" for "eligible employees" in the third quarter of this year.  A Human Resources Vice President told our site raises would come from Regional Executives, once they met to identify available funds for increases.  I don't know many Regional Leaders with control over company-wide benefit expenses.

The race to the bottom at Gentiva shows no sign of deceleration, where Human Resources is a complete oxymoron.  The department should be renamed Center for Employee Abuse.  At least, that's our site's experience.  How're things at Generic Hospice?


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gentiva Courting Wall Street


Gentiva executives are barnstorming Wall Street after the second year in a row of shareholders voting against the company's executive incentive compensation proposal.

May 14 - Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Health Care Conference
May 21 - Barclays High Yield Bond and Syndicated Loan Conference
May 22 - UBS Global Health Care Conference
May 29 - Deutsche Bank 38th Annual Healthcare Conference 
June 4 - Jefferies Global Healthcare Conference

Bank of America - Merrill Lynch - President Tony Strange & Eric Slusher CFO

Strange suggested Medicare does not pay for medicines when patients are treated at home.  Yet hospice must provide medicines that relate to their hospice diagnosis.  

Gentiva has over one thousand sales professionals on street every day pushing home health and hospice.

A Memory Care specialty program will be rolled out by end of third quarter.

Strange expects a look at rebasing in next three months.  In Q&A Strange spoke to consolidation, both Gentiva's exiting specific markets and acquiring struggling providers in other geographic areas.  Home Health will undergo increased scrutiny from payors, similar to hospice in early 2012.

Barclays: - Eric Slusher, EVP & CFO

Medicare rate cuts are intended to drive consolidation in Home Health and Hospice. Small operators won't have the scale to survive and will need to sell to larger firms or close.  Gentiva intends to be a consolidator.

Hospice division experienced higher deaths and discharges in the first quarter than expected.  This oddity has resolved as of mid April..

The new Memory Care specialty program will have staff trained by the end of summer.

Gentiva is "sitting on a boatload of cash," despite paying out executive incentive compensation in Q1  Overall, it was a "good quarter." 

Home Health growth was in 5% range.  Hospice admissions grew, but length of stay and average daily census declined more than budgeted. 

The CFO danced around the request for a "same store sales"analysis.  He expects the company to get a feel on rebasing in next month and a half.

UBS - Link to Barclays Presentation

No audio available.

Gentiva executives never mentioned the shareholder "say on pay" vote.  Yet, I believe it could be one reason for Gentiva's hitting so many investor meetings in 2013..  Then again, it may not.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Box Laden Coworkers

It happened again last week.  I came across another coworker. carrying a loaded box.  By their side stood a stern looking manager.  Coworker sobs revealed the soul-ectomy taking place in a public hallway.  Executive glares indicated I'd encroached on a confidential interaction and that I needed to do one of two things, leave or cease to exist.

This is hospice, where staff go to extra lengths to preserve people's dignity.  Yet, a worker's core identity is at constant risk for random attack from above.  Harsh judgement occurs in an instant, the penalty phase not so fast.  It can take months for the wheels of mendacity to grind one's livelihood to litter.

Sitting in the eye of the discipline hurricane gave workers the impression things had improved, until devastating force struck from the complete opposite direction.

It seems two people are always on the hit list.  When one leaves, another rises to take their place.  Two left.  That means two new names have ascended to the gates of executive judgement.  

Toxic management:  It's the Generic Hospice way.  BYOB.  Bring your own box, because, if the timeline's long enough, everyone will be gone.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Misery Multiplied

I think it's going to be a long, long time.  The Pres has a sign in his office which states:

The beatings will continue until morale improves.


Investors Smack Gentiva Again on Executive Pay


Shareholders voted down Gentiva's Executive Pay via the annual proxy for the second year in a row!  Despite leadership's shareholder outreach, the percentage voting against executive pay increased.

We believe that our executive compensation program has been effective in aligning the interests of shareholders and executives, incentivizing the accomplishment of corporate goals, and attracting and retaining talented executives. In deciding how to vote on this Say-on-Pay proposal, please consider that we take into account the following factors regarding developing and overseeing our compensation program, which are described in detail in this proxy statement under the heading “Executive Compensation—Compensation Discussion and Analysis”: 

  • Enhancing shareholder value by focusing our executives’ efforts on the specific performance metrics that help drive shareholder value; 
  • Attracting, motivating and retaining executive talent willing to commit to long-term shareholder value creation; 
  • Incorporating meaningful input from our shareholders based on our shareholder outreach efforts; 
  • Aligning executive decision making with our business strategy and goal setting;
  • Reflecting industry standards, offering competitive total compensation opportunities and balancing the need for talent with reasonable compensation expense; and 
  • Providing executives with information so that they understand their total compensation and how rewards are generally a function of both organizational and individual performance. 

Our Board of Directors, therefore, urges you to approve the compensation of our named executive officers by voting in favor. 

Nearly three out of five voting Gentiva shareholders said no, that they opposed the Board's recommendation.  I wonder how the employee shareholder vote went.

How are things at Generic Hospice?  Any sign of raises?  Let me know,


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Executive Compensation Proxy Conflict Deepens


Get this.  Last year Gentiva's top management experienced the wrath of shareholders on executive compensation.  The fight appears to have escalated with proxy firms recommending a second "No" vote on Gentiva's executive pay and "No votes" for three members of the Compensation Committee.

Gentiva Chairman Rod Windley sent a letter to shareholders explaining the company's position on the matter.  The company's actions during the last year did not resolve the conflict

In the spring of 2012, the Company was surprised by the position taken by the proxy advisory firms and conducted a substantial program of shareholder outreach. Prior to the 2012 annual meeting, the Company contacted the holders of 82% of all outstanding shares and had one-on-one discussions with approximately 68% of the holders of its stock.

For leaders fluent in the language of business, why are they unable to get their points across?  Gentiva's annual meeting is May 9th.   We'll find out about the success of the company's shareholder outreach program.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gentiva Executive Pay Cut for 2012


I don't know how pay raises go at Generic Hospice, but employees have gone years without raises at Gentiva.  That pattern looks to stay, especially if the people at the bottom get crumbs that fall from the executive table. Gentiva's SEC filings show:

Tony Strange, CEO
2011 pay - $4,012,982
2012 pay - $2,271,026
Down $1,741,956 or 43%

Eric Slusher - CFO
2011 pay - $1,626,777
2012 pay - $1,027,788
Down $598,989 or 37%

Jeff Shaner - Hospice Division President
2011 pay - $1,436,417
2012 pay - $   814,868
Down $621,549 or 43%

It looks like another lean year for the Gentiva masses.  Can't wait for the holiday parites...  


Monday, March 11, 2013

Hints of Gentiva's 2012 Executive Pay


While Gentiva employees received no raises in 2012 and long term stockholders remain in the red, the first hint of executive compensation came in the company's 10-K.

Equity based compensation rose slightly in 2012. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company recorded equity-based compensation expense, as calculated on a straight-line basis over the vesting periods of the related equity instruments, of $7.6 million as compared to $7.5 million for the corresponding period of 2011. 
Performance cash awards could also be gleaned:

For 2012, the Company granted performance cash awards of approximately $4.8 million, with 50 percent of the award based on a 2012 diluted earning per share target and 50 percent of the award based on a 2014 diluted earnings per share target, subject to certain adjustments, with the awards expected to fully vest at the end of 2014. The performance cash awards based on 2012 diluted earnings per share target will be paid at 85 percent of target
I could find no reference to performance cash awards in any of the company's last three 10-K's.  However, their annual proxy statements did list performance cash awards.  The last award given was in January 2011 and totaled roughly $1.5 million.  The $4.8 million is a 220% increase.

The SEC report mentions Rod Windley's new role as Executive Chairman, but gave no information on his compensation, now that he's working full time for Gentiva.

The company's Proxy Statement should be out in two weeks.  It will have a detailed breakdown of how executive's made out on the backs of Gentiva's workers.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Management Creates Darkness


I came across this survey and it fits with what we've been sharing, you at Generic Hospice and me at Gentiva.

U.S. corporate executives paint a bleak picture of the workplace, full of dolts and drones.

Workers lack communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creative skills executives say, according to a recent survey by the American Management Association. Turns out, bosses aren't too excited about their underlings' abilities, a prospect they're getting more worried about considering such skills will be more important amid a changing business landscape, they say.

The number of executives rating their employees as below average increased across all four areas since the survey was last taken in 2010. Almost 20 percent of workers lack at least average creative skills, according to executives.

American leaders frequently pit workers against one another, sloughing off the bottom 5-10%.  This internal competition comes at a price.

Rather than building character, competition sabotages self-esteem and ruins relationships

Add leaders' over-reliance on extrinsic reward programs, which kill intrinsic motivation and management has created the very thing it abhors.

The more an organization relies on incentives, the worse things get.

Leaders fail to recognize their dissatisfaction is of their making.  While the overall situation is bleak, Gentiva's is bleaker.   

Gentiva Hospice employees aren't communicated with.  For there to be an opportunity for collaboration, the company would need to seek input.  Gentiva dropped the employee survey two years ago.  There's no sign of its return.  It went the way of raises.

As for critical thinking skills, those are not desired in a directive, top down company.  "Yes" is what they expect to hear.  Creative skills are also superfluous.  Anything "created" must be submitted to corporate for approval.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Gentiva Management: Insider Stock Sales


Gentiva executives sold stock during the last quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013.  New Executive Chairman Rod Wndley sold 230,000 shares for proceeds of nearly $2.5 million.  This is hardly a vote of confidence from Gentiva's expected turnaround chief.

Hospice Division President Jeff Shaner flipped 28,000 option shares, paying $5.16 per share and selling for an average $11.05.  Shaner made $164,000 with his option redemption.

On insider buys vs. sells, the metric shows zero buys and fifteen sales.   Gentiva CEO Tony Strange failed to mention this in their Q4 and year end analysts call.   Maybe analysts will catch it before the next investor presentation.

Barclays Global Healthcare Conference -- Miami, Florida at 4:45 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Might Tony Strange have guidance on the impact of sequestration in this call?   One analyst gave Tony a hard time over his sequestration caginess.  Will she pop up in the Q & A?

While analysts missed insider sales, Seeking Alpha caught them. Gentiva made their post "Three Stocks with Recent Intensive Insider Selling."  The Gentiva analysis summary states:

There have been four insider sell transactions and there have not been any insider buy transactions during the last 30 days. The stock is trading at a P/E ratio of 11.89 and a forward P/E ratio of 7.60. The company has a book value of $7.63 per share. There are two analyst buy ratings, six neutral ratings and one sell rating, with an average target price of $8.88. Before entering short this stock, I would like to get a bearish confirmation from the Point and Figure chart.  Three main reasons for the proposed short entry are negative revenue growth, bearish analyst target prices and the intensive insider selling activity.  
 What news will break next?  Will the company speak to how it plans to weather the 2% Medicare hospice cut from sequestration?  Will their expected March Def 14a reveal executive incentive compensation for 2012?  When will the company let employees know if any raise can be expected in 2013? 

While those at the bottom wait for crumbs to fall from Atlanta, Gentiva executives stand enriched.  They'd have it no other way.